17 Traits That Signal Someone Has a Toxic Personality

Dealing with a toxic person can be incredibly draining, frustrating, and upsetting. Unfortunately, toxic people are everywhere, so it’s important to learn how to spot them. Discover 17 common toxic personality traits that you should look out for in others (or even yourself)!


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Being overly bossy is a clear sign that someone may be a toxic person. If you’ve noticed that someone in your life constantly attempts to exert control over situations or other people, micromanages without authority, or often challenges or undermines authority, you may want to steer clear.


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Toxic people often feel that they’re the center of the universe. Ignoring the emotional needs of other people, acting without considering the impact it will have on others, or constantly prioritizing their own wants over others’ needs are all actions that signal someone may have a toxic personality.


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There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. If you know someone who seems to believe they are superior to other people, treats other people rudely or condescendingly, and is consistently unwilling to consider the ideas of others, then you likely have a toxic person on your hands.


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Toxic people may believe they deserve more than others. For example, taking the last drink when they’ve already had one and someone else goes without. If you notice that someone takes more than they need, disregards others, or exhibits selfish behavior in group settings, consider cutting them off.


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Someone who is reluctant to share their time, possessions, or resources may have a toxic personality. This type of person will withhold things even when others are in need, a trait that can cause strain in relationships and friendships.


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As defined by LovePanky, sneaky people “play games to get what they want instead of just asking for it.” If you know someone who attempts to conceal actions for personal gain, causes distrust issues within teams or relationships, or even sabotages others, this points to them being toxic.


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Acting without considering the impact it may have on others is thoughtless, as is sharing sensitive information carelessly. This behavior often leads to hurt feelings or breaches of trust in relationships and is an indication of a toxic personality.


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Do you know anyone who regularly interrupts conversations or speaks over others? How about someone who frequently disturbs shared environments or focuses on personal gain over group harmony? Yep, disruptive behavior signals that someone may be toxic. Jim Hjort shares that disruptive behavior can have a cumulative impact on you over time, so do your best to avoid anyone with this trait.

Encouraging Codependency

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As stated by Northbound, “codependency is so damaging because it doesn’t allow healthy relationships to flourish.” Someone with a toxic personality may attempt to create and foster dependent relationships, isolate others for personal control, or gaslight people to diminish their sense of self-trust.

Inciting Drama

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If anyone in your life seems to enjoy or deliberately starts conflicts, they are likely a toxic person. You’ll notice that they tend to manipulate situations for their own entertainment or that your relationship has become increasingly strained because of the constant turmoil they’re causing.

Insincere Apologies

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Medium says that “the fake apology is a means of manipulation and shirking the responsibility of change.” If someone in your life attempts to shift blame when apologizing, tries to avoid genuine responsibility for their actions, or uses apologies to manipulate you, this is a sign that they have a toxic personality.


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Disrespect is a common trait among those with toxic personalities, and this is displayed through the individual exhibiting chronic rudeness, creating hostile environments, or ignoring other people’s feelings and boundaries. Remember, if someone continuously disrespects other people, they simply don’t care about them.

Victim Mentality

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A victim mentality is a classic toxic personality trait and may be indicative of narcissistic personality disorder. A person who loves to play the victim will constantly complain about their life, seek attention from others through feigned helplessness, and manipulate other people by making them feel guilty.

Negative Mindset

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Having a negative mindset doesn’t always mean a person is toxic, but it can be one of the many traits they exhibit. You can spot a negative mindset in someone, as they will have a pessimistic view on most aspects of life, are prone to overanalyzing and catastrophizing situations, and tend to distance themselves from optimistic individuals.

Ignoring Boundaries

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Ignoring boundaries is a common trait of those with a toxic personality. As stated by Jordan Harbinger, “A toxic person will tend to keep challenging, negotiating, and violating your boundaries in order to maintain their access.” If you know someone who constantly disrespects the personal limits of others, persistently oversteps established lines and boundaries, and shows a lack of respect, you’re likely dealing with a toxic individual.

Abusive Behavior

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Abusive behavior is a big red flag and quite common among those with toxic personalities. This can include physical, emotional, and psychological abuse and can be hard to recognize for what it is at times. Look out for anyone who seeks to maintain power and control over others or who creates harmful and unsafe environments.


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Jealousy is another trait you’ll likely spot in someone with a toxic personality. Jealousy in toxic individuals typically manifests as feelings of envy toward others’ achievements, harmful behavior under the guise of support, or strained relationships caused by the person’s inability to express genuine happiness for someone else.

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