15 Harsh Truths To Accept If You Want To Stop Attracting Toxic People

If you think that toxic people walk into your life by accident, think again. It might be difficult to face it, but the truth is, you could be guilty of doing things that are attracting them. To quit attracting toxic people, you’ve got to deal with these 15 truths. Say good riddance to them forever!

1. You need to stop being a great listener.

two women meeting over coffee

Although being an active listener is a good thing (it shows you’re engaging with others!), you need to be careful not to give people too much of your attention right away. For example, don’t let them monopolize your time by venting to you about their problems for hours on end. If they see that you’re always available to them, they’ll take advantage of this and try to dominate your life.

2. You need to work on your boundaries.

Toxic people hate it when you have firm boundaries in place to protect your resources. They want to stroll into your life and take what they want, whether that involves your energy, money, or time. Setting healthy boundaries keeps them at bay, so say “no” when you don’t want to do something. If you let them succeed once at breaking down your rules, they’ll feel confident to run through more boundaries.

3. You need to boost your self-confidence.

If you don’t see your value, you’re going to be an easy target for a toxic person. They’ll see you as vulnerable and desperate for validation, both of which make you easier to influence so that they can get what they want from you. This then puts them in a position to love-bomb—showering you with attention and gifts to make you feel like they’re crazy about you.

4. You need to stop glamorizing drama.

You might always chase drama in life because it’s exciting and you hate being bored. This could make you seek out toxic people who thrive on chaos, but it always ends with you being miserable. People who create drama aren’t thrilling—they’re manipulators who take your resources and drain you with their never-ending requests.

5. You need to quit being a fixer.

If you’re the type of person who tries to solve everyone else’s problems, this makes you appealing to toxic people who want you to take on all their issues. By drawing your attention to your own issues, you can improve your life and finally realize that toxic people don’t want to change or grow—they just want to keep you stuck in the darkness with them.

6. You need to pay attention to the red flags.

Red flags are there for a reason! You might try to avoid them because you desperately want the person you’re dating to be perfect for you. But this just excuses their behavior and sets you up for disappointment. It allows deeper underlying issues to show up in more extreme ways. So, if the person’s rude to others or extremely negative right off the bat, pay attention instead of writing it off. Those small red flags are going to snowball into larger ones, dumping more problems on your doorstep.

7. You can’t be too empathetic.

Toxic people are attracted to those who care about their feelings. They use this to their advantage by feigning helplessness so that they get your sympathy and kindness. They might even try to portray themselves as being incapable of managing their emotions, relying on you to do all the hard work for them. The result is that you overextend yourself for someone who doesn’t care about you.

8. You have to sniff out their lies with your intuition.

Have you ever been on a date with someone who told you grandiose stories that seemed too crazy to believe? This is a sign that they could be lying to you to gain your sympathy or manipulate your emotions. By fabricating stories, they can portray a certain image to reel you in. When that little voice inside you tells you something doesn’t sound right, listen to it!

9. You’ve got to stop focusing on the past.

If you’ve had a traumatic past, you might get stuck in negative patterns, such as attracting toxic people into your life who did the same thing to you that previous people did. It’s difficult to break the cycle if you don’t have the self-worth required to raise your standards. By focusing on what you need to be happy and what makes you worthy, you can start to try.

10. You need to focus on your own life.

Falling into the trap of toxic relationships becomes more likely when you’re seeking someone to inject excitement into your life. Toxic people are skilled at recognizing this desire and exploiting it to gain influence over you. Instead of fixating on finding a romantic partner, prioritize your personal growth. Investing in yourself and grounding yourself in your value, will make you less drawn to the flashy allure of toxic individuals.

11. You need to stop being a people-pleaser.

If you regularly bend over backward to make other people happy, you’ll come across as being desperate for approval. Toxic people will sniff out a people-pleaser from a mile away. They want to be around people who will give them everything and don’t have the self-respect to stand up for themselves. Quite selfishly, they assume that it’s your job to make them feel good, which means you’ll be putting your life on hold for them.

12. You need to make yourself happy.

If you can’t make yourself happy in life, you’re going to search for other people to bring you joy. This is dangerous because you’ll instantly make yourself more receptive to toxic people’s attempts at being charming, sweet, and funny. Once they’ve got you where they want you, you’ll start to see all their darker traits. By finding ways to make yourself feel good, you’ll fill up your own cup so a toxic person doesn’t have to do it for you.

13. You need to stop saying, “It’s okay” when someone does something wrong.

If you’re a kind person who keeps giving others the benefit of the doubt, you might let them repeat bad behavior. Maybe they say “sorry” and you tell them, “No, it’s fine” or “It’s no big deal” because you want to avoid conflict. This sends toxic people the message that you’re too understanding and tolerant, which they’ll use to manipulate you over and over again. Focus on your values and what’s important to you, then uphold these values instead of allowing people to keep violating them.

14. You need to stop being an open book.

While it’s good to be open and transparent with others, you should avoid sharing all your personal thoughts and dreams with people you don’t know. Toxic people will pretend to care when in reality, they’re only listening so they can learn about your insecurities and use them against you at a later stage. If you’re oversharing, others will see you as too trusting, making it easier for them to control you.

15. You need to stop working hard if your partner doesn’t do the same.

You might be someone who works hard to keep your relationship going, wanting to keep your partner happy and dealing with issues as they surface. Toxic people can see that you’re passionate and committed, which they’ll take advantage of so they can get what they want from you. Before giving your all in a new relationship, suss out the other person to ensure that they’re going to give as much as you do, instead of just being take, take, take.

16. Feeling lonely? Find your match with the power of thought.

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.