16 Hacks to Recognize Toxic-Manipulative People That Afflict Your Life and Creativity

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Toxic-manipulative people absorb our creative energy with their deconstructing and chaotic behaviour. The more we let them interact with us, the more our mood is distorted, our creative projects are hampered, and our relations with other creative and positive people are unproductively affected.

Before you can free yourself from these individuals and their destructive influence, you have to first become aware of toxic-manipulative behaviour. Here are 16 signs to recognise the toxic-manipulative people in your life.

  1. They always contact you when they have “problems” they want to discuss with you.
  2. Their problems are greater than yours, according to them, so they only talk about themselves.
  3. They rarely feel or demonstrate genuinely positive emotions. They also lack the ability to express empathy, though they loudly declare otherwise. Their emotional intelligence is usually very low, but they have a very high ability to spot people with high emotional intelligence and try to manipulate them.
  4. Most are attached to material things and are only happy when they are “getting” stuff or showing others what “awesome” activities they are a part of. Yet, they actually do not feel genuine happiness about any of the things they boast about.
  5. They constantly criticize your choices, your looks, your ideas.
  6. They downsize you with each opportunity. They “must” always be the centre of attention.
  7. After spending a short amount of time with a toxic-manipulative person, you easily feel exhausted. This exhaustion is a result of them taking advantage of your emotional sensibilities and your genuine interest for other humans.
  8. When they are around you, they may “accidentally” cause damage to objects belonging to you and then “sincerely” ask for forgiveness. The first time this may seem innocent. But the standard repetition of these incidences may indicate a subconscious emotion of jealousy or even of suppressed aggressiveness towards you.
  9. They want to monopolize your interest. They get infuriated if you spend time with others, especially when THEY decided to spend time with you (how could you dare claim your free will by disobeying their desires?).
  10. They criticize the people around you, including friends and family. They will find the most unimaginable accusations. They will insist you no longer see the accused person anymore. If you do not comply, they will verbally attack you.
  11. They never congratulate you for your achievements. According to them, you don’t have any. They look at you in a very antagonistic way. They expect you to give them continual praise, while they rarely, if ever, reciprocate. They are often capable of verbal bullying.
  12. When a decision needs to be made (where to go, what to do, etc.), they are the ones who always make the decision. Your opinion isn’t as valuable as theirs. If you try to suggest something and if by chance they follow your idea, they will come back to you on another occasion and likely accuse you of insisting on imposing your own opinion.
  13. When their plans aren’t followed by you and others, they get grumpy and they inflict the party with their bad mood in the hopes that their grumpiness will force the group to finally succumb to their will.
  14. If you face an urgent problem, do not bother asking for their help. Since they do not believe that you have problems more important than theirs, they will not leave their comfort zone to help you.
  15. On the other hand, if they have a problem, they will bombard you with calls, messages, and their presence, demanding your active and full support in the matter. You are obliged to assist – they don’t give you a choice.
  16. If you do not comply, they present themselves as a victim and you as the one who victimized them, making you seem to people around you like a very irresponsible person to blame for their misfortune.

There are, of course, plenty of more signs of a toxic attitude. If you are in doubt about the behavior of a person close to you, check some of the aforementioned signs and follow your gut feeling: does this person make you feel full or void of energy? Is she supportive and respectful towards you or quite the opposite? If you suspect that this person is toxic, start keeping your distance from her. In our next article, we will explain some ways to do so.

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