Are you … the problem?
A California-based personality assessment company, Truity, has developed a Toxic Person Test that helps people find out what bad behaviors they may have and if they’re actually the toxic person everyone is trying to avoid.
The test uses principles of the Big Five model of personality and commonly loathed behaviors on social media to analyze participants and give them feedback on where they fall within three of the “big five” personality traits that are most responsible for toxicity which include: Neuroticism (how people regulate their negative emotions); Conscientiousness (how they get things done in the world); and agreeableness, (how people interact and cooperate with others).
The test – which has already been taken over 1.1 million times since it was released this week – uncovers your key traits within these personality dimensions and correlates it with commonly loathed archetypes that exemplify these toxic traits, and, as the site notes, ” This quiz is designed to be a fun way to increase self-awareness of potential difficult traits.”
“Analyzing your traits in these three key areas of neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, can help you understand what toxic behaviors you might be inflicting on the world,” Truity CEO Molly Owens, a former therapist with a Masters in Psychology, said. “Self-awareness is the first step! Besides being a fun test to take, we do hope it’s a useful and perhaps even a cautionary tool for identifying the behaviors that those around you may find cancel-worthy.”
Owens is quick to stress that: “We all possess some of these traits — we’re all a little bit toxic sometimes! It is important to note that all personality traits are on a spectrum, and toxic behavior results from taking a particular trait to its extreme.”
Owens and her team have identified the seven main types of toxic people found in society found in the report:
Entitled people, also known as Karens, want special treatment and become aggressive when it doesn’t appear. The Karen archetype is most related to the trait of agreeableness, or how well you get along with other people. People high in agreeableness value cooperation, humility, and putting their interests aside for the benefit of the group. Karens don’t. Karens believe themselves to be more deserving than others and demand special treatment rather than going along with the crowd.
Observed toxic traits: Entitled; believing oneself to be deserving of special attention and superior treatment; reactive; aggressive and angry; needy.
Arrogant people, also known as Mansplainers, believe themselves to be intellectually superior to others. The Mansplainer brings us yet another manifestation of low agreeableness, this time with an extra helping of superiority. While more agreeable people believe themselves to be no better than anyone else, the Mansplainer sees themselves firmly at the head of the pack when it comes to intelligence, wit and knowledge. While they may believe themselves to be quite helpful, their “help” takes the form of boorish attempts to override others.
Observed annoying traits: Arrogant; over-confident in knowledge and competence with few credentials; assumes others are inferior and uneducated; judgmental; often see “dropping knowledge” on Twitter on topics they aren’t remotely qualified on.
The Drama Llama
Dramatic people, also known as Drama Llamas, demand outsized attention to their volatile emotions. The Drama Llama archetype relates most closely to the Big Five trait of Neuroticism, or the experience of negative emotions. While some high in neuroticism look for ways to manage anxiety, worry, and doubt, Drama Llamas dive right in—turning negative emotions into an art form.
Observed annoying traits: Dramatic; demanding attention and support from others beyond normal boundaries; reacting with outsize emotions — often on their social feeds; needy, reactive, manipulative.
Lazy people, also known as Slackers, refuse to do their part and let others pick up the slack. The Slacker archetype is the manifestation of very low conscientiousness, the trait that describes how we manage ourselves and our goals. Where those higher in conscientiousness may have ambitions and work hard to achieve them, the Slacker works hard at only one thing—avoiding responsibility. Slackers rarely set goals or think long term, preferring to bounce from one experience to another.
Observed annoying traits: Lazy; unwilling to exert effort or energy to care for self or contribute to the group; aimless; unreliable, passive and indecisive.
The Con Artist
Manipulative people, also known as Con Artists, use deception and dishonesty to get ahead. Like the Karen, Con Artists are low in Agreeableness, but rather than lacking humility, they lack another key component of this personality dimension: honesty. Rather than being transparent and fair in their dealings with others, they work every situation to their advantage. Notorious grifters like Bernie Madoff and Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes fit this type, but not every Con Artist is a criminal mastermind — this could just be the coworker who always finds a way to weasel their way to the top.
Observed annoying behaviors: Manipulative; attempting to influence and deceive others to achieve favorable outcomes for oneself; deceitful; self-interested.
The Debbie Downer
Negative people, also known as Debbie Downers, drag others down with their relentless pessimism. The Debbie Downer manifests high neuroticism with a focus on pessimism and a defeatist attitude. While Debbies may not be as outwardly emotional as Drama Llamas, their high neuroticism takes the form of a black cloud hanging over everything they do.
Observed annoying traits: Relentlessly negative — seeing the worst aspects of every situation; predicting poor outcomes; whiny; maudlin.
The Control Freak
Rigid people, also known as Control Freaks, try to impose their own inflexible ideas about right and wrong. While the Slacker shows us what happens when Conscientiousness is absent, the Control Freak exemplifies Conscientiousness run amok. Control Freaks have gone all-in when it comes to setting goals and persisting with their plans, to the point that they are completely unable to process alternative ideas or changes in priorities. Control Freaks live in fear that other people will drop the ball on their carefully orchestrated plans, and work overtime to try to ensure that everything turns out the way they want it to.
Observed annoying traits: Rigid; believing in a single right way to do things, and insisting others comply with their own standards and processes; judgmental, controlling.