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