Ignorance like Denial may be Bliss, but, Time Consuming!

THERAPEUTIC THURSDAY:  Some people seem to get off on making life miserable for others.  They cause problems for everyone they come in contact with while remaining unhurt themselves.  They leave a trail of emotional upheaval in their wakes. These are toxic personalities – people whose reckless, ruthless and selfish behavior hurts everyone else, but not them.

Because their way of thinking is so different from that of normal people, toxic personalities can be extremely confusing. This blog-post will define their personality structure so that you can identify the people in your life that may be toxic. You will come to understand the ways in which their toxicity destroys romantic, work, and family relationships. And most importantly, DrBev will discuss some ways you can identify and protect yourself from their plots and ploys, and/or repair the damage they have already wrought.

We can all behave in manipulative, unpleasant and even destructive ways at times. But some people seem to hurt others more often than not. They live by their own rules, on their own schedule with little concern for the well being of others. They are Toxic Personalities.

These people have a distinctive thinking pattern. They tend to believe that having power and control gives them excitement in life, and they are always seeking excitement.  They are unique. They see themselves as smarter, more creative and more important than ordinary people. They are narcissistic (self-centered) and grandiose (self-important). They are never wrong. When they don’t get what they want, or are caught in dishonest or manipulative behavior, they complain that they have been victimized, misunderstood, or mistreated.

They are good people, despite their manipulative, exploitative or otherwise harmful behavior. Caring equals using. They believe that if you care about them, you will let them manipulate and take advantage of you.  People who work hard just aren’t clever enough to attain their goals through “easier” and quicker means such as scheming and manipulation. They are entitled to have what they want regardless of the consequences for themselves or others. They can rationalize the use of any means in the pursuit of their goals.

Toxic personalities don’t set out to hurt others. They just do whatever they want to do whenever they wish without concern for the inconvenience or problems their behavior may cause for others. When confronted with the emotional fallout of their thoughtlessness, they deny responsibility and try to shift the blame onto circumstances or other people. Because their own emotions are shallow and superficial, they have difficulty understanding the pain they cause for other people.

Most of the time, toxic personalities’ behavior is simply irritating, frustrating or confusing, but remains within the bounds of social convention and the law. However, when they break the law or cause physical harm or severe psychological damage to others without regret or remorse, we call these people sociopaths, psychopaths, or criminal personalities. What makes these people different is that they have no conscience. When they say they’re sorry for something they’ve done, they don’t mean they regret having harmed you, but that they’re upset at having been caught. As example by the following:

Brett Blumenthal – Sheer Balance, writes, Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics.  Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late.  These individuals figure out what your ‘buttons’ are, and push them to get what they want. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways.  In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies.  Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you.  Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business.  Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.


All of these personalities have several things in common.  Unfortunately, most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one.

If you can, avoid spending much time with people who are indicative of these behaviors and you’ll feel a lot happier.


DrBev is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, Seminar - WorkShop Facilitator, Radio Personality, Author and President and Educational Director of DrBev Mental Health Counseling.
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  1. Brenda
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    This is classic, I was able to identify several people in this video. Manipulative people are always the victim, in their eyesight, they are also very good actors. My experience has been that something I said or did, hurt them, and that’s why they did what they did. Tears come very easily for them, because it’s all a part of their performance.

  2. Suun
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m enjoying your therapeutic Thursdays DrBev. I must be honest I can see some of those characteristic in myself at times but I’m never a victim or without fault. I love the benefit of learning even though my feelings may get knocked around a bit. I have run across these extreme toxic people more on FB then in my personal life. I am learning to keep it moving once I say my part and hear theirs. I don’t take it personal because we all are not perfect beings and I really don’t know their story… Some days I want to shout out like Rodney King and say ” can we all just get along” and practice love.

  3. Lovey Curry
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This IS EXCELLENT … Very informative … As well as Relieving for some I’m sure … We get crazier the more we try to make these types see “the Truth”… Yes, surrender and keep moving … Much Love Dr. Bev. For ALL you do … Blessings

  4. Frances
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DrBev., I really enjoyed this therapeutic Thursday session. My day has been uplifted and now I can go on knowing that it is not my stuff and I don’t have to take it personal. But I have learned how to deal with the situation at hand. I am recognizing my own fault and make the necessary changes in my life. Growing in love and light <3

  5. Tonette
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    This is great!

    I do not entertain these types of behavior or people who have this behavior in my life anymore. It really is very challenging though to set those limits and stand by them, but much more rewarding.

