11 Warning Signs You’re Dating A Toxic Person


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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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  1. mummzydearest on March 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Describes my ex perfectly!

  2. made58 on March 23, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Reblogged this on HelpingOthersHelpThemselves.

  3. Ginger Snaps Barlow on March 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    When we talk about “toxic” people, we’re usually talking about people who are emotionally harmful. I had a recent experience dating a toxic guy. He considered himself the victim in every bad situation that had ever happened in his life, including how his ex-girlfriend MADE him steal from her because she was always complaining he didn’t take her out to nice enough places. So he stole jewelry and pawned it, always planning, of course, to get the items back when he had money. He was controlling in subtle ways, always checking where I was, freaking out if I didn’t answer my phone. He was desperate and fell “in love” with me so quickly because he didn’t know how to be alone. He was very sarcastic and made little digging comments designed to make me feel bad about myself. He couldn’t tell the truth because he honestly didn’t know how — NEVER a straight answer about anything. He exaggerated EVERYTHING (and no, I’m not exaggerating when I say everything). Situations were always WAY worse than anything anyone else had ever experienced.

    Fortunately, I realized this after about 4 weeks of dating and broke it off. After, when I ended up getting a restraining order, I found out about a significant criminal history, drug use and all kinds of nasty things about him. My point — toxic people aren’t just emotionally dangerous, they can also be very dangerous people and when the red flags start flying, get out as fast as you can!

  4. tall man on March 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Eight signs your new life-guru hasn’t a clue:
    1. The guru starts the title of almost every article with a number.
    2. His opinion is touted as more reliable than research.
    3. “Thousands” of members of the opposite sex confide their secrets with him.
    4. He confuses web hits with “readers”.
    5. A glamour photo, with a crooked tie, is his most proffered credential.
    6. His friends post supposedly independent positive comments to rebut detractors.
    7. The “writer” plagiarizes others and fails to give photographers credit while stealing their works.
    8. Despite the blatant plagiary, he hasn’t figured out how to use spell and grammar check software.

    • James Michael Sama on March 23, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Even though nobody here is a guru of any kind, I will respond to this list. 🙂

      1. Lists are far more popular and clickable than other sorts of titles, hence the frequency of use.
      2. This is an opinion blog, therefore opinion is the only requirement.
      3. This is true…
      4. Sometimes I say views, sometimes I say readers, I am not confused, but when over 30 million people have read the website, I say 30 million readers. Seems legit.
      5. I know, wish the bowtie was straight in those pictures! But unfortunately I can’t correct it after the photo was taken. I think it gives it a little personality. 🙂
      6. People comment when they want to comment, half the time they are under anonymous names or I don’t know them personally. Have never and would never ask someone to defend me on my own opinions.
      7. I have plenty of credit given to photographers throughout this website. When a copyright issue is brought to my attention, I happily address and fix it.
      8. Where is the plagiarism? Examples would be great! Secondly, writing a published work would require grammar check, a personal blog does not. However, I do think my spelling is on point! I am always happy when someone points out an error, have you seen any?

      Thanks for your feedback!

      – James

      • Graciela SouthernBelle on March 25, 2015 at 9:09 am

        James, I wondered how you would address such a rude comment. I knew it would be politely, but it was also very much on point! You are the real deal as far as men are concerned. We all know you are not perfect, but you recognize the pitfalls and challenges of relationships. Thank you for retaining your composure – I’m not sure I would have been able to do so. *Applause

  5. Miss flyness on March 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I agree to all except the desperation point.Just coz someone wants to be in a relationship quick fast doesnt necessarily mean they are toxic.I mean…It could be love at first sight.

    • James Michael Sama on March 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      That’s a great point! But, it is important to recognize the difference between love at first sight, and someone who is desperate to be in a relationship in order to validate their own self worth.

      While you are 100% correct, the important part is to be able to recognize which situation is which.

      Thanks for your comment!

      – James

  6. Lynn Croy on March 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Mr. Sama i don’t usually respond to your articles (even though i enjoy them all) i was married to a true narcissist for 30 years and this article really hits home, unfortunately it began when i was 15 so i didn’t know any better and was so naive, i finally got out 4 years ago and needless to say my daughter & i have been through alot of counseling. … the abuse definitely is done to the children as well. Maybe there are women who will read every word of this article & not live the life i did, my life is so amazing now, it just unfortunately took me til 49 yrs old to get here. Thank you for the work you do, its important. Sincerely, Lynn

  7. CP on May 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This article was spot on! I was too trusting and too naive to know the “inner workings” of a toxic, narcissistic man. Unfortunately, he tried to hide all those bad characteristics, until after we got married….Now I’m 17 years down the road with a dangerous, secretive, controlling man that says he will make my life hell financially, mentally, and physically if I ever left. I know what he is capable of, and it has me “frozen” in a state of fear. There are only a few of my a family members who know his dangerous side, as narcissists are professionals at “hiding” their true identity! They are masters at wearing “the mask!” Now I feel I’ve not only wasted 17 years, but my life will constantly feel as if I’m never safe, one way or another! Feeling trapped with a monster with no way out!

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