Toxic people are those that consistently make others feel horrible. Negative people, are not necessarily toxic. If they have a sense of humor, or if they sometimes lift your spirits, even in recognition of their own “doom and gloom” presentation, they are not toxic.
All of us have days on which we are toxic, but a truly negative, toxic personality is one that always sets others nerves on edge. What is the source of so much negativity in people? Many psychologists believe it is because we truly are living in a negative world. When all of society is in part responsible for the sad state of what is really happening, there are going to be some who cope better than others, and the most negative people are those who see only problems, and never solutions. An example of this is those people who realize there are billions of people who starve each day, and there will be more tomorrow. However, when the negativity is so grating that negative people routinely push away others, this is a serious condition both for the people themselves, and to those around them.
We can identify negative people easily enough. They seldom smile; they want you to listen to their litany of complaints. They seek constant validation that they are correct in their assessment of how bad they have it. When you mumble some agreement with them and find an excuse to get away as soon as possible, you are likely dealing with a negative and possibly toxic person. Some relationships themselves become toxic, when one party controls the other by threats of violence, yelling, ranting, sulking, or just being annoying,
It does not matter if they express their negativity in outrage, anger, weeping, or just quietly moping about, people who are toxic drive others nuts. This is truly unfortunate, because if they are insecure, or feel helpless, they will become ever more insecure, and even if they are not consciously driving others away, part of them will know it, and suffer.
Depression, clinical and chronic, not temporary, is another situation. But even with chronically depressed people, there is hope for the sufferer, and for all of us who are near them.
If you deal daily with a severely negative person, or a toxic one, the very best thing you can do is too lovingly, and with great care, tell them they do have some power over their lives. Tell them that if they recognize they always have the power, not over what happens to them, but in how they react to it, they can begin to be positive about one small thing. This will lead to confidence they can live healthier lives.