3 Reasons Why You Attract Toxic People (And How to Stop)

3 Reasons Why You Attract Toxic People (And How to Stop)

toxic peopleLifestyle

Do you tend to attract negativity? Do you often date toxic people? Perhaps you hang out with the wrong crowd? Do you often feel taken advantage of by others?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, then you may be attracting these people to you. While other people’s behavior is never your fault, you should be aware of how you’re inadvertently encouraging these bad individuals to gravitate towards you. Here are 3 reasons why you attract toxic people, and ways to repel them.

1.    You’re Too Generous With Your Time

Generosity is, for most, a positive trait. It means you make time for others and are willing to sacrifice some of your free time – or even busy time – for them, then people are going to appreciate how much you do! Well… most of them will, at least.


Unfortunately, the downside of generosity is that there will always be people who seek to take advantage of it. Toxic people are naturally drawn to those who they can use, and your generosity can be used against you by the wrong people.

toxic peopleThink about it. Do toxic people in your life:

  • Expect you to answer all their messages and calls as soon as possible?
  • Tend to repeatedly put you in situations where you have to drop your own commitments for their sake?
  • Seem to almost naturally expect for you to fulfill their demands and requests?
  • Become resentful, angry, or upset when you don’t give your time to them or when you set a rare boundary?

Toxic individuals can be very good at seeming innocent by gradually upping their expectations of you in a way that you may not notice. First, they’re asking that you cover for them every two weeks, then every week, then every few days. It’s not uncommon for toxic people to put themselves first, but compromise with just enough positive traits to have you think well of them. The trouble with this is that it’ll happen so slowly that you’ll feel unreasonable for even having a problem with this, to begin with.

So, what do you do about it? To repel toxic people who are attracted to your generosity, you need to set boundaries that they can’t take advantage of. Here are some tips:

·         Note Your Emotions

Get in touch with how you feel. Being aware of your emotions surrounding your interactions with others will give you the information you need to determine when you need to put a wrench in things. If something makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or upset, it’s time to communicate how you feel.

·         Set Restraints On Your Time

Your time is valuable, and even if you’re generous with it, you should remember that not everyone deserves some of it. Be selective about who you give your time to and set restraints on how much time you will give to others. It’s much healthier that way.

·         Make Time For Yourself

There should be time for just you every day, and a longer time for just you when you have days off. These times are non-negotiable and should not be given up to anyone with whom you don’t genuinely want to spend your time. Though there may be occasional extenuating circumstances, for the most part, you should be able to have this time for a little me-time.

·         Get Better At Setting Verbal Limits

Learning to communicate your time limits is important, especially with toxic people who will find ways to interpret any non-refusal as agreement. “I have to go to dinner in ten minutes, so let’s make this quick”, “I’m tied up right now but we can talk after work”, “I don’t want to do that tonight”, or “I have prior commitments this weekend” are all examples of ways to set clear limits on your time.

2.    You’re Repeating Old Patterns

The patterns you saw and experienced while growing up are ones you are most likely to recreate. The common joke of people constantly choosing to date or surround themselves with toxic individuals is a stereotype because, many times, it’s true – and that’s according to studies!

This is especially true for intimate relationships. You learn your attachment style based on how you group up, who raised you, and the environment you saw as a child. Good, respectful, loving, unconditional, accepting environments and circumstances will lead to the formation of a secure attachment. Negative environments and circumstances, on the other hand, have negative effects on attachment. These negative circumstances may involve unsafe environments, abandonment by those loved and trusted, or parental figures who were neglectful, critical, abusive, or cold.

You may wonder why you would recreate toxic patterns if you hated being in them. Well, as it turns out, that may be the entire problem. These toxic patterns are the only example of love and comfort that you grew up with. You unconsciously choose people who continue to give you these sources of maladaptive comfort, even though it hurts you because that’s what’s familiar and what you’re comfortable operating within.

If you tend to attract a lot of toxic people and tend to be attracted to them, too, it’s time to consider your background. What sort of attachment style do you have? What was it like growing up? Often, this is something that requires the aid of a professional, but there are some ways you can begin undoing this damage on your own. Learning to undo these patterns will help to repel them. Here are some tips:

·         Locate Patterns

Think about all the people who turned out to be toxic in your life. What were their key personality traits, both good and bad? If you seemed to have a type, what type was that? Remember, these linking factors may not be as obvious as they seem. Person A may have been very affectionate while Person B was standoffish, which makes them seem very different. But perhaps they were both overly critical, or maybe they both tried to monopolize your time, or they could have both taken things personally very quickly and easily.

·         Compare Parental and Familial Patterns

Once you find the first patterns, think back to your familial situation or the circumstances of your upbringing. What traits in those patterns continue to be sought out in the people around you today? These traits may be a mix of both negative and positive.

·         Find Triggers That You Experience With The People Around You

When meeting new people, especially those who will become close to you – whether romantically, platonically, or even professionally – take note of what seems to trigger your interest in them. What is building on the attachment patterns you have? What do you see in people that triggers that familiarity?


·         Understand You Are Not Broken

There is nothing wrong with you for what you feel and experience. There’s a reason that this sort of repeated pattern-finding is so well-studied and researched – it’s how the human mind reacts to negative attachment styles in childhood. You are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you, and you deserve better than to be stuck in this pattern forever. As soon as you realize that, you’ll be able to repel toxic people much more easily.

pop meme3.    You Are Too Nice and Too Kind

Being too nice sounds like a good thing at first until you realize that it’s something toxic people love because they can take advantage of it. No, there’s nothing wrong with being kind or nice in general, of course – but there’s such a thing as too kind and too nice. That’s what happens when you don’t have sufficient boundaries in place and people are able to walk all over you. This isn’t a positive trait – it’s a sign that you have some learning and growing to do.

This may also involve an inherent belief in humankind. That kind of positive thinking is admirable, but unfortunately, though there are many good and wonderful people in the world, there are also bad ones – and those bad ones are the toxic people who you’re trying to repel. Those toxic people want you to be too nice to them because then they get to take advantage of you.

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