20 Subtle Signs That Someone Is A Toxic Person

Published 1 year ago

It’s mind-boggling to think that so many terrible people (politicians come to mind) are able to get away with absolutely horrible things just because they know how to act a certain way in order to fool people into believing they are actually good people. Then there are the toxic work colleagues who run around spreading gossip about others because they want to ‘protect’ you from them, (such an obviously aggressive self-serving move btw). 

With time you come to the realization that there are myriads of ways in which people reveal their toxic intentions masked by would-be sweet actions. So how do we learn to tell the difference between someone who is genuine and someone who is subtly actually a really toxic individual? Scroll below for a list of opinions on those tell-tale signs shared by Redditors learned from personal experience and we hope everyone learns to spot those inauthentic toxic folk a mile away going forward.  

More info: Reddit 1 | Reddit 2

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Image source: lostaoldier481, Barefoot_traveller

They are very concerned with making sure you know they’re a good person.


Image source: Taiyo_K, jennimareephoto

Never saying sorry. We are people. We make mistakes. And even if we didn’t mean to, our words and behavior can hurt other people’s feeling. Just say sorry and move on, it’s not a big deal. But if someone is refusing to do so, it is a red flag to me.


Image source: purplesquire, seventyfourimages

“I’m sorry you feel that way”


Image source: MacaroonEven2670

If they constantly use their trauma as an excuse for everything bad they’re doing. Also, using trauma for guilt triping when they want to get something.


Image source: magicrowantree, LinkedIn Sales Navigator

You feel the need to be careful with how and what you say to them because they’ll twist words to make you sound like the bad guy. Too many “misunderstandings” can make you extremely conscious of yourself and make you walk on eggshells


Image source: Dazzling_Run_5519, Farknot

If they disrespect people’s boundaries, no matter how small or simple they are.


Image source: EchoSpecial87, voronaman111

When they talk s**t behind everyone’s back but have what I like to call a sticky sweet personality to their face. I know some people like that


Image source: Practical_Internal86, Andrew Neel

They say you’re wrong for getting upset at their wrong behavior.


Image source: MrsDarcy1983, svitlanah

When they’re always the victim in conflicts with friends, coworkers, etc.


Image source: IdespiseGACHAgames, cottonbro studio

Halfway through the grocery store, in the middle of the rice aisle, or somewhere equally warm, they suddenly decide they don’t need the frozen / refrigerated item in their cart after all, and rather than returning it to where they found it, they instead choose to just leave it on the shelf. There is nothing preventing them from putting it back in the cooler / freezer, but they’re actively making the choice to allow fish, raw meat, milk / ice cream, or whatever else to sit in the open air, and spoil.


Image source: dynomite-cigar, balls340

Sitting in someone else’s seat before a flight hoping it’s empty and then trying to convince you switch seats with them. Lady I’m 6’5 and paid extra for this aisle seat I’m not sitting in the middle.


Image source: raptor6722, wayhomestudioo

I’m a man but anyone who pressures you to take a condom off sucks. They don’t respect you and are light weight creepy. Keep that s**t wrapped up boys and girls don’t let anyone tell you what is and isn’t comfortable. Yes it is way worse with a condom on but if thems the rules that’s the rules.


Image source: Dudebrohoe, ELEVATE

If someone makes fun of someone smiles or laughter. My mom used to tell me how werid my smile was and say it was annoying when I laughed it’s a s****y thing to do.

Edit: thanks everyone for the support and I’m sorry to hear some of your stories. I also want to mention that there’s a difference between disliking someone’s laughter and making fun of it, I’ve personally heard laughs that I’ve thought were a bit strange but that thought stays in my head were belongs were it can only effect me.


Image source: Hot_potatoos, RossHelen

When they make everything about them.

An ex best friend and I used to work together, and used to car pool. I got made redundant and was so upset. I rang her to tell her the news, looking for comfort, and she said: ‘How am I supposed to get into work now?’

Should have walked then…it would have saved a lot of stress.

Edit: Guys, she was not neurodivergent, just an a*****e. I am riddled head to toe with ADHD, so I understand that sometimes our brains react a little differently.

We were friends for 7 years and it took me a long time to realise that all she cared about was herself. She used to break into my phone and read my messages, she read my diary, she would ghost me for days but kick off when I wasn’t available to see her…she even slept with my ex bf. The saddest part is that the friendship only fell apart when I gained self-respect and set some boundaries. She was a narcissist.

I know you have great intentions, but stop adding imaginary context when I am telling you this person was an almighty a*****e.


Image source: CapitalChemical1, Pressmaster

Only nice to hot women, not average or ugly ones


Image source: AnybodySeeMyKeys, Wavebreakmedia

The Waiter Test. The person who is nice to you but isn’t nice to the waiter isn’t nice person. This also applies to cashiers, counter help, hotel clerks, custodians, security guards and everyone else in similar positions.

HOWEVER, don’t apply the waiter test the first time you meet someone. Wait until they’ve been around you a few times and are comfortable in their skin around you. The first few times they are on their best behavior.


Image source: simtyhopcc, Pressmaster

Every time you interact with them, you feel worse than before.


Image source: alli_ssamaaa, BGStock72

when they promote toxic positivity. like the people that go “what are you depressed for? you’re alive, you get to see the earth with your eyes.” when you actually need professional help. one of my exes used to be like this, he would dismiss me everytime i told him that i might need to visit a therapist. he would tell me how being born and getting to live is a reason enough to not be depressed. after our breakup, i heard he used to and still promotes that therapy is useless. f**k you, i’m way better now that i took my anti depressants


Image source: Objective-Medicine51, DC_Studio

When they regularly make negative comments and claim it’s just a joke or criticism. Usually about the way you dress, talk, etc.


When they apologize during a conflict, they get angry if that doesn’t immediately end the conflict because they never truly felt sorry and their only goal was to escape repercussion. This will become evident when the behavior they had apologized for keeps happening and never improves.

signed, someone who has been on both sides of this equation

Image source: archaeren

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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bad human, bad person, signs of toxic, signs of toxic folks, subtle signs of toxicity, toxic people, toxic personalities
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