13 Signs of A Poisonous Personality

by Erica Florentine

Poisonous personalities can ruin relationships — including those between friends, romantic partners, coworkers, and the like. Sometimes the toxicity comes into play because of someone else, and sometimes it might be because of you. Experts on the topic have pinpointed signs of a poisonous personality that make it a whole lot simpler to understand whether you or someone you’re associated with has the makings of a toxic human being.

Are you ever hanging out with a friend and suddenly it hits you that it doesn't feel good at all to be around him or her? Perhaps it once did, but now that you know them better they are almost intolerable to spend time with. Maybe it’s because they’re always really negative, or perhaps they tend to be controlling towards you, or maybe they can never be wrong about anything… ever. It could be that this person has a poisonous personality — one that might not be healthy for you to be around in large doses. Below we’ll discuss some of the tell-tale signs of a poisonous personality to help you get to the bottom of it.

Once you detect a poisonous personality, it should be addressed. Palm Beach Post spoke to Linda Losi, director of behavioral services at Delray Medical Center in Florida on the topic. “The most important thing for a person to do when dealing with the toxic personality of another is to set clear internal and external boundaries,” Losi told the outlet, “If you don't, you leave yourself vulnerable to being mistreated and emotionally abused.”

Whether you think it could hit home for you or someone you know, here are 13 signs of a poisonous personality.

1. A Hatred For Nearly Everything

When a person has a poisonous personality, they will very rarely see the positive side of things. Rather, they’ll tend to focus on the negative, according to If you or the person in question tends to hate most things in life — from big things like a job, to smaller things like the service at restaurants — it could be a sign of a toxic personality.

2. Selfishness

We’re all human, so by nature we’re all a little selfish sometimes. However, someone with a poisonous personality will take this selfishness to a whole new level, according to an advice article on the topic from The author noted that toxic individuals are so honed in on their own wants and needs that they will rarely have time to consider anyone else’s. Think about it hard. You know the type. The friend who won’t stop talking about themselves for hours on end only to cut you off the second you try to intersect with one thing about you — that’s exactly who we’re talking about here.

3. Extreme Levels Of Jealously

Another trait associated with poisonous personalities is jealously, according to INC. The outlet noted a toxic person tends to be jealous of those around them in such an extreme way that they simply aren’t able to be happy for others when good things happen. Generally, their mindset is that is something good is going to happen in this world, it should be happening to them.

4. Playing The Victim

I don’t know about you, but this trait totally rubs me the wrong way. A key thing to consider here is whether you or the person in question is not only likely to play the victim in situations, but also tries to place blame on someone else for their problems. According to — which wrote on toxic personalities in relationships, in particular — someone who tends to shift blame for circumstances is usually someone who has little to no sense of personal responsibility.

5. Being Overly Needy

Palm Beach Post spoke to expert Alexa Chang-McLeod, mental-health counselor at West Boca Medical Center in Florida, who noted some traits associated with toxic personalities, including neediness. Chang-McLeod explained, “This person is always asking for help — and never reciprocating.”

6. Known For Manipulation

Are you or the person in question highly manipulative? This could be a sign of a poisonous personality, too, according to Brett Blumenthal, change and wellbeing speaker and author of 52 Small Changes for the Mind, who wrote about toxic personalities on her site www. Blumenthal said toxic individuals are usually so good at being manipulative that those on the other end might not even know they’re being manipulated until far down the road. Blumenthal explained that people like this are toxic as they tend to make those around them do things they don’t want to do, and perhaps lead others to lose a sense of who they actually are in the process.

7. Having An Allusion Of Being Better Than Everyone Else

Who enjoys being around a narcissist? Certainly not me. Thinking that you’re above everyone else in this way is a trait of a poisonous personality, according to Toronto-based Dr. Ben Kim, who wrote about the topic on his site Dr. Kim wrote that when someone with a toxic personality is around, they might be, “… consistently talking down at you, sending the message that he or she is just plain better than you.”

8. A Need To Always Be Right

Psychology Today cited the need to be right all the time as “damaging.” The idea is that if you’re not right, you’re — in turn — wrong. Someone with a poisonous personality will not tolerate the idea of being wrong, so they’ll do or say whatever they can to ensure it doesn’t happen. Likely, they won’t even consider someone else’s opinion on a topic before dismissing it.

9. Constant Lying

Can’t be trusted? This signs might be pointing at you. Everyone tells a white lie here and there, but those with a toxic personality are chronic liars, according to INC. They’ll lie about little things, big things, to you, about you, and so on. When you realize someone cannot be trusted at all, it could mean his or her personality is downright poisonous.

10. Sucking Positivity Out Of Every Situation

Not only do poisonous people hate everything, they somehow manage to have a way of sucking out all of the positivity from every situation. You could be at the best party of all time, with all of your best friends and family surrounding you, and somehow this person will drain the fun out of the place just like that. According to, the toxic person will somehow manage to leave you feeling drained just being around them.

11. Being Super Controlling

In their piece on toxic personalities in relationships, noted how controlling partners fall into the “toxic” category. According to the outlet, if someone is trying to control you all the time, making it difficult for you to think or make moves on your own, it should be a sign you’re dealing with a toxic individual.

12. A Knack For Being Disrespectful

No one likes to be around someone who has no sense of respect. Here’s the thing about disrespectful people — they might be poisonous to those around them. According to Blumenthal, toxic individuals tend to say or do inappropriate things, and tend to lack a sense of respect for you and/or your feelings. Ultimately, you might be left feeling super frustrated from being around them, according to Blumenthal.

13. Complaining About Everything

Another huge “ICK!” in my book — someone who is constantly complaining about everything. According to Chang-McLeod, constant complaining is a trait of someone who is toxic. “There's nothing but negative news coming out of this person,” Chang-McLeod told Palm Beach Post. “Total downer to be around.”

Do any of the above signs seem all-too-familiar to you? If so, you or the person in question might be dealing with a poisonous personality that should be addressed.

Images: Pixabay (14); Isla Murray/Bustle (2)