Definition of a Toxic Person: A Toxic person does others more harm than good because they have so much poison inside of them from their conflict with God and themselves that it spills out in emotional, spiritual and physical damage to others. They are irredeemable by you.
The Effects of a Toxic Person
1. They leave you drained in every way, to the point of losing your sense of yourself.
2. They create a world of falsehoods and manipulate you to think its normal.
3. They leave you emotionally, or spiritually, or physically or financial injured.
4. They isolate you from healthy people.
1. Emotional Immaturity: They are unable to be honest with God, themselves and other key people about their key negative feelings like fear, sadness and discouragement so that these emotions leak out in destructive behaviors like anger, hyper control, insecurity, obsessiveness, narcissism and addiction.
2. Narcissism: They are so self-absorbed that they are unable to care about or empathize with or invest in the feelings, needs and aspirations of others.
3. Manipulation. Everybody else is viewed as an object to be used for one’s own purposes.
4. Spiritually Dead. Their spirits are dead to God’s redeeming voice and work.
5. Psychologically Damaged. The have been damaged psychologically beyond repair. They do not have a normal conscience or empathy toward others.
Keeping score. Outbursts of anger. Lying. Bending the truth to impress and manipulate. Betraying confidences. Saying questionable and shocking things. Talking about themselves and showing no interest in others. Insecurity. Arrogance. Posing and posturing to protect their image. Status symbols. Needing to be the center of attention. They make others feel dependent on them and incapable without them and sometimes trapped by them. Possessive. Hyper jealous. Sowing conflict. Putting others on the defensive as a strategy of control. Jesting in ways that are rude, racist, sexist and inappropriate to shock. Hyper-judgmental. Blaming others for their unhappiness, actions and failures in life. Not apologizing when they have done wrong. Hyper sarcastic. Obsessive. Promiscuous. Addicted.
Biblically, Get Away and Stay Away, Right Away
The toxic person is the Fool of Proverbs and the Reprobate of the New Testament (Proverbs 1:23-33, 26:1-12, Romans 1:20-28, John 12:37-42 and Hebrews 6:4-8). They are irredeemable. The only way to treat them is to separate from them physically, geographically, relationally, financially and legally and to keep them out of your life. In Proverbs the fool and the mocker are to be avoided at all costs. In the New Testament the Christian is to walk away from a reprobate and shake the dust of their presence off of their feet.
Don’t Enable a Toxic Person
You are a Toxic Person Enabler if you allow a person to do more harm than good to you without speaking up and putting up boundaries to protect your personhood.
Toxic people make a game of discovering your emotional weaknesses, and then exploiting those weaknesses so they can use you. Toxic people become chronic manipulators for lots of complex reasons, so don’t think you can “fix” them.
Toxic Addicts Have to Lose Everything for Any Hope of Change
Toxic sex, gambling, anger, control, drug and alcohol addicts have to lose everything for any hope of change. They lose their spouses, families, jobs, houses, cars, freedom and, in some cases, they have to stare death in the face for the life-changing jolt of allowing God to break through. Short of this, they play games with everyone who enables them to have some degree of a normal life and they don’t change.
Those who are married to a toxic person must divorce them for themselves and their spouse to have any chance of a future. Staying married ignores the reality of the situation. It is poisonous, ruinous and deadly.
Evangelical Christianity is Naïve About Toxic People
Evangelicals tend to naively think they can redeem anybody because with God all things are possible. The truth is, with you, all things are not possible. You have limitations and one is that you cannot fix a toxic person. If God chooses to, he can, but you will have to turn them over to God, get away from them, and trust God to take them as far down the road of destruction as he needs to, to change them. God may even turn them over to Satan for a time. God still respects the will of the toxic person and if a toxic person chooses to reject God to the bitter end, then God allows that. So, don’t make the mistake of trying to play God with a toxic person and trying to do what only God can do. Remember, sometimes even God won’t fix them because he won’t violate a person’s will.
If you have toxic a person in your life, get away and stay away, right away. Surround yourself with healthy, mature, loving people to restore your soul, your personhood and your future.