5 Ways to Identify and Avoid Toxic People and Live a Happy and Fulfilling Life

There’s an old myth that frogs will pull down other frogs trying to escape a pot of boiling water. The same trait we Filipinos are known of: Pulling down other people who are succeeding and getting ahead in life. This is the trait we call “crab mentality”. It’s like putting crabs in a bucket, no one can escape because, instead of assisting each other reach the top, they are pulling each other down. If they can’t have it, neither can you.

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In our life, it’s unfortunate that there are people who will always resist our growth. These can be our friends, family, relatives, neighbors and often workmates. This crab mentality of people whom we can call “toxic” may feel like our improvements expose their meagerness. Or maybe they think that we will no longer be in their life if we improve too much.

Therefore, instead of helping or encouraging us, they unconsciously threaten our happiness. How do we know if we are dealing with a toxic person and how can we avoid them and live a happy life? Read through these 5 ways to identify and avoid them.

1. They are the ones that tell you: “You are not good enough”.

Toxic people will always tell you that you shouldn’t do what you’re doing because you are not capable of doing it.

In the last 6 years of working in the hospitality industry I have dealt with people like this. After a short period of time, I got promoted and my “friends” were telling me I shouldn’t accept the promotion because I could not handle the job.

Whenever somebody tells you that you can’t do it, Prove Them Wrong.” Do what you think is right for you and never let their insecurity destroy you. Toxic people don’t want to see you succeed, instead, they will try to stop you from achieving something. You and only You have the control over your life, never give anyone the pleasure to have the control over it. Are you in control of your life?

 2. They are always right and you’re always wrong. 

Toxic people will always think of themselves as a superior and always right even when they are not. They never admit when they messed up, instead, they will blame it on you. My sister-in-law and I had a conversation about 10 months ago that prompted me to block all her family’s accounts on Facebook. That made my brother hate me, according to him I think highly of myself, he told our sister that I am such a stuck-up. He could have asked me the reason why I blocked them but instead, he let his wife’s toxic attitude poison him.

Do not reason with them. Sometimes, it’s very tempting to creep into toxicity by arguing or fighting, and that’s precisely what toxic people do and you are not like them. Just end the communication and do not feed the trolls. Have you ever fallen into toxicity of a family member?

3. They provoke you and play innocent.

Some of the poisonous people come disguised as a relative. Not long ago I hire a relative to work in our small business. It was a win-win situation for both of us, she needed a work, with a free place to stay, and no utilities to pay. Our relationships were in good terms, until she started talking behind my back and sending me messages telling me I have no concern with all my employees, and when I see her and ask her about it she would play innocent, she would say that there was no problem since she already message it to me. Seriously?

Never give them the satisfaction of seeing you aggravated, instead keep your calm and never let them get under your skin. Family and relative has a peculiar way of getting under your skin and directly influencing your thoughts and behaviors, I’ve experience this. When she told me that I have no concern to my employees, I had a sleepless night trying to think what have I done wrong to her that made her to say that to me. You don’t need to have a sleepless night like me, relatives don’t have a magical license to screw up your life and remember that their issues are not your fault. Have you dealt with a toxic relative?

4.  They would rather gossip than discuss ideas.

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Toxic people like to gossip, for them it’s the climax of their day if they can gossip about other people’s life. Instead of discussing new ideas or talk about the ways how they can improve their life, they find joy in talking about how other people are doing. When my unmarried husband and I started dating after 3 years of working in the same company, we were the “talk of the town”. Our workmates talked about how we are not good for each other and that our relationship won’t last, and how did I get to date Him. They even told my assistant to tell me to stop flirting with John.

Avoid these people. Walk away from them, run if you have to, but never participate in their gossip”. It’s a toxic habit of those with tacky poor character and you’re not one of them. Have you been a “talk of the town”?

5. They are judgmental and always exaggerate.

Toxic people will wait and look for something wrong in what you do. We all get it wrong sometimes, nobody’s perfect, right? But toxic people will make sure that you know it. They will judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem. They always exaggerate and it’s hard to defend yourself against this kind of manipulation.

Beware of this people. We are allowed to make mistakes. Mistakes are our stepping stone to success, so never allow these people to steal your self-esteem just because you made a mistake.

It’s very important that we avoid toxic people in our life. They bring nothing but negativity. Anyone that can make you feel bad about yourself is toxic. Trust me, cutting your ties with toxic people is the best life changing decision you’ll ever make. Letting go of toxic people is not an act of ruthlessness, it’s an act of self-care. To a great degree, cutting toxic people out sends a key message to yourself. You will see your value. Prioritize your own happiness over someone else’s dysfunction. Surround yourself with positive people and know your self-worth, it’s time to improve your happiness.

I’m sure you have encountered toxic people in your life, have you cut ties with those people? How did you do it? What was the outcome? I want to hear it in the comments.

