It's hard to discern whether a particular situation is toxic, or if a friend or an acquaintance is one you probably shouldn't trust. That's because malignant personalities usually don't show their true colors until much later in the relationship, as they are about to discard you. This typically happens after they've created a lot of drama in your life.
So you're blindsided when you find yourself ensnared in one of their traps. This can be quite painful and even costly, especially if it plays out at work and you lose your job in the process.
So it behooves us to recognize dangerous personalities as early as possible, so we know never to confide in them. We can't even tell them true, but innocent, facts about what's going on in our lives, as these will be twisted and regurgitated along with some outrageous lies, in an effort to create division.
Spotting a malignant narcissist before they have the chance to tear your life apart is not always easy. But, from my personal experience, I've noticed there are some things to watch for. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of the rage that lies just beneath their smiling face. They may lash out at you, or someone else, but quickly collect themselves and act as if nothing has happened.
Here is another sign that a person may have a troublesome personality. Every now and then, they may "sideswipe you." This means they make a cutting remark that seems to come out of nowhere. Brought up to get along with people, we tend to look the other way, and brush these snide comments aside. Maybe this person is having a bad day, we rationalize. Maybe they really didn't mean it that way, we tell ourselves. Or, we assume that we're being too sensitive.
Don't ignore these "sideswipes." Nice people don't do this. It reflects a very toxic personality, with a lot of deep-seated rage. When you hear these off-putting comments, this means the rage is directed at you.
If you discern that a particular friendship is toxic, there is no upside to investing any more time and energy. Although you may initially miss this "friendship," you'll be much happier once a malignant personality is out of your life.