What is a toxic person?

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson says about personality disorders:

People with personality disorders can have an uncanny effect on you, which is to say if you have a personality disorder you have a really potent expectation about how someone else will behave, usually like a son of a bitch. And if someone with a personality disorder encounters someone who doesn’t act like that, they’re a challenge to their belief system. People with personality disorders are very good at turning everyone they meet into the same person they already met. They do that, I think, by exchanging very subtle covert reinforcements. If you’re engaged with me and I have a personality disorder, every time you act properly I’ll ignore you or say something contemptuous or look away or do something quite subtle and every time you act like a miserable bastard I’ll at least pay some attention and possibly even reinforce you covertly. And you’ll find, if you get close to me, it’s almost like you’ve been distorted by a gravitational field where your behavior gets pulled in all these strange directions.

Typically toxic people have a narcissistic element to their personality.

The DSM-5 indicates that persons with NPD usually display some or all of the following symptoms, typically without the commensurate qualities or accomplishments:

  1. Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people
  2. Fixation on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
  3. Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions
  4. Need for continual admiration from others
  5. Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
  6. Exploitation of others to achieve personal gain
  7. Unwillingness to empathize with the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people
  8. Intense envy of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them
  9. Constantly demeans, bullies and belittles others

Any of these feel familiar?

One thought on “What is a toxic person?

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