Going through any kind of abuse, whether physical or emotional, and being surrounded by negative thoughts and opinions – these are all surefire signs you should stay away from someone.
But sometimes people get blinded by love and instead of leaving the other person, they hold onto them thinking that things will change and it’ll get better soon enough.
So, you’re probably asking yourself, when is the right time to leave someone? Maybe when you’re feeling drained for no apparent reason? Or maybe when your gut is telling you that your heart will get hurt if you stay even a bit longer with them?
Well, if there are three things I’ve learned about life, it’s to always trust your gut, to stay away from toxic people, and that eating an entire slab of chocolate in one sitting is bad for your health.
Many of us neglect the gut feeling they have and think it’s nonsense to even listen to it. That’s why we blame ourselves when someone hurts us in any way. Also, we know that surrounding yourself with toxic people isn’t good for you. If you don’t erase them completely, they will use your emotions against you and take you for granted.
The truth is, we don’t get many chances in our lives, so we have to seize every opportunity we get. Don’t dwell on the past, and don’t waste your precious time on people who aren’t there when you need them.
Signs you should stay away from someone
Fear not, there’s still hope for you to recover and avoid being surrounded by toxicity. Spending time with people who don’t have your best interests at heart can certainly give your self-esteem and well-being a knock.
Whether your partner is abusing you or your friend is going behind your back, dealing with people who are toxic is inevitable. That’s why I created a list of alarming signs you should stay away from someone.
1. Spending time with the person makes you feel anxious
One of the easiest ways to know whether or not you should spend more time with someone is to take a step back and think about how they make you feel when you’re with them. Do you feel anxious whenever you two hang out? Does spending time with that someone makes you feel dreadful?
If you answered yes to those questions, then that’s definitely a warning sign you should stay away from someone. Their presence drains you of your energy and you need several days to recover after your encounter.
You don’t feel good and fulfilled whenever you’re with them – it feels more like a nightmare than a pleasant experience.
I once had a toxic friend who constantly brought me down every time we got together. After a while, I made excuses as to why I can’t see her, but then I realized that spending time with her made me feel bad about myself.
I was not sick physically but mentally. Every time she suggested that we go somewhere, even to the mall, I would find an excuse for not being able to make it.
After some time, it dawned on me that her toxic behavior and bad words cost me my mental health, so I moved away from her.
My advice to you is to walk away from that someone who doesn’t bring any joy to your life. And always, and I mean ALWAYS, take care of your mental health. Remember that not everyone deserves to be a part of your life.
2. It isn’t easy for you to set healthy boundaries
The core of a healthy relationship with someone (be it romantic or platonic) is having healthy boundaries that both people respect. However, that’s not the case when dealing with a negative person.
Usually, they make it difficult for us to set healthy boundaries and they’re the first to break them.
Those types of people will do and say whatever they need to manipulate you and take you for granted over and over again. Their goal is to satisfy their needs and then leave you wounded and speechless.
It could be that every time you say you’ve had enough and you won’t tolerate their behavior, you fall into the same trap and end up being hurt by them all over again.
The reason that happens to you is that you haven’t set any boundaries. But truth be told, without them, your emotions are vulnerable like a soldier running across an open field.
Those boundaries can and will protect you from being heartbroken again. And if you have difficulty establishing them, then that’s definitely one of the signs you should stay away from someone.
3. You point fingers at them for the bad choices you make
If you’re wondering whether or not someone is good for you, then ask yourself this question: Do you blame them when you’re unhappy with your life? Do you point fingers at them for interfering with your life and destroying your dreams?
You have to keep in mind that you’re the sole creator of your own happiness. No one can and should take that power away from you. But when you’re in a toxic relationship with someone, you’ll always end up blaming them for the choices you make.
You’ll never be brave enough to say that i’s all on you – that it’s your fault.
Their behavior is confusing to you and you worry too much about what they’ll think of your choice. So, you have to walk away from them if you ever wish to regain control over your life again.
Those people are subconsciously manipulating you. So the only way you’ll be able to navigate through life the way you want is to stay away from them. Only then will you have the freedom to make your own choices and be accountable for whatever happens next.
