Even though it’s much simpler to point the finger at others for everything that goes wrong, sometimes we’re to blame. We can be toxic and a problem at times. Eek. No one wants to face the truth.
To start, it’s ok. Everyone experiences moments of being a little toxic, but this is not the end of the road. You can work on it, improve, and return to a constructive, emotionally sound place.
The first step is to recognize the toxic element, whether it be toxic traits and behaviours or a fully toxic personality. After that, you can create a plan to make the necessary changes to put yourself on a better course.
Let’s first examine some indicators that you’re toxic:
1. You aren’t happy for other people ever.
If you have trouble feeling happy for other people, it’s a sign that your life isn’t satisfying.
I know how challenging it can be to be joyful for others when life keeps bringing you down, and you can never seem to do anything right. But harbouring resentment or even anger toward another person’s success only feeds the toxic beast inside of you.
It’s a good time to examine yourself when these unfavourable emotions surface. You’re disappointed your friend got engaged, though you’re also happy for her. Why you might ask? Perhaps you worry that it will never happen for you and that you will always be alone.
Now let’s delve a little deeper. Why are you experiencing this? Perhaps the failure of previous relationships has made you feel unworthy of love. Continue on and seriously contest the belief now. Can you be certain you won’t be left alone? We cannot know that, though. So why encourage those pessimistic or fearful thoughts? How does that help you?
Additionally, you might not feel joy when others acquire something you already possess. Think about why. Perhaps it frustrates you to see others getting everything they want so easily while you struggle to get what you want.
Why does that bother you? Continue. It certainly seems unfair. Then, ask yourself if your belief that life is unfair serves you. Do you get anywhere good with that? The obvious response is no.
Don’t just let the bad things take over your life. Confront it.
Try to recognize your thoughts veering in that direction and correct them. Additionally, do your best to view other people’s success as inspiration and motivation rather than a setback.
You didn’t lose anything because of them. Your time will come; they probably struggled and doubted a lot along the way to get what they wanted.
2. You have a problem with everyone.
If you have a problem with everyone, perhaps the issue is with you.
Yes, there are times when we are in the company of bad people, but if this is a recurring problem in your life, perhaps the problem lies with you.
To start, like draws like. People who are emotionally stable tend to attract others who are similarly stable. If you’re toxic, you’ll likely draw other toxic people. Even when it’s bad for us, we all seek solace in the familiar.
Additionally, you might look for a certain type of person because they validate how you already feel about yourself. For instance, if you secretly feel inadequate, you will be drawn to emotionally distant partners who treat you poorly because they validate how you already feel about yourself.
It’s also possible that you aren’t taking ownership of your life and your actions, and as a result, people are responding negatively to whatever negativity you’re putting out there, which makes you defensive and victimized, believing that you are the innocent party and that everyone is out to get you.
3. You can’t accept responsibility.
You might have a problem with personal accountability if there is never anything you can take responsibility for and everyone else is to blame.
Maybe you always need a scapegoat to justify why things are the way they are in your life… because all men (or women) are jerks. Your parents have damaged you… It’s the patriarchy, the economy, society, and so forth.
I’m not saying there are never outside forces, though… However, it can never just be outside forces. You can’t possibly be accountable for anything that occurs in your life. It’s impossible that you are never at fault.
People who are in good emotional health can take charge of their lives. Toxic people play the victim instead and don’t. Furthermore, let me add that nobody likes a victim.
4. You think you know best.
Do you ever get angry at the people in your life for making decisions you would never make?
Are you being too harsh and judgmental? even a little bit controlling, perhaps?
When you feel out of control or frustrated in your own life, this behavior may develop.
Even if you believe you are the most knowledgeable, you must also have compassion and understand that not everyone is amenable to change. To end a relationship, leave a job, or defend your rights in front of family members is not always simple.
You probably have personal experience with this, so you ought to be able to identify with and feel sympathy for others who experience similar difficulties. You’re probably more upset with yourself than with them because you’re having similar problems.
5. You aren’t nice.
Hurt people hurt people, as the saying goes.
Do you behave well? Or are you rude, irritable, quick to anger, resentful, jealous, and spiteful?
Are you prone to snapping at those around you? Do you frequently treat people in a rude and snappy manner? Do you frequently pass judgment and avert your eyes?
These actions stem from an internal hurt feeling. Look at that more closely and ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?”
Try to be kinder to everyone, from family members to cab drivers. This will improve your self-confidence and how people view you, which will help you live a happier, more fulfilling life.
6. You’re an emotional vampire.
Emotional vampires drain the emotional energy out of everyone they interact with.
They essentially use other people as emotional trash cans. It’s all about them, their issues, and their requirements; they don’t really care what other people are going through.
They depend on other people to make them feel good about themselves because they have an excessive need for approval. They assume that others will always be there for them, even if they don’t reciprocate, and when people stop responding to them, they feel hurt and offended, thinking that people are bad and will always take advantage of them.
People don’t stay around emotional vampires for very long because healthy relationships require reciprocity and emotional vampires have nothing to give. They frequently lack the self-awareness necessary to understand that their actions are what led to the situation.
If this description seems a little too familiar, try focusing on what you can give someone rather than what you can get them. The root of everything usually stems from a lack of self-esteem, so you must address that as well.
7. You think you’re toxic.
Deep down… Usually, you already know the reality. It’s very likely that you are toxic if you think you are. You might not be toxic personally, but it’s possible that you have toxic behaviors that you need to control.
In either case, a situation prevents you from being your best self.
How to Improve:
People frequently develop toxic personalities as a result of past hurts, which may have come from their parents, friends, or romantic partners. Prior to focusing on healing those areas, identify the source (or sources) of your pain, acknowledge it, and then acknowledge it.
Self-help books, journaling, or meditation can help some people do this on their own, while others might need to work with a therapist or coach. In either case, you can’t change what you deny, so stop trying to brush it under the rug and deal with it.
Accept accountability for the things you can influence. Your toxicity will be somewhat reduced just by doing this! You only have control over yourself and how you respond to situations; you have no control over other people or what has already happened.
The interpretation that you give to events is in your hands. You have control over how you relate to both yourself and other people. So, take responsibility for those items. Attempt to cultivate gratitude as well. It may sound corny, but coming from a place of gratitude makes it very difficult to be resentful, cruel, or angry.
When you examine your life more closely, you probably find that it’s not all that bad and that you have a lot to be grateful for. Start small and make an effort to only express gratitude for one thing each day. It’s even better if you put it in writing and if you think of something fresh each day.