7 types of toxic people you need to avoid

Avoiding toxic people and situations is a key component of self care.

But how do you do it? What if the toxic friends are people you have a close relationship with?

In this guest post by Trishna, she discusses some toxic relationship signs, and other toxic traits you need to avoid.

It is super important to learn coping mechanisms if you find yourself in this difficult situation, and possibly even cut these people out.

Do any of them resonate with you? Let us know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Privacy and Affiliate Disclaimer pages for more info.

Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

Like my posts?
Well, aren’t you a peach? Enter your email and I will send you the secret password to my Free Resource Library. Happy we could connect!
I respect your privacy, and only send about 2 emails a week + a monthly update

Don’t react to toxic people. Not giving them a reaction when they seek it is far more powerful.

Surviving other people’s moodiness can be quite a challenge to deal with perpetually.  We must always remember that some moody and negative people may be going through a difficult stage in their lives. They may be ill or chronically worried, or lacking what they need in terms of love and even emotional support.

Such people need to be listened to, supported, and cared for in order for them to attain a certain level of balance in terms of emotions. However, whatever maybe the cause of their moodiness and negativity, you may still need to protect yourself from their behaviour at times. 

There is another type of moody, corrosive, and negative behaviour that is of the toxic bully, who will use his or her mood swings to intimidate, sabotage and manipulate you completely.  It is this aspect of moodiness that inflicts immense amounts of abuse and is followed by misery. 

purple background with white text that says "7 types of toxic people you need to avoid," with a black and white picture of two female friends looking distant from each other

What is a toxic person?

It is not that the person in totality is toxic. Rather, their behaviour is toxic in general or your relationship with the person could be toxic.

More often than not, the person is deeply wounded. They are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounds, their emotions, their needs, and the subsequent problems that occur in life. They tend to over identify and begin to act out parts of which they think they are, such as the victim, bully, perfectionist or even martyr. They act with these parts trying to get their needs met and coexist in an extremely unhealthy way.

It is common for people with toxic behaviour to create drama in their lives or be surrounded by it, and try to manipulate or control others.

7 types of toxic people

Conversational Narcissist

Have you ever been talking to someone who keeps interrupting you? Conversational Narcissists LOVE to talk about themselves all the time. They don’t ask you any questions, they don’t wait for your responses, and they just won’t shut up at all.

In a relationship, these people will end up being completely self-centered, and will never be attentive to your needs or anyone else’s needs for that matter.

Control Freak Show

Control Freak Show is someone who wants to control everything and everyone around them. They want to be in charge of what you do, what you say, and even what you think for that matter.

In a relationship, this person will give you no breathing room and will constantly nag you until you are in complete alignment with them. Get out of this relationship while you can!

purple background with white text that says "7 types of toxic people you need to avoid," with a black and white picture of a man and a woman looking distant from each other

Emotional Sucker

Emotional Sucker is also known as a “spiritual vampire,” because they tend to suck the positivity out of you or bleed you emotionally dry.

In conversations and relationships, they can never see the positive, and tend to bring everyone down with them. If you are with someone and they only have bad things to say whenever you see them, watch out. It might never ever get better with them.

Super Drama Magnets

Some toxic people are magnets for never ending drama. Something is always wrong.  And of course, once a problem is solved, another one emerges for them. And they only want your empathy, sympathy, and support–but not your advice!

In a relationship, drama magnets are always victims and tend to thrive in a crisis, because it makes them feel important. If someone is a beacon for adversity, be cautious, you might become a part of the drama soon. 

Jealous Judgmental Kind

Jealous Judgmental Kind is incredibly toxic because they have so much self-hate that they can’t be happy for anyone around them. Mostly, their jealousy comes out as judgment, criticism, or gossip.

According to them, everyone else is just awful or lacking in some way. If someone starts to gossip out of jealously about other people, watch out, this might be a toxic person—and you never really know what they say about you behind your back.

Subscribe HERE to get your Negative Thinking journal page
Thanks for reading my posts. Glad you like them!
I respect your privacy and only send a couple relevant emails per week.

Pathological Liars

Liars, fibbers, exaggerators… it’s exhausting to have a super toxic deceiver in your life. Whether they tell little falsehoods or major lies, it’s impossible to trust a liar in a relationship.