If you like this topic please share this to your friends and they too can claim their happy life.

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37 thoughts on “5 Ways to Identify and Avoid Toxic People and Live a Happy and Fulfilling Life

  1. Surrounding yourself with positivity give you a better quality of life after all. Ropes pull two ways but it’s easier to pull someone down than to pull someone up.

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  2. maryosadolor

    Unfortunately, these are people that we will come across in our journey of life, but the good thing is that we also have people like you to help us sail through. Thanks

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  3. I was just talking to a co-worker about this. How some people are satisfied to be miserable forever and so why would they care if they are making you miserable? It’s important to be careful that you take care of yourself and don’t let other people bring you down.

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  4. A really interesting post and a really important thing to keep in mind. Being around toxic people is not good for anyone, but propably everyone has worse and better qualities.

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  5. So relatable, i think such toxicity is prevalent more in high context cultures where individual goals and values are no acknowledged rather scene as rebellion. Coming from the subcontinent I myself have experienced this. But it gets better once you start identifying and cutting loose from such people. Great read 🙂

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  6. annajeanharris2017

    Hey, Crisly! Thanks for sharing with us the patterns and issues that come up when interacting with someone who is toxic. I cut ties with someone in my life who had abused me as a child. It took time to feel fully free of his influence (and it’s still in progress), but I think about him WAY less now than in the past, and I think it’s partly because I cut ties with him. I would be willing to reverse the cut-off, but he would have some major changing to do first. 🙂

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  7. I would say this is not the story of any particular country, the story is same almost everywhere in the world. We keep coming across such people and we should know how and when to filter them. Great read, thanks 🙂

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  8. You nailed it with this post. Definitely need to keep toxic people at a respectable distance. I know what you’re talking about I didn’t know some people can be that way but, there are some bullies, that you need to stay away from for your own good.

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  9. Rochelle

    100% agreed…
    and sad to say sometimes the toxic people are your family😟.
    so even though you dont want to avoid them, you have to! bcuz they are the one whose destroying yourself…

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  10. Goodness, it sounds like people in the Philippines have the same problems we do in US. I guess somehow I had hoped that other countries didn’t have the crab mentality as badly as we do here. I applaud you for noticing these toxic people and hopefully eliminating them from your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My best friend is dealing with the same problem as your friend. My advice to her is to talk to her mom and make her understand how unhappy she’s making her, but her mom seems not to care so my next advice is to keep her distance from her toxic mother. It is difficult, but if you want to have a peaceful and happy life you have to do it. As I mentioned in my blog, you and only you have the control over your life. Never give anyone the pleasure to have the control over it, even if it is your own parents. If they are not right, they are not in a position to control your happiness.

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  11. This is such a great post! I realize that so much of my anxiety comes from toxic people who I allow to continue to be toxic in my life..it definitely needs to stop! Thanks for breaking it down and giving me a little more motivation to say goodbye!

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    1. I’m glad that I did. Live your life the way you want it and don’t let toxic people intoxicate you. Let go of them and live a peaceful and fulfilling life. Life is great without those people.

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  12. It is unfortunate how many toxic people there are. I do try to avoid them as much as possible but it is hard when they are in your family. Thank you so much, this is just what I needed to hear.

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  13. This is sooo true! Honestly, there’re such people in life. It actually annoys me when they “provoke then play innocent”.. The ones I know will then say, “you’re not forgiving” when they’re the ones who keep hurting and when you try to address the issue they either play victims or deny! When you switch off they poke again… grrr

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  14. marge97

    When I was younger I couldn’t see the difference between good and “toxic” people what made my childhood very difficult. I’m so glad that I can avoid toxic people right now. You’re tips are great! If I had known that when I was 10 you’d be my hero!! ❤

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  15. Wow! you nailed it with this post. I’ve had to deal with 4 out of the 5, people telling me I’m not good enough and people who always thought they were right and I was wrong. I really like some of the ways explained on how to avoid them, never really thought much on how to, I would just ignore all of them. I definitely appreciate posts like these.

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  16. It is very simple to detect toxic and poisonous people yet very different to understand and see them when they are too close to you, the human ignore for a higher reason and hope led us to keep these people around for some quiet time until they hurt us badly. Sometimes we just wanna be the strong one, the loving and forgiving one so later on we can be happy about ourselves without realizing that we were the victim not the strong one. And sometimes its begging for love or the other to not feel lonely… Still we should be strong and clean up our relations and people around us.

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  17. Toxic people have really sad and misfortunate lives, so they start focusing on others happiness and try to break them down, instead of working on improving their own. Unfortunately, they are not strong enough and take the strength from others.

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  18. Great information. I never let toxic people past the surface of my life, but I must always stay open and give others the space to change. I hope that my life will be an example to them.

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