7 Secrets The Most Toxic People Never Tell You About Themselves

They're more envious and insecure than they want to let on.

Envious, toxic people izusek | Canva

The information in this article is derived from these sources:

  • The toxic people I dealt with: I, like all of you, came across people you can regard as toxic, hurtful, and immature.
  • My toxicity! I came in touch with my own dark side, toxicity, and immaturity. We all have these things, and they can manifest themselves in our lives in harmful ways if we’re not careful (and if we deny them).
  • I wrote a book about toxic people/relationships

Not too shabby, is it? You can be sure that you will be reading information based on real-life experience and self-reflection. Just a small caveat before we begin. Don’t go around judging people using this article. This is very dangerous and, paradoxically, toxic We all act in such ways from time to time. So, make sure you find many signs over a long period. The existence of a pattern is what matters, not just the signs. That said, let’s get into it.


Here are 7 secrets toxic people never tell you about themselves:

1. They are envious of your emotional maturity and strength

Here is a recipe for envy.

  • You have something I value.
  • I can’t have it.
  • I don’t believe I will be able to have it.
  • I don’t have enough courage to take the responsibility and work on having it.

Do I even need to explain further? The more secure, confident, and mature you are, the more toxic people will be envious of you. This envy can manifest itself in so many different ways. They may hate you. They may be your friends but harbor a lot of resentment towards you, which you’ll feel now and then. Or they may be intimidated by you.


Don’t take these things personally. They’re about them, not you. Heck, they can even try to criticize you for your confidence, strength, and emotional maturity, claiming you’re too rigid, demanding, or even toxic! This is the most evil form of envy: trying to break you down and make you lose what they don’t have. Don’t take any opinion about who you are as a reality. Most of that, in such cases, is just projection. The more confident you are, the more you’re able to see through their BS.

But it’s not always evident because of the next point. These people...

RELATED: Stop Feeling Envy & Focus On Yourself With These 3 Steps Instead

2. They prefer manipulation over communication

Look, you need to eat. And if you can’t afford it, you have 3 options: find a way to afford it, find a less honorable way to eat (steal, beg, …etc), or die. And I am not talking about food.


Communication requires many things. First, self-reflection. You need self-awareness to figure out what you want. Then, you need honesty. Honesty requires courage and vulnerability. Last but not least, you need to sharpen your communication skills. You need a certain level of social intelligence to get people to listen to you. Who has time for that? Well, certainly not toxic people! This scares the crap out of them.

However, they still need to get their needs met. They need connection. And they still need to engage in conflict sometimes. And since they can’t "do" communication, they resort to the other toxic alternative: manipulation. They manipulate people to get what they want instead of effectively communicating. They get what they want in sneaky ways instead of being upfront, direct, genuine, and honest. To them, playing games is more comfortable than being honest. Who wants to be honest when they can get what they want without the emotional discomfort of true communication? Not them.

3. Responsibility scares them

Want to make a toxic person hate you? Want to make a toxic person tell you how toxic and inconsiderate you are? Make them accountable. Suggest they should take responsibility for their actions or crappy situation. Make them realize they’re being immature. 


They hate responsibility. In fact, at some level, they view themselves as oppressed victims. They will give you excuses. They will justify their actions. Stories about how they are oppressed will be thrown at your face. Part of being able to take responsibility is having enough emotional maturity. And that, they don’t have. At least yet. And they are not willing to develop it. Viola! Victim mentality (as a lifestyle and worldview). I promise you, dig deeper and you’ll find it. But the irony is . . .

RELATED: 10 Signs You Or Someone You Know Has A Victim Mentality

4. They don’t believe they’re toxic (or are proud of the fact that they are)

This is related to the last point. But let me elaborate. When toxic people avoid responsibility long enough, they cease to believe they have any at all! They start believing in their narrative. In other words, they start believing they are not responsible for their toxic behaviors and therefore they’re not the toxic ones. How would they be a toxic person if they’re not doing anything wrong? But because of their cowardice, they are unable to admit that maybe they’re doing something wrong. And if their toxicity is too evident to deny, they either underestimate it, justify it, or, even worse, become proud of it! This is a devilishly dangerous path! 

Leave them alone. The fact that those people don’t even believe they’re toxic is a sign for you to get away. Don’t try to change their point of view. Don’t try to make them realize that they’re toxic. Don’t try to “save them.” I know this hurts, especially if you love them. But walk away. If someone is at this stage, even Freud himself won’t help him/her. Only they can face this horrible reality and change it. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. This is true even if their life looks amazing. In fact . . .


5. They have low emotional maturity

Emotional maturity is one of the things that determine your life’s quality. Why? Because it affects your relationships and how you deal with the world. And relationships govern almost all important life areas. Romantic relationships and friendships will suck. Professional careers will also suffer. Everything, everything.

The lower someone’s emotional maturity is, the more troubled their relationships will be. Since nobody enjoys interactions with emotionally immature people (even other emotionally immature people), they will, sooner or later, leave or set very strict boundaries. This, in turn, damages the life quality of emotionally immature, toxic people. Don’t be deceived by the image they project, especially if they’re trying to project a perfect image. Their worst punishment is their own lives and the person that they are. Don’t fall for the next trap.

RELATED: People With These 7 Traits Are 98% More Toxic Than Everyone Else


6. They always need to overcompensate

Again, this is linked to the previous point. It’s an elaboration. What do they do when:

  • Their lives suck.
  • Their ego is huge (and hurt).
  • They don’t want to take real responsibility for the real problems.

They overcompensate! They go around beating their chest a little too strong. They shout and become rude. They show off and make big claims. 

As a general rule, if you have something, you won’t feel the need to prove that you have it. Confident people don’t go around trying to prove to other people that they’re confident. Neither are wealthy people. Nor are happy individuals. They just are! And they don’t need to prove it. No secure, sane person needs to do that. On the other hand, people who “overcompensate” are the ones who try so hard to prove they have X, Y, or Z. Overcompensation is always a sign of insecurity. Don’t fall for its glamorous light. 

7. They care about what you think of them more than they would like to admit

Otherwise, why would they overcompensate? Insecure people care so much about what everybody thinks of them. Don’t get me wrong. We all care about people’s judgments. We’re social creatures. But when we care too much about people’s opinions and judgments, it’s called insecurity. And “too much” here means: more than this person cares about his/her own opinions and judgments about themselves.


So, while you’re worried about what toxic people think of you, they’re terrified of what you think of them. The more confident and secure you are, the greater your terror. This is true even if they don’t show it. Remember the last point? They will cover it up by overcompensation. Don’t be fooled. Remember your power. Regain it.

RELATED: 15 Ways The Universe Warns You To Stay Away From A Toxic Person 

Mosab Alkhteb is a writer and online entrepreneur who has been writing online since 2015 and is passionate about psychology. His work is featured on Medium, TinyBuddha, and YourTango, and he is the author of multiple books about relationships and self-development.