Am I Toxic? Take This Toxic Person Test To Find Out
All of us have the capacity to exhibit a toxic trait or two once in a while—but how can you know if you're actually a toxic person? Here, we explain what it means to be a toxic person, plus a quick quiz to test if you might be one yourself.
The toxic person test
This short, 16-question toxic person test checks for a number of common toxic traits. Be honest and take your time reflecting on each of the questions, and don't be afraid of a "bad" result. Should you discover you're exhibiting toxic traits, we'll go over what to do about that later on in this article.
What is a toxic person?
Toxic people are people who cause harm to others in a consistent and ongoing way, whether consciously or unconsciously.
As licensed psychotherapist Babita Spinelli, L.P., J.D., previously told mindbodygreen, these people can have a negative impact on others through their behavior, whether they're attempting to manipulate someone, control them, or abuse them in any way.
Some people can have toxic traits without necessarily realizing the effect they're having on other people, or being an overall toxic person, while others knowingly engage in toxic behaviors.
According to clinical psychologist Perpetua Neo, DClinPsy, the latter is especially common among dark personality types (your psychopaths, narcissists, Machiavellians, etc.), which are often correlated with toxic traits. "Then there's another added layer where there are those who do it sadistically to cause drama or watch someone squirm," she tells mbg.
Signs of a toxic person
- Being judgmental
- Control issues
- Lack of empathy
- Disrespecting boundaries
- Manipulation (i.e., gaslighting, guilt-tripping, etc.)
- Toxic positivity
- Being a fair-weather friend
- Inability to have serious conversations (i.e., making a joke out of everything)
- Being overly competitive
- Being overly dogmatic
- Treating everyone like a problem that needs fixing
- Lack of accountability
- Playing the victim
- Being unsupportive or sabotaging
- Physical, emotional, or verbal abuse
Am I toxic?
If you have a nagging feeling you might be the toxic one in your life, know that it's absolutely possible to address it and change your behavior. But first, you have to determine if you're truly being toxic.
Looking at the quiz and list of toxic traits above, honestly reflect on how often you exhibit these more negative, "toxic" qualities. Ask yourself why certain relationships have gone awry in your life, and whether their downfall had to do with your behavior. According to Neo, it's even worthwhile to ask friends, family members, or past partners whether they've found any of your behavior in the past to be toxic.
How to stop being toxic
Just because you exhibit toxic behaviors does not make you an entirely toxic person (though we can't rule that out—only you can). The good news, according to Neo, is "with a little self-reflection and asking for feedback from others, we can become aware of these habits and eradicate them so we can become better people."
Start by simply noticing your thoughts and behaviors to catch when your more toxic tendencies start to rear their heads. Allow yourself grace and acknowledge that you're trying to be a better person, and don't be afraid to lean on support from mental health professionals or your support system.
The more you check your own behavior, the more you can change it.
What is considered toxic behavior?
A number of things are considered toxic behavior, such as manipulation, being judgmental, dishonesty, being careless or unkind toward others, and of course, abuse.
According to psychologist and toxic family expert Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D., toxic traits can be defined as any persistent pattern of behavior that is undermining or harmful to others.
How can I tell if I'm toxic in relationships?
Reflect honestly on the various signs of a toxic person and toxic traits in order to determine when and why you might display those behaviors. Cultivate more mindfulness to pay better attention to the ways you might be negatively impacting other people.
We're often quick to claim others in our lives are toxic, without ever questioning our own toxic traits. If you've realized you may have a toxic streak, that doesn't mean you can't change for the better—and the fact that you made it this far suggests you care (at least a bit) about not being a toxic force in your own life.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.