We always focus on pinpointing the toxic people around us. But what if you are a toxic person? Have you ever really wondered or reflected inwards to figure out whether you are toxic or not? Even the best of us can sometimes exhibit toxic behavior without even knowing it. Since we feel bad, drained, and exhausted when we deal with someone toxic, it is only fair that we take a moment to think about whether we are toxic.
It can be hard to tell if you are since it is out of human nature to think of ourselves as the bad side of the story or to own up to what we do. It is easier for us to feel like victims rather than abusers.
So, are you really a toxic person? How can you tell?
1. Your friendships and relationships don’t last long enough.
2. People tend to avoid spending time with you.
3. Your friends complain about you never apologizing and being self-righteous.
4. Your friends don't share the good news with you.
5. You’ve been accused of being jealous.
6. You’ve been accused of being negative and pessimistic.
7. Your colleagues and friends find you very competitive.
8. People say you are only nice and helpful when it is to your benefit.
9. People find you self-centered and sometimes manipulative.
10. You are perceived as a gossiper and people don’t trust you with their secrets.
If you have ticked more than one of these signs, then it is time to acknowledge this toxic behavior and do something about it.
• Understand that exhibiting toxic behavior sometimes doesn’t make ‘you’ toxic. Well maybe you do one or two of the things we consider toxic behavior, but that doesn’t mark you as a toxic person. You just want to monitor and identify toxic behaviors before they grow with you turning you into a toxic person and causing harm to those around you.
• Be honest with yourself. The first step in correcting or changing something is admitting its existence. Setting blame on others for your behavior is exactly why you find some people toxic when the same thing is happening to you. It is a hard truth to face ourselves with yes, but, the moment we own up to our mistakes and rectify them with corrective action, we make it easier for ourselves and those around us.
• Apologize for any wrongdoings. Stubbornly refusing to admit a mistake is one of the most prominent traits of a toxic person. In admitting a mistake and apologizing for any harm you’ve caused, you make it easier for others to heal and for you to prove you had no bad intention and that this harm was not on purpose.
• Take time to think about the triggers of this behavior. You need to understand yourself better and learn more about your triggers. For example, if people complain about you being competitive or jealous, you have to be honest enough with yourself to know whether this is true or not and if so, what causes these feelings and work on fixing the problem from the root cause.