Are there times when you feel someone is wearing you out with their thoughts, words, and actions? Do you feel caught in a negative space?

Friendship is a two way street. This usually means people share each others problems and issues. But, there is a difference in healthy relationships. Talking through problems is different from the repetitive and unproductive and negative, especially when you are feeling tired, during the conversation, and feel like you are having trouble jumping out.

When you begin to feel fatigued, and stuck, during conversations, people might feel powerless and victimized , as when sometimes we feel we want to avoid the person that follows him or her around.

These people are generally pessimists, and whiners, and can ruin anyone’s day. Sometimes people are very unaware that they are disenchanted with their life, and feel they need a temporary fix of someone listening to their woes.  This is about venting their disappointments, their disillusionments.  In doing so, they do not realize they are alienating others, which only causes loneliness, and increasing their own sense of powerlessness.

When you feel your self in categories that I will list below, it is a good idea for your own emotional health to minimize the time you choose to spend with negative individuals.  If someone is a relative or a fellow worker, that path may not be practical or easily obtainable

Think about it:  who in your life weather it be friendship or relatives, has made you feel these struggles?  Friends and relatives who are capable of this behavior may or may not use this as manipulative, meaning they might be insecure or unknowing of the behavior.  Individuals who behave in this manner, are usually never wrong, especially when they are passionate about a subject or topic.  The recipients behavior if engaging with this behavior of someone always having to be right is exhausting, besides, a very sad adventure that results in hurt feeling and defensive language, and is basically not worth it.

People who are toxic, engage in drama, that follows them where ever they go.  Once a subject is solved, another pops up.  It is exhausting, because the person engaging in this behavior is not only never wrong, but engages in drama, in their lives.  To them, things won’t work, and they exhibit a victim mentality. It is more engaging to be around people who share and communicate back and forth, and not always engage in power struggles, and DRAMA, in their own lives.  It is very different if a friend or relative has an issues and you are asked if you wish to engage in the struggle, (NOT DRAMA, DRAMA….)

Toxic people force relationships.  They can exaggerate relationships and force feeling in order to validate the relationships of others.  There is evidence of relationships, such as photos, texting, screenshots, inside jokes, to prove the feelings of a unique behavior they have with someone. Sometime adults play “GAMES’, to make someone in a group or a triad feel left out emotionally.

There are tactics from keeping toxic people from wearing you down, or a pessimist who makes you feel like you want to leave the conversation.  One has to be unafraid to experiment with different ideas.  Keep your manner pleasant, and a good tone of voice that is pleasant.  If your voice carries a tone that is threatening of shaming or condescending some strategies do not work.

One of the most important issues we face when we are with someone who is complaining and whining is it is so easy to solve their problem.  The chronic complainer does not want any advice on how to improve his or her situation.  They want company.  You might say to one who you find dragging you down emotionally, “I will give you five minutes to vent.”  If venting would be helpful, I can listen for a certain time, and after, I will have to do something else or I will wind up in a bad mood, and that is not good for either of us.

The most important fact you  need to realize is that you cannot FIX THEM.  They are the ones that need help to change their attitudes.  If you cannot disengage, then you have to get help, if you are always engaged with this kind of behavior.

Toxic people often lie.  Telling lies, big or small, really is not an issue for people with toxic personalities.  In some ways, they benefit or justify the lie.  Their main happiness prevails to dominate over other, (narcissistic tendency) and if lying is a means to the end, then that is the way it is.

Toxic people seem to lack tact and general courtesy.  They can be brutally honest, with humor that hurts, and lack empathy, towards others and need to assert superiority.  To me as a psychologist, this is also narcissistic. Toxic people often have traits coupled with becoming defensive when honesty is fired back at them verbally.

Toxic people are controlling people with controlling behaviors.  That is part of the image of the toxic personality is to make you feel that they are superior.  No person should have to pretend to be someone they are not in order to feel included or liked.

My major observation in addition to the above, is that toxic people love to talk about other people.  They love to gossip, as it serves to bring others down in order to build or bolster their own image, which demonstrates poor self esteem.  They constantly speak negatively about others, and rarely find kind or proper things to say.  A major flaw is the lack of compassion or acknowledgement of others accomplishments.

It is important to note that not all toxic people have all of these traits.

Toxic people drain energy and leave us mentally and emotionally exhausted, and if you recognize these traits in someone you know, it is time to evaluate your relationship and the importance of such in your lives. Unfortunately, many families have toxic relationships with different members of family which is exhausting, and difficult.  In my profession as a psychologist, sometimes, family members are so disenchanted and exhausted and overwhelmed, that there is sometimes a “CUTTING OFF,” of the time spent with various family members, and arguments that take place, and that Cut Off is called Murray Bowen’s EMOTIONAL CUT OFF, because something is very askew, between family members, and sometimes people will not take or can not emotionally handle any more.  Therapy between these individuals helps.