The 7 Hidden Factors Of Toxicity In Friends, Family And Partners

Alden Tan
4 min readNov 22, 2018

I’ve written about this before, split into different elements on the basis that creating a positive environment around you goes beyond merely spewing forth the cliché that is, “Eliminate your toxic friends and start hanging out with positive people!”

That’s too easy.

There’re more subtleties involved.

1) Toxicity is a subtle thief

I wrote a whole blog about this here.

Basically, toxicity from toxicity people may not show its face in an apparent manner. It’s not as if all your friends or family are straight-up bullies.

It comes in small doses. It comes disguised. It comes in drips and before you know it, you’re flooded by toxic assholes.

The trick is to discover the toxicity early.

2) Your friends may not be toxic, but the things they do can be

I wrote about this idea here: 7 Things You And Your Friends Should Stop Doing Even Though You Guys Aren’t Toxic

Examples include drinking all the time, making decisions while drunk or dismissing each others’ problems with mere platitudes.

Indeed, that’s how subtle toxicity can be. A person may not be toxic, but habits within and patterns derived group dynamics can elicit toxic actions and hence, behavior.

It’s important to call your friends out on it and cut this shit out as soon as possible.

3) You could be the one making excuses for them

Because they’re your friends.

Because they’re your family.

Because you fear being called sensitive or petty, so you force yourself to believe that it’s not a big deal.

Because you don’t want to make things awkward for others.

Do you not see that your excuses are also subtle?

Sure, you don’t need to go into extremes and call someone entirely toxic just because you feel annoyed by a little thing, but after a while, you need to realize whether you’re simply making excuses and lying to yourself or if they’re just plain toxic.

Ultimately, if you stop feeling happy around someone, then tell them or stop hanging out with them altogether.

4) The onus is on you to not put yourself in toxic environments

I find that most people who complain about being around toxic people actually caused it themselves. They consciously make the decision to be around settings that contain toxic people. With that, they make up excuses to why they need to be around them.

At its core, the onus is on you. That means to say though, you’re in full control of who you want to be around with.

Listen to your gut. Check back in your history and experience. Learn from your lessons and stop making the same mistakes. If you detect red flags early, stay away immediately.

The point is not make yourself vulnerable at all, or at least try as hard as you can not to. It does not make sense to repeat the same shit over and over just so you can lament, “Damn, my friends are toxic assholes.”

It also does not make sense to start dating the same person who displays the same characteristics as your shitty ex.

5) If someone has toxic friends, then that someone is most likely toxic too

For a person is defined by the people they choose to surround themselves with. Adults believe in this. Kids or rather, insecure people don’t, for they can’t see the truth about what’s going on and who they really are. They need to read this article.

As sad as it sounds, some people are bullied into this and that by default, makes them toxic too.

It really doesn’t matter how nice you think someone is on their own. If their environment is shit, they’re also shit then. Be very wary of this and don’t let their toxicity seep into your life. Or perhaps, don’t even waste your time. Don’t make excuses for them from the get-go.

6) A romantic relationship can be extremely toxic too, but love is blind as shit

You just don’t know it because you’re blinded by that thing you think is love or rather, you know it but refuse to believe so.

If you’re unhappy, you need to get out. Period.

Breakups hurt, but you’ll be fine.

7) Sometimes, it requires that band-aid ripping decision

Quit your job if your colleagues and boss are toxic.

Stop hanging out with your friends altogether even it means being alone more.

Meet your best friend less if he or she chooses to keep being with the toxic ones you dislike.

Fall out entirely and get rid of years of friendship if someone is beyond changing.

Realize even that family, like your mom can be toxic.

This is extreme. This is scary. But sometimes, if you want to see change, it must be done.

Get my Fuck It Poster here!