My friend and I were having lunch when he told me his girlfriend of two years had suddenly left him for another guy. “Sure, she said it was because we weren’t getting along anymore,” he told me, “but you know how women get about things like that. It’s really not what they say but rather what they do.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well,” my friend responded after a few moments of silence, “she made it seem as if all the problems in our relationship were my fault by going out with someone else behind my back.” He then paused a second before saying, “She just wants to hurt me somehow…same thing happened in my last relationship.” He paused again before continuing; “Now I don’t know what to do. I feel completely lost. It’s like everything I thought about myself was suddenly shattered.”
Then he looked me straight in the eyes and said something that made my whole body go numb: “I think it’s only because of her history with other guys…she doesn’t know how to act around us.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I sat there, unable to respond since he didn’t seem willing to accept the fact that his girlfriend was using him for her personal gain.
As someone who has dealt with toxic individuals in the past, I’ve realized these types of people are capable of anything if it means getting what they want…even if it means destroying you in order to make it happen says Peter DeCaprio.
However, this doesn’t mean you should be fooled into thinking everything is okay—it isn’t. They are able to pull the wool over people’s eyes by saying things like “I know I’m difficult at times…but it’s only because I’m looking out for your best interests.”
Watch out if you notice any of the following signs…
1) You feel drained after spending time with them.
2) They always have an excuse for not being there for you when you need them.
3) They immediately accuse you of doing what they’re doing.
4) You give them advice but they never follow through with it. Then later on, when you share your own problems with them, they try to connect the two even though there is no connection whatsoever.
5) They only offer help when it’s convenient for them. Otherwise, they simply tell you what you should do instead of asking how they can help. Most of us want to feel cared about rather than told what to do.
6) When someone shares their hardships with them, instead of listening and offering support, they quickly change the subject so as not to let the other person dwell on this topic any longer. This isn’t empathy by any means because if they truly felt empathy for another person, they would right there and then offer a solution, a warm hug, words of encouragement, anything to make the person feel better.
7) They find it hard to say “I’m sorry” because they think holding onto resentment will give them power. When you apologize for something, you are accepting fault and giving the other person power over your actions. That’s why many toxic people avoid apologizing altogether by saying things like “I apologized but I won’t do it again.” This way they create an illusion that makes people think they’re accepting their own blame when in reality what they’re really doing is shifting the blame to you so that no matter which situation arises down the road, they can use this excuse instead (“But I apologized already!”).
8) You catch them in a lie and they try to convince you it’s the truth. It shows they don’t care about your feelings or well-being; all that matters is upholding their own self-interests.
9) They say things like “You’re too sensitive” or “Why can’t you take a joke?” when you confront them about something hurtful they’ve done. That’s because toxic people don’t like seeing other people get upset…but only if it doesn’t affect them in any way, shapes, or form. If what you have to say makes them feel bad, then suddenly sensitivity and emotions become a taboo topic not to be discussed under any circumstances.
10) They frequently ask questions but never give answers. We all use questions in conversations to stimulate a discussion or to gather information, but if someone is asking questions over and over again instead of offering up any kind of helpful advice, they’re just showing their own self-interest.
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
If you’ve spotted any of these signs, don’t hold your breath for this person to change. They depend on people feeling sorry for them and they will always put themselves first even if it means taking advantage of someone’s kindness or patience.