16 Subtle Ways Toxic People Infiltrate Your Mindset And Make You Think The Problem Is You


1. They make you feel guilty for being unhappy.

Anytime you are anything other than exceptionally pleased with them, they become aggravated because they not only can’t handle your emotions, they can’t cope with the idea that they are somehow responsible for them.

2. They make you feel like you’re in a competition, and then act as though you are the only one who cares about petty, shallow things like that.

They make passing remarks that position them in a place of superiority and make you feel as though you have to “fight” to be seen as equal.

3. They are not overtly rude, but somehow leave you feeling upset and insulted every time they see you.

You often feel as though you’re the one going insane or “overreacting” when on the surface, they seemed like they were nothing but nice to you.

4. They have irrational outbursts of anger and then go back to acting as though nothing happened and nothing is wrong.

They intimidate you with acts of aggression (verbal or physical) and at first, you’re just happy when they return back to normal. If you seem angry with them for longer than that, they will either try to win you back over by telling you to stop overreacting, or they’ll just get mad at you all over again.

5. They make you doubt yourself.

They make you feel like you are less capable, and as though you are unworthy. Though they don’t say those words specifically, their actions make it clear that they believe they are better than you in every way.

6. They make you take on their emotional labor.

They unload their problems on you and expect understanding, sympathy, and guidance, but when you do the same, they shut you down and tell you to just cope with it.

7. They correct you about anything and everything.

If you listen closely, they don’t respond to nearly anything you say with a nod of agreement or affirmation. They always have to add in a counterpoint or imply that there’s something you don’t understand in some way. They are always right.

8. They make their problems your problems, yet at the same time, refuse to take advice to fix them.

It’s like they thrive on having tons of drama in their lives and have little ability to self-regulate or not entertain it.

9. You only hear from them when they need a favor.

And if you aren’t going to give them what they need (money, a place to stay, whatever it may be) you are guilted into feeling like the bad person because you are going to let them suffer, and that’s not a kind thing to do to someone you’ve claimed to care about.

10. When you call them out on their behavior, they tell you that you’re just too sensitive…

… and that really, the person who needs to change their expectations is you.

11. When you are unhappy with their behavior, they tell you that you’re the “only person” who has ever cared.

They say the other people they’ve been friends with or in relationships with have never reacted the way that you are. They make you feel as though you are the only person who has ever felt the way that you do.

12. They isolate you.

They make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with anyone else and even worse if you claim that you want some “time to yourself.”

13. They set double standards.

Some behaviors are unacceptable if you do them, but permissible if they do. If you try to point this out, they just tell you why the situations are different, and your argument doesn’t apply.

14. When you tell them that your feelings are hurt, they do not respond by apologizing or asking what they can do to help you.

They respond by telling you that your feelings are wrong because your perception of their behaviors is wrong. They invalidate your emotions so that they are not responsible for them.

15. They seem standoffish at first, and then overly attached.

It seems like they are leeching onto you for your money, a space in your home, or just an emotional support system that they don’t seem to have anywhere else.

16. They make you doubt yourself.

Rather than standing firm in your convictions, they make you question everything that you think you knew. It’s the first step in turning you into your own worst enemy and their best ally.