While there are several different types of toxic people who may end up in your orbit throughout your life, one of the most insidious can be the victim; or, as I like to call them, the I Can’t Possibly type.
The “I Can’t Possibly” type person will be ever in need of you. Whether they are constantly ill, cannot quite manage to accomplish things that the average person would consider to be the simplest task, or never have money for bills or food despite spending hundreds of dollars on frivolous purchases, they will always cry woe and beg for a hero to save them.
This type of emotional manipulation can be exceedingly difficult to identify. This person will play on your pity and concern for themselves or their children, claiming that there is no way that they could possibly go on without your constant attention and monetary contributions. They will call you at all hours, most especially when you have told them that you have plans or will be otherwise occupied and will be at their most demanding when they think that someone else will have your attention.
Eventually, the “I Can’t Possibly” will attempt to convince you that all other people in your life are horrible for you or are a threat to you. They will apply every trick in their vast emotionally manipulative arsenal to removing every other person from your life.
You will find yourself dreading this person’s calls and even more so seeing them. You may find that you feel drained and depressed after talking to them. At first you will be likely to cover up or hide what they are doing, but you are likely to eventually become angry with them. In short, they will exhaust and frustrate you, but they are so good at what they do that you will wonder if you are a secretly bad person for being annoyed with a person who so obviously needs your help.
Once you finally identify this type of toxic person, they will leave you in awe of their ability to convince others that they are constantly in crisis and must be saved. They will deliberately place themselves into situations designed to make themselves appear helpless and then will become angry (occasionally violently so) and insulting when you begin to try to pull away from the cycle of toxicity.
What to do about them?
The best way to deal with an “I can’t Possibly” type person is to cut contact. Unfortunately, there are times when this course of action is impossible, in which case you should gently refuse to offer any more help. Regrettably, there may be times when this is harder than others because they will use any leverage necessary to gain sympathy.
Don’t buy it!
The longer that you allow these people to take advantage, the harder it will be to break the cycle. Stay strong and refuse to re-enter the spiral of victim and hero. The” I Can’t Possibly” will eventually move on.