    My life has become much more quieter and peaceful as a result!

  6. Shana
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been doing alot of research on Borderline Personality Disorder in my quest to understand why I keep dating the same girl over and over again. Seems like I am drawn to these types of women. I used to say,”crazy chicks are drawn to me.” Now, I understand that I own 50% of that responsabilit. I am learning through CBT how to change this behavior. I enjoyed this post. You are right on target as always! 🙂

  7. Vanessa
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I have run into people like this. I do not give them much energy because that is what they live off of. What is funny is to see a grown person have a temper tantram because you do not respond to them the way they want. I like health relationships with people that can agree to disagree, transparent, have a stable moral base and know how to admit when they are wrong. When these traits are not present you have to be careful of the person you are dealing with.

  8. BrendaNike
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Some people who get off on making others miserable.
    Are the ones that’s not happy with themselves. They need to look within to see why they are hurting inside. (soul search) It has to be a deep cut that’s hard to heal. They dont realize that they’re pushing others away. Will end up always being alone & sad. At the same time spending the rest of there life wondering why.

  9. Tiye Yayu Square-LeVias
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I use to stay around and try to “fix” this person. One day I woke up and realized it hurt more to be with her than without her. I am a very forgiving person therefore I must be careful who i allow in my life. There are people who will take your kindness for weakness and try to use you as stated in the article. however, once I have set that boundary, if I stick with it, my life is more peaceful.I have found, when I set a boundary and do not stick with it, my life is chaotic and I cannot blame the other person for being themselves. I can only take responsibility for allowing them to remain in my life.

  10. Sparkle
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink


  11. Dwane
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    This is right on point! It is confirmation that an individual that i no longer maintain contact with was and is truly a toxic individual. Your right, at some point you will begin to think that it is you!! I am happy that I now know that it wasn’t me and that you took the time to write this article. Love it, great job!

  12. Trice
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Wow! I recently broke away from a person who was very toxic to my life and now I realize exactly how toxic they were. I kept slipping into moments of depression, stress, and carelessness. However, since I have released that person from my life, I feel so much better. I am happy and taking care of myself and truly enjoying life. I feel as though I have lifted a huge mountain off of me. This person tries to keep contacting me and when they do, they accuse me of being mean, evil, and full of hatred for pressing on with my life. However, I realize I have to love myself first and more than I love others and that person just wants to keep using me but I feel too good now in moving forward to go backwards.

  13. Posted March 18, 2011 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    This article made me feel so good after I read it because I have dealt with “toxic” people, with the worst being very recently. It was a very confusing, frustrating, negative, and hurtful! I’m so glad I was strong enough to remove myself from that situation because now that I have come out of the darkness and back into light, I see that I was really under the control of someone who is completely lost in this world which is why my positivity did not allow a balance. I’m just glad the breaking point happened sooner than later! WHEW! This is a must-read article!

  14. Vickie Brown
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    This was an excellent article. Right away a few names came to mind and I was reminded why they are kept at arm’s length. The video was like “wow”. If more people would accept responsibility for their own actions, we would not see so many relationships, friendships, etc., fall apart. With your permission, I will certainly share this with others, most notably the ones who really need to read it and hopefully be able to identify themselves somewhere in there and take that first step towards change…

  15. Blaze
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Dr. Bev, i thank you for your words of wisdom…It takes some of us so long before we realize what we were dealing with… my ex-wife was like that…very manipulative, always playing the victim, compulsive liar and when you didnt believe her or didn’t want to hear what she had to say, she would hurt herself physically. You have no idea how many time we wound up in the ER because she selfishly slit her wrist or took too many pills purposely…all to be manipulative and keep me from leaving and having her way…It took me damn near 4 years to let that toxic relationship go…but I will say that after ridding myself of the toxin, and forgiving myself for being manipulated, and forgiving her internally for manipulating me, I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!!! And it has allowed me to be free and be myself which allowed a genuine wonderful woman to enter into my life!! LOVE IT!! sending LOVE, POSITIVE ENERGY, and LIGHT your way!!