Dishonesty drains us because we constantly doubt their words. If your intuition is ringing alarm bells, then watch out. Get out before you’re lied to perpetually.

Human Toxic Tank

A Human Toxic Tank is always right, doesn’t take anyone else’s feelings or ideas into account, constantly puts themselves first.

In a relationship, tanks are incredibly arrogant and see their personal opinions as thorough facts. This is because they often think they are the smartest person in the room, so they see every conversation and every person as a challenge that must be won over.

If you feel all your ideas are being run over, or you are not being respected, get out as soon as you possibly can!

All these seven categories of people are usually unwilling to seek help from their loved ones, a therapist, or even a recovery program.

What do we do when we encounter these toxic traits?

What also feels toxic to you has to do with your reaction to the interaction as well. Your reactions might include feeling betrayed, over-reacting, withdrawn, numbing yourself, or being overly accommodating.

This often happens when healthy boundaries are crossed and we let go of our values.

Both people play a role in toxic interactions. So it’s important to consider and reflect your personal role as well.

Signs you are dealing with a toxic person

A hallmark of a toxic interaction is that both people have created a conscious or unconscious story with judgment, fear, or blame about the other person- and then the boundaries were crossed.

Do you tend to feel any of the following when interacting with certain people?

  • You have to save this person perpetually and try to fix their problems
  • You are covering up facts or hiding it for them
  • Seeing them is unpleasant
  • You feel drained out after being with them
  • You get very aggressive, sad or worried when you are around them
  • They cause you to gossip a lot or to be mean or manipulative
  • You feel you always have to impress them
  • You are severely affected by their drama or problems
  • They ignore your needs completely and don’t hear a ‘no’ at all

Toxic people defy logic as much as they can. Some are unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them. Others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons to the hilt. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, conflict, and worst of all, stress.

Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance will automatically suffer.

purple background with white text that says "7 types of toxic people you need to avoid," with a black and white picture of a group of people chatting but leaving a woman out of it

How to ditch toxic friends

Dealing with toxic relationships can feel very hopeless at times. But there are ways to handle them better, even if simply cutting those people completely out of your life isn’t an option.

  1. Learn to distinguish true guilt from fake guilt. If you want to resist any form of emotional manipulation, validate your sadness and express your pity for others—just don’t call it guilt.
  2. “Hope for the best but expecting the worst” gives an illusion of control and offers a temporary emotional relief. But ultimately, they just make us more miserable.
  3. Know the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. To manage toxic people effectively, you must be able to set boundaries to the core. The only way to set effective boundaries is to know how to be assertive and not aggressive.

The surest way to shield you from toxic behaviour is to severely limit or cut off entirely contact with people who regularly expel it. However, that is hardly ever possible or practical. It is better to arm yourself with a few basic skills. They all fall well in the zone of self-management. 

Control your exposure

The single most important thing you can do is minimize contact as much as possible. This has to be practiced in every aspect of your life.  It is the absolute essential mantra for well being! 

Manage your reactivity

Here’s where you have the most leverage, so set up firm boundaries. Assertively say no to demands that feel completely unreasonable—without justifying yourself. You will also gain a better sense of who you are in relation to the world. 

Don’t explain at all

Avoid even trying to explain yourself; by definition a toxic person is one who refuses to hear your perspective. Any attempts will only frustrate you further. Offer no explanation whatsoever, no matter how much ranting and raving the other does. 

If you aren’t sure about how this toxic friend is making you feel, download this free Daily Feelings Worksheet, and let it guide you to better understanding.

Immunize yourself

Spot those with a toxic potential and avoid them before there are any outbursts. Recognize the personality traits that feed on toxicity to the core. Avoid such people by immunising yourself way before the conflict even seeps in.

Life is too short

You deserve to have wonderful, supportive and loving people in your life. In fact, life is too short to spend time with people who don’t help you be in your best form or your best version of yourself.

Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head.

Raise the rent and get them out of there.

About the Author

Trishna Patnaik, a BSC (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years now. After she had a professional stint in various reputable corporations, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion, that is painting.

Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less traveled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India. Trishna is an art therapist and healer too. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna does fancy the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too. She loves to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers, and thinkers.


pink background with black text that says "7 types of toxic people you need to avoid," on top is a picture of a man and a woman who appear to be mad at each other, on the bottom is a picture are two young women who are not speaking to each other

Thank you so much, Trishna, for sharing this with us! It’s such a helpful look into how these negative relationships can affect us.

Keep these toxic relationship signs in mind, and don’t be afraid to take action.


Join my mailing list and I’ll send you the secret password to my Free Resource Library that has several useful mental health PDFs you can download and print. Thanks for reading!

I respect your privacy, and only send a couple emails a week. Unsubscribe at any time.

Related posts about negative thinking and friendships:

Are you experiencing gaslighting in a relationship? Here are 13 warning signs

How to maintain adult friendships

Positivity and negativity: How to challenge negative thought patterns

56 thoughts on “7 types of toxic people you need to avoid”

  1. This is great! I think it’s important to always be mindful of who we surround ourselves with as their actions can play a huge role in our mental health.

  2. We all need to protect our own emotional health and that definitively includes whom we come in contact with. Great advice here about recognizing the toxicity and preserving one’s mental strength.

  3. Jessica Formicola

    Thanks so much for the great info! I definitely know a few conversational narcissists that I need to steer clear of.

  4. I have been friends with someone who is semi-toxic for many years. I love her, and she does many good things for people, including me at different times in our lives, but as I get older, I distance myself more and more because the toxicity is prevalent and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. It drains me.

    1. It is very tiring! Sounds like it might be good to distance yourself. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  5. This is an interesting post, and informative too. It’s so important to encourage and maintain positivity in your life, and in the people around you.

  6. I completely agree with this too. There are some people you just have to cut out. Having anything toxic is just to stressful.

  7. I love reading about the 7 different types of toxic people – and I think people could probably fit more than one of those categories each?!

  8. Nice article and you are definitely giving us a great advice. Toxic people are everywhere and I think it is up to us if we are going to let those people control our life but better not. Let’s live in a positive and peaceful way of living.

  9. I understand that I should avoid this kind of people. But it’s not easy at all to find a way to do it!

  10. This was helpful! Short and sweet list of toxic people to avoid…now just have to learn to stick to my boundaries and be assertive!

  11. I was checking off different people in my head as I read each characteristic. I remember telling my ex-husband that he was emotionally exhausting. It is definitely ok to walk away from toxic relationships.

    1. For sure! There are billions of people in the world you can connect with instead 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  12. In my family, there is a toxic relationship between two of my favorite relatives. It has gotten to the point where one person refuses to acknowledge the other at large family gatherings and will not sit next to him at the dinner table. It has made for more than a few awkward moments. I wish they could reconcile, but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to help them make peace.

    1. Ugh that’s rough. That just makes it awful for everyone. Hope they are able to work it out. Thanks for reading!

  13. I’ve been exposed to a lot of toxic people in my life, and it can be very challenging to not let their behavior get to you! Thanks for this post.

  14. As I was reading the different types I was picturing various people I’ve met throughout the years who fit the bill of each description! Great post!

  15. Love this post! I have known quite a few of these in my time but you are right life really is too short to have this sort of emotionally draining people in your life.

  16. This is an awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing Trishna’s words with us! It can be so hard to deal with toxic relationships, especially with people who you would consider close friends. I’m getting better at it the older I get, but it’s still difficult sometimes to determine whether you should work on a relationship, or just let the person go. I work in the theatre…and hoo boy there are a lot of toxic people there. Especially narcissists and jealous judgement types (who can’t see a play without talking trash about it). I’m incredibly thankful for the core group of non-toxic people in my life who keep me strong.

    1. That sounds hard, but at least you have that group you can rely on. Thanks for reading, and how I hope you get to experience your full theatre life again soon!

  17. This is really helpful. I had to spend 5 days last week while on vacation with my toxic father-in-law. Wish I had read this beforehand. I’m trying to learn how to not let him get to me and remember that the problem lies with him, not me. Thanks for sharing!

    1. We sure do, sadly! I’m convinced my 3 year old is an energy vampire but can’t exactly avoid her LOL. Thanks for reading!

  18. Great advice – I think we all have some toxic traits that we need to work on, but some people allow them to take over their lives entirely and that’s exhausting! We need to take steps to protect ourselves and our own emotional/mental well-being.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *