top of page

EP. 22 Red Flags of a Toxic Person

To view the video on YouTube:


Today on the Hope Rescue Podcast, Tim and Kimberly continue their series on boundaries and discuss the red flags of a toxic person. Kimberly opens up the conversation by explaining the importance of identifying the impact people make on your life. Some people are life-giving, and some people are life-taking. It is essential to set boundaries in your life to protect yourself from the life-takers. Kimberly explains that just because a person is life-taking or maybe needy, they are not necessarily a toxic person, so the goal of this episode is to identify what makes someone toxic and how to set boundaries up to protect yourself.

Tim takes us back two thousand years to Jesus’s time and explains that so many people wanted to get near Jesus and his disciples and touch them for healing. They were not all bad people; they simply wanted to be healed, but Jesus knew the importance of boundaries. In Mark 6:31, Jesus says, “‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” In order to be our best selves, we have to set up boundaries, rest, and care for ourselves.

Kimberly explains that the point of this episode is not to shame or label anyone. Kimberly says, "As believers there should always be an opportunity for redemption and restoration through a person’s walk with Jesus Christ. We always want to point towards hope." All that said, we want to discuss some of the common denominators that toxic people share.

  1. Toxic people have a tendency to primarily control conversation and the ideas in the conversation. Tim explains that there is a difference between someone who is assertive and someone who is toxic. For example, as an enneagram type eight, Tim tends to be authoritative and assertive in conversations, but that does not make him a toxic conversationalist. Tim says, “Toxic people want to control what the other person is saying and thinking.” Along with controlling the conversation, toxic people usually are not good listeners. In a healthy relationship, there is give and take and not one person dominating every conversation.

  2. Toxic people emotionally steal from the empath. Tim explains that empathetic and vulnerable people are targets of toxic people. Tim gives the example that Jesus was the most empathetic person. In John 11, Mary and Martha try to manipulate Jesus and make Him feel bad because they knew He was such an empathetic person. Martha says to Jesus in verse 21, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Empathetic people especially have to learn how to set hard boundaries or they will be walked all over by toxic people.

  3. Toxic people won’t take no for an answer. Someone who is toxic will push back when you set a boundary and say no. That is why it is so important to set boundaries and enforce them early on as we discussed last week in episode 21.

  4. Toxic people won't take the blame and usually won't apologize unless it's in connection to manipulation. Kimberly explains that she has been in a relationship with someone who could never recognize their own faults or take blame or responsibility, and that manipulation made her feel like she was the broken one. She was left feeling like it was her fault when, in reality, that person was manipulating her into thinking that. Tim explains that if a toxic person doesn't respect your firm boundaries and non-negotiables, it may be necessary to cut off that relationship because it can become destructive and unhealthy for you. Tim compares the manipulation of a toxic person to that of a cult leader. Cult leaders isolate their followers and want to become the source of their followers’ information, such as their philosophy and education. They control the way their followers dress, act, and think. The most significant manipulation factor of a cult leader though is the isolation aspect because it prevents the followers from having a stable sounding board. The same thing happens in toxic relationships. If a person is controlled to the point where he or she can't talk to anyone about what they are experiencing, they begin to feel like they are to blame or that the behavior of the abuser is normal.

  5. Toxic people leave a wake behind themselves and don't even recognize it. Toxic people don’t realize the damage they are doing and even if they did, they may not care.

  6. Toxic people tend to ignore others’ values. Tim shares that he knows countless situations where one person in a relationship tries to get the other person to act against their morals, especially in sexual situations. Someone who does not respect your morals and beliefs is potentially toxic. This emphasizes the need for setting firm boundaries at the start of a relationship.

Join us next week as Tim and Kimberly explain the concept of “gaslighting” and continue the conversation about setting boundaries! We love you guys!


“It's important that you identify the impact that people have in your life and whether or not they are life-giving or life-taking.” -Kimberly

“Toxic people want to control what the other person is saying and thinking.” -Tim

“Empathetic and vulnerable people are targets of toxic people.” -Tim

“When you're in a toxic relationship, the discomfort becomes comfortable. Until the lights turn on and you’re out of the shadows, you don't realize to what degree you were in a potentially abusive situation.” -Kimberly


Mark 6:31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

John 11:17-26 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

34 views0 comments


bottom of page