People can do really terrible things to other people, whether intentionally or not.
Some people have toxic behaviour, even though they might be otherwise nice. Conversely, some people are just bad news.
Toxic behaviours can leave you feeling overwhelmed, drained, frightened, anxious or depressed if you are constantly on the receiving end of them. It can often be difficult to tell someone who is behaving badly towards us that we aren’t comfortable with it and we’d like them to stop, but it is important that you get them to respect your boundaries.
Some crappy things we put up with can be written off as poor manners or a bad attitude from the person delivering it. But some behaviour is much worse than other behaviour and should never be tolerated at all.
1. Physical abuse
If someone is physically harming you, that’s never okay. As well as the threat to your physical safety, there’s also the threat to your life if the violence escalates. Being physically abused by someone you should be able to trust can have lasting psychological effects.
Intimidation can go hand-in-hand with physical violence. But sometimes, the person only threatens violence, and doesn’t actually carry it out. Intimidation is a form of psychological manipulation designed to frighten you into doing what the person wants. This is a dangerous pattern and if it is happening to you, you need to find a way out.
Bullying isn’t only something that kids have to worry about, it affects many adults as well. You can be bullied at work, by family members, by your partner or by friends. Pay attention to how you are being treated, if you are constantly being picked on by people (even if they try to say “it’s just a joke” usually it isn’t funny, and they say that to deflect their own behaviour and invalidate your feelings).
4. Constant criticism
Some people just never have anything nice to say to you, ever. They’ll pick flaws in just about anything and often don’t acknowledge their behaviour towards you is toxic. In fact, they are likely to get defensive and tell you that it’s “constructive criticism” even though the things they constantly tell you is often destructive, and you didn’t ask for their opinion anyway.
If someone constantly lies to you, it’s not only a sign they disrespect you, it’s also a sign that you cannot trust them. If someone is always lying to you, speak up. It’s better to have someone being honest with you, even if the honesty hurts you, than being lied to and treated like an idiot all the time.
A friend who spreads or participates in hurtful gossip about you isn’t much of a friend.
Someone who tries to control your life will make you feel suffocated and resentful. It’s your life, not theirs. They have their own life to manage and should stop trying to hijack yours.
People who try to make you feel guilt to control your behaviour and get you to do what they want often do so deliberately because they know this will press your buttons. Even if you’ve not done anything wrong, these master manipulators can claim that they are hurt because you won’t bend to their will and that’s often enough to make you feel bad, because you don’t want to hurt them.