While it is of course important to set our standards and understand within ourselves what we want when in a potential teammate, it is equally as important to understand what we don’t want.
Part of defining what we don’t want in a partner is knowing what kinds of people are going to make us happy and what kinds are going to bring negativity to our lives. Toxic people can discourage you, hinder your progress in life, and contaminate your mood. They are also the reason that we become jaded from negative pasts – without negative people, this wouldn’t be a worry.
Of course none of us are perfect and most of us have probably been guilty of one or two things on this list during our lives, but the key here is to look for patterns. If these things are inherently part of someone’s personality, walk away.
They are always the victim.
Someone who is always painting themselves as a victim in life and in specific situations is likely unable to accept responsibility for their own actions, and therefore work to improve their shortcomings. This person will always be looking to point the finger when a problem arises, and if it’s a problem in your relationship, guess who the finger will be pointed at?
They are controlling.
A person who tries to control their significant other in a relationship is likely lacking the confidence to believe that they can attract a romantic partner and subsequently keep their attention. In order to make up for this, they do their best to control the situation so there are no surprises. Needless to say, this can only lead to you feeling suffocated and restricted – two things you should never feel in a relationship.
They are desperate.
If someone is constantly seeking your approval or trying to jump into a relationship with you quickly, it is a warning sign that they are unable to be happy on their own and require the presence of a significant other in life in order to be ‘happy.’ They have not yet worked to developed the emotional maturity in order to be happy with themselves first, and therefore will never be truly happy in a relationship.
They are always involved in drama.
Someone who always seems to be surrounded by drama or chaos is unlikely to have it just…following them around. The term “common denominator” comes to mind, and if they are always in the middle of conflict, it is probably them. When this person enters into a relationship with you they are not going to suddenly lose the characteristics that creates this tension. They will bring you into it with them.
They are perpetually sarcastic.
Sarcasm and wittiness can be funny, and even attractive if inserted into a conversation properly. But when it permeates every conversation and there is always an underlying tone that seems to be condescending, this person will be increasingly difficult to have an actual discussion with as time goes on, particularly about important issues. Your partner in a relationship should have the emotional depth and security to leave the sarcasm at the door.
They never seem to give you a straight answer.
Simple questions require simply answers. If you find that someone is always avoiding discussions or topics that actually matter in your relationship (even ones that don’t really matter), they are either hiding something or are unable to have this type of conversation. Both are equal warning signs.
They don’t really listen to you.
One of the building blocks of a relationship is communication – which has to go both ways in order to be effective. If someone consistently speaks far more than they listen (especially in conversations about your wants or needs), then it is a warning sign that they could be self-centered or even narcissistic. Not desirable qualities in a romantic partner.
They are constantly talking badly or spreading rumors about other people.
As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
They are never wrong.
Different than the above point about accepting responsibility for their actions – toxic people also refuse to change their opinions based on new information or ever admit that they are wrong about something. This prevents them from growing intellectually and emotionally because they think they already know everything, so what’s left to learn? Equally as important though, it prevents you from having meaningful communication with them.
They are constantly exaggerating.
This may not seem like much of a warning sign, but a person who has difficulty accurately representing reality and has an innate need to make themselves and their experiences sound more profound or better than they really are, lacks the self-esteem and integrity needed in order to be honest. How can you build a relationship with someone whose truth and honesty you are always questioning? You can’t. Start thinking of exaggerating as a form of lying, and it may present itself as a bigger red flag.
They are rude to people who they’re not trying to win over.
I’ve said before in multiple articles that a ‘nice person’ who is mean to a waiter or waitress is not really a nice person. When you are on a date with someone it is very important how they treat you – but it is also important how they treat those around you. Toxic people are not inherently kind, they are only kind to those they are trying to get something from.
“You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them.” – Malcolm S. Forbes.
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