There are many things that are out of our control; however one thing we have power over of is the company we surround ourselves with, “We are the company we keep.” If we are not critical of the people we spend our free time with, it can bring about many detriments. Unaware people can become victims to those that have pathological/toxic personalities. The naive/gullible will get taken advantage of and drained in multiple ways by these energy vampires. Of course there are varying degrees and sometimes, under types of circumstances, you may have to spend some time with one these pathological/toxic people. If this happens my advice is to just ignore them and do not engage, if you have to respond keep it to the point with minimal words. These pathological/toxic people can be very cunning, deceiving, incognito and ‘fit into the norms’ of society (though we live in a deranged society so that might not say much.) Never feel bad about removing toxic people from your life and try to live in an independent way that allows you to rely on no one else.
These are some things I use to get a perspective of a person’s character traits that I am recently acquainted with or even someone that I have known for a while, as people change in many ways in short time periods. You do not have to judge, just be aware, use your intuition and decide what is best for you:
Treatment of Service, Retail, Hospitality worker or any other person they encounter:
How someone treats a stranger, especially one who is working a job that involves helping the public (them) is a very obvious and easy way to get a grasp of a person’s character traits and whether they have a pathological/toxic personality. The quote “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.” Is how any (true) human should act. Treat every stranger with respect, kindness and empathy, but be aware and do not get taken advantage of. Some things to look for are, how do they tip? How do they talk/treat a person- respectfully/ thankfully? Do they try to make things easier or more difficult for the other person? Do they have emotional reactions when things might not ‘go their way’ in a customer service incident?
Trash people, trashing nature. Do you notice what people usually litter - fast-food, cigarettes, soda, alcohol, candy, and other junk food. Makes sense though, because if they have no care of what they put in their body, they have a much higher chance of having no care about the environment around them. It is a litmus test for someone’s character, since if they litter it is quick a way to tell they are lazy/apathetic and have no care about the people around them, the environment, the cleanliness/ascetics of their own community, or nature as a whole.
Driving or riding in a vehicle allows you to observe someone’s situational awareness, reactions, visual perceptions, emotions, temperament, and how they view other people they are sharing the road with.
Some things to look for- does the person use turn signals, do they respect other drivers, are they capable of processing information quickly and use situational awareness, do they drive in the left (passing) lane of interstates and not notice people behind them trying to get around. Do they drive recklessly and put others at risk.
Observe if someone respects the life force (bottom of page) in ALL THINGS. How someone treats an animal is an obvious way to tell about them. Also how an animal companion (pet) reacts to a stranger can let you know plenty, as animals have very good intuition and can perceive many things most cannot. Take this a step further and you can observe what someone does when they encounter a bug inside. Do they kill it or do they trap it and let it go outside. If outside do they go out of their way to kill insects/ nature or do they let them live in peace. It may seem childish but this shows their mindset, sometimes at a sub-conscious level, over how they react to helpless creatures and what reactions they exhibit when encountering something they ‘fear’.
Lastly some signs of personality red-flags:
If you tell somebody something you are excited about and they put it or you down, make you feel stupid, ridicule you, or insult whatever it is you are excited about.
If someone has no empathy, are always negative, always a victim, constant complaining, gossip/ judgmental about others, never works to better themselves, lies, cheats, steals, or hurts others emotionally, physically or mentally...
Of course there are many more that can be used and your own intuition should be trusted as well as how someone treats you, stranger or not. Be aware of the company you keep, and if someone violates your own litmus tests or boundaries either call them out, respectfully and assertively, and/or do not keep them in your company anymore.
Do no harm but take no shit. Defend yourself from the pathological/toxic people that wish to exploit you in one way or another.
Think for yourself, make your own reality.