  16. Sandy
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    This is a great article capturing a few personality flaws I personally find unattractive and hard to deal with.

  17. Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    True…. some pple get off by making your life miserable!! Thanks Dr Bev for this great article!!I can very much relate this article with some toxic” people i have encountered in my life! recent one was this person that i dated back and forth for six yrs.I really don’t know why it took me so long to realize how toxic”she was in my life!like they say “Love is blind”i guess i was Too blind to see how very controlling,manipulative,self-centered,selfish, evil person she was!
    I found maself under too much stress,depressesd,miserable,lonely,low-self-esteem!..I decided to LET GO ,as much as i was still in love,i was in too much denial i guess,after being told several times with my friends to cut her lose but didn’t have that willpower!!!Some pp’le say she;s bipolar,she could be real sweet and nice and the next minute she’s s’thing else! we all learn our lessons from these type of people we meet..i’ve learnt to walk away as soon as i sense fire,,run as quickly as u can..or else u will just get trapped and it’ll be too late to get out!
    Since then iam much happier person,i’ve learnt to love myself more and i’m at peace whre i am at now more than ever!! i tend to sorround maself with positive people,NO MORE DRAMA IN MA LIFE!!

  18. Posted March 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    happened upon this posting and my eyes went first to the “toxic personalities” paragraph… ‘felt’ a light bulb go on and understood a family member and for the first time really feel able to no longer take her behavior personally.. can bless my sister and move on. thank you!!

  19. Posted March 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    My spiritual path instructs me that there are only two emotions: Love & fear. Most living on this planet are indoctrinated in the ego and thus, fear is the foundation for their response conditioning. I have learned that in ALL situations 1)my response is one of Love (Self love being the most important), 2)if what I am witnessing is not love then it is a call for love, 3)DO NOT pass judgment on anything, especially illusion perpetrated by the ego and 4)it is done unto me as I believe. I am not saying that there are not those who fear not being loved so deeply that they are manipulative, etc., however, they can only do to me what I “believe” they can. If a person wishes to express the God within them in such a manner, so be it – I pass no judgment, nor do I partake in the illusion with them. I simply bless them in love and know that what they seek, they will receive. So though I get the “classifications” they are only valid “if” I buy into them. I set them free by loving them simply because I choose to…no other reason. That’s my $1.50 due to inflation and all. One Love.

  20. Posted March 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! I think this is a great educational read. I feel far too many of us spend far too much time in toxic/dysfunctional relationships because we are unable to discern a dishonoring or unhealthy relationship from a healthy one. These personality types are especially confusing because they have “good” qualities, and are usually willing to DO a lot for the person. The “hook” here is that these gifts often come with high expectations and lofty emotional price tags. I feel knowledge and awareness are ONLY powerful when implemented, embodied and understood. Thank you for this!!!

  21. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    When I first read this article, I could relate to almost everything that was written. It’s a shameful situation how people get off on making other people miserable. I guess that is where “misery loves company” comes from. I agree that these types of relationships are dysfunctional and unhealthy. When I realized that I did not deserve the verbal abuse coming from my significant other, I walked away embracing me more. I knew that I loved myself way too much to accept what was going on in my life. The sad part about people like this, sometimes they don’t even see the “problem”. I think this article needs to be read by everyone regardless if they are going through this or not. Thanks for sharing Dr. Bev.

  22. Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    For me, the crux of this issue is one you’ll be addressing in your upcoming radio interview on 3/29 – and that is the addiction to suffering. To me, that is the root. When you’re brave enough and strong enough to admit that you take pleasure in the misery, then things begin to change, including easy recognition of the personality types you’ve outlined in this article. You can’t avoid them, because people who believe they are wounded are everywhere. But you can walk away instead of diving in.

  23. Segretta
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    I have worked with youth with borderline personality disorder (not always diagnosed), and have a family member or two who manifest degrees of this behavior. It had me reading psychology books at the age of 5 years old.

    I believe a result of having this behavior up close, my own style of relating in non-intimate situations of these types is to “cut it loose” quickly. Sometimes I may over react and bring absolute closure before hearing enough to know that a little more dialogue could bring resolution to the issue.

    If the relationship is a very close one, I’m like a die-hard battery, staying in too long.

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