Most Toxic People Share This Trait – and It Arises Out of a Lack of Empathy or Gratitude

By Rachel Puryear

Surely, you’ve seen many articles and books before about toxic people. The popularity of this subject is due to the fact that just about everyone has dealt with a toxic person in their lives; and dealing with toxic people is so incredibly challenging, and emotionally draining. Reading about others’ experiences with toxic people and relationships offers not only practical advice, but also validation that one is not themselves crazy or unreasonable.

So, I will lend my own two cents to the “toxic people” pool of collective knowledge. In all my own firsthand experiences, as well as what I have observed listening to others, I notice that there is one trait in particular that just about every toxic person seems to possess. This is not the only toxic trait, of course – but I it tends to lie at the core of the many others.

Man with blue sweater, glasses, and employee badge; holding his hands over his head while his face looks very stressed, as though he is very frustrated.

The Core Trait That Toxic People Usually Have in Common:

Two eggs in a carton, each with smiley faces drawn on them, and one is happily leaning against the other. Meanwhile, another egg with an angry face drawn on it looks on, and seems to be jealous of the other two eggs’ happiness.

Toxic people hate to see others happy. They hate to think anyone else is better off than them, or has anything good that the toxic person does not. Toxic people are not just oblivious to the pain of others – they are well aware of it, and they in fact feed off of it.

Toxic people are incredibly envious of others, yet toxic people are also ungrateful for their own good fortune. For toxic people, the envy only goes one way. While they are insanely jealous and resentful of others’ well-earned success and happiness; they do not believe that others have any right to be envious of them, or to point out where they themselves are fortunate.

Toxic people have a mindset of ‘Everyone must suffer the way that I suffered!’ (or the way that the toxic person believes they have suffered). Toxic people believe that any good fortune they have is something they totally earned and deserve, and deny any unearned advantages in life. However, they believe that the success of others is the product of others having unfair advantages, and toxic people fail to recognize or acknowledge how others’ hard work and smart choices contributed to good outcomes in life.

For example: Tom owns a house. Tom’s house meets his needs – it’s also on the small side. Tom is terribly envious, however, of Joe; because Joe owns a larger and more luxurious house than Tom does. Tom resents Joe for this, and is indignant that Joe has a nicer house than he does. Meanwhile, however, Mary is homeless. Tom knows that Mary is homeless, but ignores this. Even though Tom is jealous and resentful of Joe for having a nicer and bigger house than Tom has, Tom does not feel accordingly grateful and humbled for his good fortune relative to Mary. If Mary were to feel jealous and resentful towards Tom for having a home in the way that Tom feels towards Joe; then Tom would consider Mary highly unreasonable, mean, and petty. However, Tom does not connect how he views Joe’s relative good fortune, with how grateful he should also be that he is not in Mary’s far less fortunate position.

You may be tempted to placate, help, or excuse the behavior of such toxic people. Don’t do it. You’re not obligated to spend your life catering to toxic people, and they are emotional black holes, anyway.

Toxic people are not grateful. They do not appreciate the good things they have. And no matter what they do have, they always want more, anyway.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to both giving and receiving more emotional generosity. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you do not do so already. xoxo

7 responses to “Most Toxic People Share This Trait – and It Arises Out of a Lack of Empathy or Gratitude”

  1. That’s so true. The best way to find out if someone is bad for you is to tell them good news – if they’re jealous or unhappy, they ain’t a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] recent post discussed a key trait of toxic people – the inability of toxic people to be genuinely happy for others, and also constantly […]


  3. I came here to honestly comment on the image with the eggs. The perspective I had when I saw it were two eggs looking at each other with seldom looks and the bottom curved line represents them holding hands.

    Now, when my eyes zoomed out of the image and noticed the two eggs smiling, I began to feel a little.. idk, confused! Like, I couldn’t unsee what I originally saw. However, I think this is based on personal perspectives and an individual’s psyche.


  4. […] is probably the number one tactic of emotional manipulators. I have referred to this before as being a crybully – that is, […]


  5. […] In previous posts, I have discussed certain types of toxic personalities including crybullies – people who victimize by playing the victim, as well as sneaky emotional manipulation tactics, and toxic jealousy and lack of gratitude. […]


  6. […] I have discussed in several ways before, people who frequently play the victim and hate seeing others happy are all kinds of red flags, and are virtually always toxic people – at least to some […]


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