4. You complain a lot about them
Have you ever caught yourself obsessively talking about toxic people to your friends or family member? Perhaps you might say that it’s become some sort of twisted hobby, complaining about them even though you don’t enjoy doing it.
If so, you need to face the truth for once and admit that something’s wrong with your relationship with them. Maybe you aren’t aware that their toxic words and actions have impacted your overall well-being, but take a closer look at what you’re doing. You’re blaming them for your choices and constantly talking about them.
They infiltrated your mind and you can’t seem to distance yourself from them. Even though you know they’re no good to you, you find yourself looking at their social media profiles because you’re consumed by their intoxicating personality.
Maybe it’s because you’re trying to justify their actions. You’re looking for answers to why they’re still hanging out with you and vice versa.
But by stalking them, you’re giving them power over your life. You have to stop with that.
Stop overanalyzing whenever they post something new on their feed. Instead, stay away from someone who brings you nothing but despair to your life.
5. You don’t believe in yourself anymore
Being in an abusive and toxic relationship can really force you to think that you’re unworthy of being loved by anyone. Those types of people need to feel superior in every sense. And one way that they achieve that is by knocking down your self-esteem and making you believe that you don’t deserve anything in life.
They want you to feel bad about yourself. They feed off your negative thoughts and emotions. And they stop at nothing to achieve that.
Usually, toxic people say mean and rude things to others and won’t stop at anything to mentally beat you down. They don’t possess enough emotional intelligence to realize their actions and words are hurting others.
The only thing that’s in their mind is that they have to weaken you so you’re no longer a “threat” to them.
So, if someone is treating you this way, then pull yourself together and find the strength to move away from them. Believe me, you have it in you, you just need to take the initiative and leave.
Don’t be stuck in a vicious cycle of sorrow and bitterness. Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll see how quickly the tables will turn for you. Your confidence will increase, as well as your self-esteem.
6. You don’t have control over your own emotions anymore
It doesn’t matter if that toxic someone is your friend, partner, or family member, the way they treat you can definitely interfere with your feelings.
Let’s say that a friend of yours has said something bad about you or criticized your choice. At first, you may not react to their words, but after you get home and you come face-to-face with your own thoughts, that’s when it will hit you.
You’ll toss and turn all night, haunted by all the things you wanted to say to them. And when you do finally meet up with them again, you won’t feel like yourself anymore.
You’ll become frustrated since you lost control over your own emotions. On top of that, you’ll have uncontrollable outbursts of anger that will ultimately prevent you from doing anything in life. Eventually, you’ll close yourself off and no one will be able to help you.
So, your best option is to face those emotions and embrace them fully. Just because you can’t control them doesn’t mean you have to avoid them.
7. You decide to join them
One of the signs you should stay away from someone who is toxic for you is when you decide, “Well, I guess if you can’t beat them, join them.” Perhaps you decided to do that because you thought that’s the only way you’ll ever find inner peace.
Don’t blame yourself for thinking this way because I’m guilty of this too. I once had a friend whose presence affected me negatively. His level of toxicity was not only dangerous to me but to others as well.
But the thing was, no matter what I said or did, he always remained the same. And that’s when I decided to stoop to his level and join him. Soon, I realized that wasn’t me at all. After a while, I let go of him and I started to recover from his toxic influence.
The good news is there are several ways to deal with a toxic person. You don’t have to become one of them or stoop to their level. You can protect yourself from their influence by creating healthy boundaries. That way, you’ll preserve your sanity and inner peace.
8. They blame you for everything bad that happens
One of the telltale signs you should stay away from someone is when they blame you for everything bad that happens in your relationship. Blameshifting is the most common technique used by toxic people.
Truth be told, those people don’t respect you enough and will say hurtful things to you. They might blame you for silly things like not passing an exam, or your friend might say it’s your fault that she no longer has a boyfriend.
Toxic people resort to such petty measures because they’re afraid to face the consequences of their own actions. They believe they’re perfect and that others have to play by their rules.
That’s why they will blame you for their failures. But you have to resist them. Remember, they are manipulators in disguise whose actions and words have only one goal – to hurt you!
Don’t believe when they say that they’re the victims because that’s not true.
