(Harmful people post 1 of 2)

You’ve probably heard about “toxic relationships” or difficult people (or toxic people and difficult relationships). In this post I’m using the term “harmful people” to encompass all of those things. I wanted to give you some tools in dealing with those folks. Let’s start first by identifying them.

How do you know if you’re in the presence of a harmful person?

First and foremost, listen to your gut. Many times, you simply don’t feel right around them.

Because I’ve seen the red flag behaviors time and time again, I put together a quick 3-minute video that names all the red flags to spot harmful person that go beyond a gut feeling. Have a listen here. Or read on below.


Six red flags of harmful people:

  • They don’t take responsibility for their behavior
  • They deny the facts or deny your experience
  • They don’t soften when you offer vulnerability, in fact, they may use it against you
  • They have low empathy and little desire to have empathy
  • They are highly hypocritical– it’s okay for them to do things, but not others
  • They act victimized when you bring up their behavior

Here’s a graphic you can save to remind you:

Relationships are a two-way street that require compassion and vulnerability on both sides. If you’re in a dynamic where that’s not happening, or maybe it’s happening sometimes and not others, it can be hard to know if you’re actually dealing with a harmful person. Hopefully these red flags will help clarify things for you.

Once you know, I have some suggestions on what to do about it in part 2 of this series.


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