Toxic behaviors can really destroy people, but it’s even sadder to not realize that we can be toxic ourselves. All along, we have learned how to identify and avoid toxic individuals. It’s time that we also learn to see inside ourselves and learn to throw away the toxicity within us. A clinical psychologist, Seth J. Gillian mentions that nobody has ever identified themselves whether or not they are toxic.
Sure, this doesn’t mean you need to walk up to people and tell them, “I am toxic,” but it’s necessary to realize it. Here are 7 behaviors you might have developed without knowing what terrible impact they do to others.
It’s said that children will remain children to their parents even when they’ve grown up. This may sound lovely and endearing, but the truth beneath it is quite horrible. Almost nobody welcomes criticism with open arms because it’s generally about pointing out what’s wrong and telling them how to be better. Parents can be excessive with their criticism, constantly, finding fault in everything kids do.
This, however, discourages people from doing what might have been right. Instead of focusing on how they could be better, they were distracted by the faults. You can, instead, learn to praise what they have done right and whenever you realize you are criticizing, stop and communicate about your efforts to change with the other party. Do not make excuses, simply state that you are making efforts to change.
Glossing over someone’s distress.
It’s easy to feel like what others are going through to be ‘irrelevant’ and for most of the time, it’s true. Unless you have been through the same thing, it’s highly unlikely that you can relate to the other person’s feelings. However, it’s also dangerous to immediately speak words of ‘encouragement’ that ‘things shall pass’ and ‘they happen for a reason’.
For example, it’s very unwise to say, “Your husband died for a reason,” during the wife’s saddest times. What you can do is to lend a hearing ear as they pour their heart out. Help out with their daily activities and invite them for outings. Help them distract their mine and let the wounds heal as time goes by.
Avoiding conflicts and things you don’t like is easy, but what’s worse is that you’re making it hard for people to discuss it with you. You find ‘loopholes’ in situations that you consider to be ‘a pinch’ and waits there as the storm goes by. For example, you use jokes to convey your criticism of someone’s attitude or appearance. While this is sometimes a soft reminder or possibly a rude attitude someone has, this is a very smart, but toxic behavior that could dampen others’ confidence.
Stop using the way around and face your feelings. If you hate someone’s attitude about something, be forthright and find a good time to talk about it privately with the other person. Fulfill your responsibilities or don’t make promises you cannot keep.
Toying others’ feelings.
This is pretty common in people who are uncommitted. Perhaps you have fear of being locked in a commitment and are not confident of fulfilling your promises. You are scared when things get serious, so you make jokes when things get serious, start having reasons to not spend time together to the point that you might be lying about them. You don’t want to part, but you also don’t want things to go further than this.
Analyze what your issue is. Is it fear of commitment? Is it the attraction of a third person? Talk to a therapist to find out how you can stop confusing your partner and be able to take a step forward in your relationship.
Not there when they need the most.
It’s easy to say that you’ll be there but goes missing when the time comes. Nobody wants to plunge into conflict firsthand, but this attitude drives away the closest friends and cracks relationships.
Do not give words when you don’t mean it. Real friends care for each other and it goes both ways. Let your yes, means “yes”. Remember, even simply being there and helping with their dishes means a lot despite not being able to say the right thing to them.
Hiding things from the closes people.
We protect the people that we love and sometimes, we think not letting them know the worst of us is the best. We hide financial issues, problems at work, etc. and think that we’re keeping them ‘happy’. Yet, there must be times when you’d suddenly lash out or show uncomfortable expressions without explanations.
This dishonesty is toxic to relationships and especially show between family members. This behavior can be due to constant criticism behavior of your partner or family members. Communicate the issue with them by finding the right time to talk. Be forthright about what you are facing and if there is something you wish them to do to help you, do mention it.
There, but never present.
We see this attitude everywhere these days; people are glued to their screens without actual conversation going on in real life. Despite millions of tweets, status updates and timeline posts daily, it’s very common to see people being disconnected from the real world for most of the time. Even during times when a lively conversation should take place on the dinner table, everyone is busy with their own gadgets.
Put down your phone and starts listening to others. Turn your phone’s notifications off during picnic, an outing, and dinner. Put it somewhere out of your hand’s reach if needed. Understand the impact of being constantly on the phone to your relationship, life, and learn to enjoy life without your gadget.