20 Truths About Toxic People I Wish I Had Known in My 20s


If I had a dollar for every time someone reached out to me to say, “Kris, thank you for what you teach, I only wish I heard this 30 years ago,” I’d be a very rich woman!

Every time I hear it, I think the same thing: “Me too, my friend, me too.”

If I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself years of unequal, frustrating, sad, and downright toxic relationships by simply walking away from toxic people, leaving me wondering, ‘What’s wrong with me?

My hope is to save you the years of pain and confusion that I endured by urging you to walk away from toxic people.

Maybe you’re looking for wisdom for a difficult relationship, or just want to be sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes again. These truths could be just the perspective that you need to get the closure you’re looking for.

Here is why you should walk away from toxic people – 20 Truths I Wish I Had Known in My 20s

Be sure to pay close attention to #9, because THAT one alone could have saved me 7 years of therapy.

Truth #1 

That feeling you get when there’s something off with someone is sometimes wrong–but it’s often right. Don’t ignore it. A lot of people, especially Christians, think “Oh, I shouldn’t think the worst of them.” But what if it’s the Holy Spirit revealing the truth to you–do you really want to ignore that?

Truth #2

It’s not your job to save, fix, repair, restore, or in anyway change someone. As flattering as it is to have someone tell you that they need you, that they can’t be a better person without you, it’s just horse poop. If they wanted to be better, they would be better, with or without you. Save the saving for Jesus.

Truth #3

Don’t assess someone by what they promise you in the future. Assess them for what they do today. I had an old business partner who would promise to buy me a Lamborghini when he got rich. I was like, “Gee that sounds generous of you, but I don’t need a fancy car. I just need you to pick up the tab for lunch once in a while.”

Truth #4

The right people will always let you know where you stand with them. Toxic, troubled people don’t even know who they are or why they do what they do. I’ve learned that if you’re left confused and guessing, the devil is hard at work.  

Truth #5

When someone ignores you, as hard as it is, don’t take it personally. I wish I would have embraced Matthew 10:14 a long time ago. Shake the dust off your feet and move on. Take your dignity and go. 

Truth #6

If you need to sacrifice your values and preferences to please someone else, you’re in for a long, sad road. You see, toxic people do not abide by the law of reciprocation. They don’t give. They just take.

Truth #7

You don’t ACTUALLY miss them, you just miss what you hoped they’d be for you. 

My codependency kept me trapped in emotional ties that were toxic for me because I thought it was my job to change them. So when I couldn’t, I felt like I failed. As long as I was trying, there was still hope. 

There’s likely no hope. Let them go.

Truth #8

Don’t make someone a priority in your life if they only make you an option in theirs. If you have to constantly fight for someone’s time or attention, they’ve clearly shown you how much (or little) you matter.

Truth #9

If you suspect they’re cheating… find out. Assuming the best in those situations often just makes you a fool. Now, if you struggle with suspicion and insecurity, then yes, that’s on you. Go get help for that, so you can better see the truth.  

#9a: Emotional affairs are cheating.
#9b: Porn is cheating.

Hey, if you want to learn how to identify and deal with all the difficult people in your life, be sure to grab a copy of my FREE toxic people survival guide. This is my free gift to you.

Truth #10

Arrogance is not confidence. If you’re the type who needs someone to take care of you, you will easily fall for the facade of strength. Truly confident people will have a strong self-esteem and even stronger empathy. Arrogant people will only look to dominate you.

Truth #11

Silence is often the best revealer of truth. If you can’t stand the silence, toxic people will use that to their advantage.

Truth #12

People show you how important you are to them by their level of listening. If you need to fight for their attention, constantly repeat yourself, or try to get a word in edge-wise, they’re not interested. So when they stop listening, you need to stop talking.

Truth #13

Observe, don’t absorb. I always felt it was my responsibility to engage with whatever this toxic person was saying. I felt it was my duty to correct them, so they could see the light and give me the credit for bringing them to it. The truth is, it’s not your responsibility to engage in toxic, dysfunctional behavior. Observe it, so you know what you’re dealing with, but don’t absorb it. It’s not yours to take.  

Truth #14

When someone blames everyone and everything for their failings, it will only be a matter of time before they blame you.

Truth #15

If someone can’t apologize, they can’t be trusted.

Truth #16

True apologies don’t come with disclaimers. If you hear things like—I’m sorry but, I’m sorry you, I’m sorry, if only YOU—you’re not getting an apology. You’re getting an excuse.  

Truth #17

If someone rushes to explanation without validation, they’re only looking for justification. Safe people will pause and notice the impact their behavior has had on you. Toxic people only care about getting you to get it and back off.

Truth #18

When someone doesn’t give you space to process your emotions, it’s not because they ‘really’ want to work it out. It’s because they can’t be OK until they know you’re OK with them. It’s not care, it’s codependent.

Healthy people will give you all the space you need to work through your feelings, regardless of whether they agree with them or not. 

Truth #19

If you have to threaten someone to get what you want, your results will be temporary at best

Truth #20

Giving love to get love, isn’t love. Love isn’t selfish. It doesn’t demand its own way. And it certainly doesn’t manipulate.

So what are some alarming truths you wish you knew in your 20s and would you walk away from toxic people? Let me know in the comments.

Chances are, you’ve already tolerated more than you should from these toxic people. But did you know that there can be demonic doors opened in your life through the narcissist? To make sure those 7 doors aren’t opened in your life, check out this episode next.

Grab your FREE Toxic People Survival Guide to learn how to identify and deal with all the difficult people in your life.

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