A toxic person, according to psychologist Silvia Congost, born in Santa Cristina de Aro (Girona) 45 years ago, is one who “when you are close to her or interact with her, generates sadness, anxiety, obsessions, or insecurities.” They’ve always been around, but the expansion of social networks (59.3% of the world’s population uses them and among those over the age of 13 over 75%, according to the latest Hootsuite report) has given them a huge, evolving and enduring stage for business. Kongost warns author of “The Only Way to Avoid It” Toxic people (Zenith 2022), “is to walk away from that relationship immediately” and the key is to get to know and discover it as quickly as possible. This is how they are and how they behave in networks, according to the psychologist, who admits that they personally suffered from their effects:
Narcissist. It is a person with a personality disorder who is unable to empathize with the pain of others. “He does not respect you, laughs at you, harasss you, abuses and insults you, but he does not realize the pain or harm it causes,” Kongost explains. It manifests in networking with controlling behaviors, such as requesting photos, location, setting return times, identifying who you are with and even proving what is being said. Its main tools are messaging platforms.
gas light. “They make you believe that what you think, perceive, or feel is not real. They make you doubt what you believe, what you see, and what happens to you,” according to the psychologist. They are singled out in networks by permanently questioning the other person, excluding them, manipulating them and undermining their self-esteem. WhatsApp is his favorite tool.
vanishement. The most famous English terms are shadows. In the first place, this toxic behavior on social networks begins with commenting, sharing, or evaluating a person’s posts. Suddenly, one day, the earth seems to have swallowed him up. Stop writing for yourself, stop responding, ”the author comments. The victim believes that he did something wrong and undermines self-esteem.
love bombardment It’s the behavior that goes from 100 to zero in a matter of days. It is characterized by saturating the other person with messages at the initial stage and then moving on to keep the relationship to a minimum or until it disappears. As in the previous case, the victim blames himself for a reaction that he cannot identify the causes of, but attributes to himself.
Vacuum Cleaner. Also known as float It mainly occurs between ex-partners. When a person begins to turn the page, the vacuum cleaner appears in his life directly or through joint contacts on social networks to regain access. They can even create fake profiles to restore the relationship and avoid being blocked.
spare tyre. The psychologist turns to the English word cushioning (the cushion effect) to refer to people who use others as a safety net, as a backup wheel in case their current relationships fail. He sends messages that make you think he’s interested in you so that you’ll be there when his relationship ends or his partner leaves him. “He uses you as a cushion to cushion the blow, to find a place to fall and to make it soft, so you’re not left alone,” explains Kongost. The victim waits to receive the messages that arrive via the dropper, but it creates the illusion about a possible relationship, even though the other person is not interested in leaving their current relationship.
substitution. It is also known by the English term he sat. “That’s what we call being on the bench,” the psychiatrist says. They are people who break off a relationship, but not permanently. They engage in the relationship intermittently and with behaviors that make the victim doubt that emotional bonds can be restored. “In fact,” Congost warns, “they exploit vulnerability to always save you. It’s a dangerous loop because it prevents stories from closing and page flipping. In networks, they never break the thread and constantly try to preserve the relationship by evaluating your comments or photos in a positive way.”
crumbs. They are the people who write on networks or by letters to follow up on personal or family events. Each message makes the victim believe that interest in them continues, but the goal is to make them believe that the sender is still thinking of the other person. However, the effect achieved is to reopen the wounds or prevent a separation from closing. “If your mind continues to associate with this person, who in fact does not care about you, and who, in fact, does not care about you, your life does not progress, does not develop,” explains the author Toxic people.
The psychologist warns that these behaviors are not clear evidence of a disorder, but show, in her opinion, a clear lack of empathy and compassion: “The harm they cause is beyond their mind. They are only moved by their own impulses, by what they want at every moment and to satisfy their emotional needs.”
These behaviors are not limited to spouses. Also talk between close friends and family or in the workplace. He insists, “It is important to know how to identify when, through messages or situations on networks, they are not treating us well to separate us and protect us. If a partner or friend is clearly toxic, I highly recommend nipping that line of communication in the bud. The other person will survive Life, and absolutely nothing will happen because we block it and that’s the healthiest thing for us. If it’s a direct relative, at least try to interact less, set boundaries. If it’s a toxic relationship with your boss or co-worker, you have to start looking about other job options. If they don’t value you, there’s no escape from you.”