11 Red Flags of Covert Toxicity
quickly spot narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths
You’re on a first date. Things seem to be going well; the chemistry is there, he seems to be a really good fit, but there’s something in the back of your mind telling you something isn't right.
Here are the 11 red flags to look for the first time you meet someone. If you see more than three, you’ll need to make a serious assessment of the person you’re with. If you see more than 5, get out.
Puts others down
This will usually be a person they feel threatened by, or someone they think you might like. Leaders lift others. They will tend to talk poorly about people who have accumulated success and wealth.
Deflects responsibility when discussing hardship such as a business failing
When they talk about any setback they have, you’ll hear how the universe conspired against them, someone broke their trust, the economy is to blame or their advisors steered them onto the rocks.
Won’t politely express any disagreement with your views
If there’s no disagreement within the first two conversations, you might have a problem. Disagreements don’t have to be rude or aggressive, they can be polite. Often, you’ll see that they will wait until they get your viewpoint before they voice their opinion.
Talks differently to service people than they do to you
Toxic people will typically talk down to service people like waiters and employees. The inverse of this can also indicate an issue, where the toxic person goes over the top, treating the service people in a more polite way than they speak to you.
Expects more gratitude than the situation warrants
Paying for your meal, pulling out your chair or waiting till your food arrives until they begin to eat. These are normal behaviors, but toxic people will typically expect more gratitude for simple acts that is reasonable.
Drives the conversation back to him more than 30 percent of the time
In normal conversation, there’s a natural flow. With toxic people, you will see the conversation being driven back to them when it’s not part of the natural flow of the conversation. You will hear them tie every story you have back to them somehow without asking clarifying questions or showing interest in your life.
Criticizing or finding fault more often than expressing gratitude
When you deal with toxic people, they can usually hide their motives. The critiques they offer about the world are sometimes the hardest for them to conceal, as they need to feel as though you see their intelligence and unique perspective. If there’s more criticism than not, it’s a red flag.
Microexpressions of anger just before laughing when there’s an exchange of conversational jabs
Social people are capable of delivering and receiving ‘jabs’ back and forth, and it’s a normal part of fun, lively conversation. Toxic people have a fragile ego, and will show anger when presented with anything that might challenge their self-perception.
When you mention a good-looking celebrity, you see jealousy
Toxic men will feel jealous or threatened by the mention of celebrities and good-looking men. They will usually offer criticism right away in the form of talking about the person’s faults, weakness or career mistakes when the celebrity is brought up.
They have an unusual need for attention
If you check your phone a little too long, toxic people will become angry and frustrated. They will take action by grabbing the phone, making an accusatory remark or talking louder and louder.
Blaming the ex
Asking about exes isn’t easy. If it comes up in conversation, toxic people will deflect blame for the end of the relationship onto their exes. Clever toxic people can mask it by saying it was mutual, but normal, social people will concede some fault in the end of the relationship.
Take your behavior reading skills to eleven. Get The Ellipsis Manual! The #1 bestselling field guide to reading human behavior.
By Chase Hughes