How to identify a toxic individual?

Do you have a friend, colleague or partner who smiles but passively cuts you down with envy and hate? Do they feel immense pain when you succeed or when you are happy? Many who feel unfulfilled within themselves will secretly feel disappointed when others share good news, because it reminds them of what they have not achieved. To some extent individuals can feel a little crushed if their life is not working out; however most people will genuinely feel happy for others and put aside how they feel. However, toxic individuals will feel excruciating pain and will often not say anything, smile to cover up their disappointment or say something negative in order to relieve themselves of their pain.
Toxic individuals often feel pleasure when they sabotage the happiness of others, gossip, use put downs and make devaluing comments. In order to enhance themselves, they will distort the truth and avoid taking responsibility to cover up their actions, by finding fault in others, whom they blame for their shortcomings.

Toxic people cover up their actions

They may seem like genuine people who seemingly care, but they feel important by knowing that you need them, because they can feel like the expert over your life or workplace. They prey on people's weakness or putting them down so they can feel better about their life. You think they have your best interests at heart but they need you to feel weak so they feel better about themselves. They will talk behind your back and project their inadequacies onto you so you look inadequate. As long as they can put you beneath them they feel better and it relieves them of their pain. These toxic individuals will wear a false mask to pretend to be your dearest friend but will discard you or cut you off if you do not make the relationship all about their needs. If they feel exposed or not the centre of attention, they will cut you off. Yet they fear getting attention because it exposes them, so they appear shy and do not reveal their cover. So they hide behind a false mask to hide who they really are.
They may even destroy your happiness or career by talking you down to your friends or colleagues, pretending to be on your side in order to get something they need (approval, love, support). You will not hear from them unless they need something from you. They fake-act to be interested in your life, but it’s a performance. Sometimes they just want someone to boast to, to prop them up. Other times, they hide under the radar so no one discovers who they really are. You will feel they were not really interested in you. They are not open about their life, they keep it under wraps, but present themselves as if everything is perfect to hide the emptiness they feel. Other times you will feel they have nothing to say, because they are not spontaneous or open. So the relationship feels empty. They just say everything is fine, not revealing any weakness or making it out as if their life were really good in comparison to yours. They feel good by promoting themselves and focusing on themselves, and acquiring others in order to achieve their aims. They will appear to be interested in you, to keep you where they need you. This allows them to get what they need from you, but you cannot stand out or they will crush you. They have no empathy for others, but instead fake empathy in order to get what they need from people. They will tell people what they want to hear, so they can obtain their own objectives. The truth will be revealed when they are not really there emotionally. They have no remorse for how they treat people, because they really do not care about others. Other people are there to serve their needs, so they can escape the emptiness inside. Because they feel superior they will show disapproval for your life because it does not fit their expectations.

They may appear to be the expert over your life, since it makes them feel superior. They will criticise or judge others, based on the projection, by seeing others as selfish, exploitive or controlling, instead of owning these qualities within themselves. So they are destructive in how they manipulate people in order to uphold the positive image that they want to portray about themselves, they never look wrong.

These individuals had parents who were envious and criticised or humiliated them, so they could never shine or be their real self. They had to push down their rage and anger, in order to present perfect for the parents needs. Yet this hate and envy is destructive and destroys their relationships with others. They were belittled and made to feel small, and if they did well they made the parent envious or jealous, so the parent had to keep them down so the parent felt better about themselves. As adults they continue to destroy their relationships with jealously and envy. In stead of getting in touch with their feelings and dealing with them, they repress them and act them out but projecting their sense of inadequacies onto others, so others feel this way instead. They see others as inadequate instead, in order to project against these feelings deep within themselves. They are delusional and see everyone through their own projections, distorting reality and the truth.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy Carbone is a Counselor and Couples Therapist. She specializes in the treatment of personality disorders from the Psychoanalytic International Masterson Institute in New York. You can visit her at , and Facebook