9. They take as much as they can from you
Being in a healthy relationship means that both people are putting in equal effort into making it work and giving each other the love they deserve to receive. But the word “giving” isn’t something a master manipulator is familiar with.
You can’t expect a toxic person to ever give you anything no matter what you do for them. They only take as much as they can from you because their greed is insatiable.
They’ll call and text you only when it suits them and when they want something from you. After they’ve gained what they wanted, they’ll proceed to ignore you and take you for granted.
They take and give nothing in return, so being in any kind of relationship with them feels very one-sided and exhausting. The only thing you can do to save yourself from breaking apart emotionally is to take control over your own life and stay away from someone like this.
10. Your other relationships suffer
When your other relationships suffer because of a particular someone, take it as a neon sign to stay away from them.
Let’s say you have a toxic friend and that you just came back home from an argument with them. Your boyfriend or husband greets you and asks politely, “Have a good time?” But instead of answering him in a calm and collective voice, you start yelling at him for not doing certain chores.
You may feel that way because you have absorbed the negative energy from your toxic friend and unleashed it onto your significant other. Their negativity can be contagious, so that’s why you should stay as far away from them as you can.
Keep your distance from those people unless you want to become a controlling wife or unbearable girlfriend. By allowing that negative energy to pass onto you, your other relationships will slowly deteriorate and eventually, everyone will leave you.
My advice to you is whenever you get frustrated by someone’s words or actions, think about what made you feel that way in the first place. If the reason for your emotional state is your toxic friend, then you know what you need to do.
11. They aren’t trustworthy or committed
Have you noticed your friend is constantly lying about not being available or that she’s afraid to commit to anything that you two have talked about? If yes, then that’s a sign you should stay away from that person before disappointment and heartbreak come knocking.
Maybe it’s you who always takes the initiative and tries to fix things whenever a problem occurs in your relationship. Or maybe your friend or boyfriend ignores you for a couple of weeks, only to come back because they’re in desperate need of your attention.
If you can relate to this, then take that as a red flag that you’re dealing with toxic people who aren’t good for you at all. They only care about themselves and don’t think about how you’re feeling or whether you need something or not.
They also aren’t truthful and can’t be trusted. Their words never match their actions.
So, if someone is making you feel guilty for things you didn’t even do, then you should definitely walk away from them. Because it’s sure not emotionally or mentally healthy to stay with them.
12. They deceive you
Most manipulators and toxic people will do their best to control your reality. As a result, you’ll lose control over your own life and will feel suffocated and entrapped by their negativity.
One way they gain control of your reality is by deceiving you and others about certain things about them. They’ll spin stories to your friends or family members that aren’t remotely true just so others believe you’re the bad guy and they’re not.
Lying, deceiving, and twisting the facts are just some of the manipulation tools in their arsenal. And they won’t stop at anything to reach their end goal, which is to have power over your thoughts and emotions.
If you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship with a toxic person, then you know what I’m talking about. At first, you probably thought he was your soulmate, only to find out later he was your biggest mistake.
Such people are very good at presenting themselves as flawless and picture-perfect. But in reality, they are very dependent on you because they feed off your presence and attention.
That doesn’t mean they’re incapable of giving someone a compliment or two, though. They may shower you with affection, meanwhile, they’re doing so only to use this against you sometime in the future.
And because of that, you’ll always feel guilty about anything that you’ve done. And even if you do confront them about their behavior, they’ll tell you that it’s your fault and move on with their life as if nothing ever happened.
13. They’re surrounded by drama
There’s this misconception that couples in healthy relationships don’t argue at all – that they live in a drama-free environment. Well, a bit of drama doesn’t hurt anyone and is a part of life. But when it becomes a trend, that’s when you should take it as a sign to stay away from someone.
If you notice that this person instigates a lot of fights with others, it’s only a matter of time before that negative energy passes onto you. Before you know it, they drag you into all that mess and demand you to take their side.
They might even play the victim in these situations so you feel sorry for them and help them belittle the other person. Worse yet, you even take the entire blame, telling everyone that it was your idea originally.
To save yourself the trouble and stress, just stay away from them. Don’t allow them to draw you into their own problems. Just move away as soon as you see that they have their eyes on you.