How to Stop Being Toxic Through Self Care
Toxic behavior is something that can manifest itself in us all. We all have bad days, but it’s important to be aware of our actions and the way they affect others. This article outlines how to not be toxic and how to prevent negative energies from bringing you down to their level.
We’ve All Been Victim to a Toxic Relationship
Toxic people exist in all circles of our lives. Their toxic behavior causes negative feelings and is harmful to the mental health of everyone they interact with. When we exhibit toxic behaviors, we put our own needs ahead of those we care about, and we hurt people.
We have to teach ourselves how to deal with the toxic behavior of people we encounter. Self awareness or taking note of how to recognize when we’re interacting or having a conversation with a toxic person so that we can set boundaries for our own mental health.
Can We Be Better?
How do we keep from becoming toxic? How can you go about preventing yourself from being the person you usually completely avoid at all costs? This article will help you with that.
We will discuss how to recognize toxic relationships and how to stop our own toxic behavior and become more uplifting people.
A Few Ways to Identify a Toxic Person
You have to be able to identify people’s toxic behavior so that you can work on the areas of your own personality that are a little too close to that of a toxic person for comfort.
We’ve all been burned before by someone who turned out to be toxic. We usually cut ties after we’ve had enough of the self-centered tactics they employ for the sake of our own well-being.
When a particular person we care about behaves in a toxic manner, it affects our self-esteem and makes us feel uncomfortable. The only way to avoid these people is to recognize the behaviors before they get too damaging.
We may say that they finally “showed their true colors,” or we can identify the behavior or situation that was the last straw for us, but we don’t always understand that often, these toxic individuals start to display toxic behaviors long before the blow-up and eventual dissolution of the relationship.
Toxic Traits and How to Not be Toxic
The following are traits that a person usually has and displays when they are toxic. It can be hard to detect if the person we are dealing with is good at disguising themselves as a better person than they genuinely are.
Learning how to tell them apart from the positive people in our lives is the first step in preventing it from happening again and to prevent ourselves from behaving the same way.
Next, we will discuss the behaviors and traits of toxic people that you should look out for and avoid and what you can do to prevent yourself from behaving in this manner and becoming a toxic person.
The Problem: Narcissistic Tendencies
People who are narcissistic tend to put themselves on a pedestal. They’re the people who post what seems like a million selfies a day on social media, congratulate themselves, react to their own posts and seem to beg for attention.
They act as though they are better than everyone else. They want you to thank them and feel lucky simply for having anything to do with you.
The Root Cause is Insecurity
We used to think that narcissistic people were full of themselves and had an inflated ego, but studies now say otherwise. Most narcissistic people are actually driven to their attention-seeking behavior due to deep insecurities and no sense of self-worth.
They don’t see the worth in themselves, so they fake it on social media, at gatherings, at work, and in life, and they wait for you to tell them or show them that all the things they fake about themselves are believed.
People who post selfies nonstop and seem to care more about their looks and appearance than anything else tend to be people who are insecure with the way they look or are fixated on their physical flaws.
They crave validation and attention from other people to help calm the insecurities, so they post a lot of photos of themselves, usually heavily filtered or edited, and wait for the positive reactions to come in.
This gives them a rush that isn’t unlike a high, and for a brief period of time, they forget about how insecure they feel and how little they like themselves.
The Solution: Accept and Love Yourself
All of us have issues with body confidence at some point in our lives. You can open any magazine or see any supermodel on television, and rest assured that even these seemingly perfect humans have flaws they feel insecure about.
No one is safe from insecurity. Possibly you never learned healthy relationships from your parents impacting your relationships and emotional health. What we can do, though, rather than obsessing over what we don’t like, is to learn how to accept ourselves and see the beauty in not being perfect.
Beauty standards are constantly being reinvented. All skin colors, body types, genders, and sexual orientations are now widely accepted in the beauty and fashion industries. If you can’t find someone you can relate to in the fashion, entertainment, or beauty industry, just hang on a little longer.
Inclusivity is now a crucial part of whether an industry can survive. Try to set stricter boundaries. You don’t have to feel like an outsider if you don’t fit into a cookie-cutter mold. You can and should be accepted as you are.
Work on yourself. Try to love yourself for all the things that those who love you do. You may have flaws, but it is our flaws that make us unique and interesting.
Love the imperfections as a necessary and unique part of you, and accept yourself as you are. This will alleviate the need to have other people constantly telling you that you have worth.
The Problem: Jealousy
Toxic people are usually jealous people. They get upset, may even act out, or be hateful if someone else accomplishes something, is able to afford something they can’t, or has things that they don’t.
Toxic people are never happy for anyone else and convince themselves and sometimes others that the person they are jealous of didn’t deserve what they have. They think that they deserve the best, and anyone who has more than them is the enemy.
This person is never happy if you get ahead of them every now and then, and they’ll sabotage as needed to even the score and then get on top.
The Solution: Be Content with What You Have and Be Happy for Others
The best way to combat employing the toxic trait of jealousy is to count your blessings in life and be happy with what you have. It’s okay to want more in life, and it’s healthy to wish you could have something that your peers or acquaintances have. Becoming hateful because someone has something you don’t is not healthy.
If someone you know gets something, either by earning it or as a gift, be happy for them. If they’re our friend or close family member, why wouldn’t we want them to have the things that make them happy?
Celebrate with them. Congratulate them. You have no way of knowing how hard the person worked for what they had or how much they may have had to sacrifice to get where they are.
Be grateful for what you have. Earn the things you have. Don’t ever expect to be given something just because someone else has it, and you don’t deem them worthy. Celebrate with your friends and family when they have something nice.
The Problem: Controlling Behaviors
People who are toxic are often very controlling and manipulative. They don’t generally do anything for the good of anyone else. Most of the time, anything they do that comes close to counting as generous is still done to benefit them in some roundabout way.
Controlling people want to tell you who you can be friends with, what you can do, how you can spend your time with and away from them, and even how to think.
If you don’t think and feel the way they think you should, they’ll manipulate and gaslight you until you have yourself convinced that to think or feel anything outside of what the toxic person dictates would be crazy.
Toxic people need to be in charge of all of the decisions, or they’ll throw a tantrum or start drama. They’ll pick a fight or refuse to take part in things you want to include them in if they don’t get the final say.
Think about it because we’ve all been there. It’s that person who wants to go out on a Friday night with you and your mutual friends but wants to dictate where you go, who is invited, and when you go.
The minute the plans start to fall out of the parameters of what they want, and they announce they are no longer going. They don’t change their mind and decide to join until you adjust your plans to fit their agenda.
The Solution: Chill Out and Go with the Flow
Let go of the reins every now and then. Don’t live a life that is entirely out of control, but be willing to be flexible. You don’t have to be completely comfortable with every situation, especially if the plans that you’re not in control of were dictated and thought out by the person who invited you.
They wanted you to partake in the activity and obviously liked you enough to have invited you. Don’t be the spoilsport who makes them change all of their plans to accommodate your comfort level. A friend who actually cares about you would never intentionally make you uncomfortable with plans.
It’s easy to get caught up in a need for control. It’s natural to want to take charge in your life, and we’d all love it if our friends and families followed right along with what we wanted so that we could be in control all of the time. It’s just not a realistic expectation, though.
When you do end up having to give up control on something, don’t manipulate or gaslight to get your way.
Friends may be duped as to what you’re really doing initially, but it doesn’t take long for even the most blissfully ignorant of people to figure out that they’re just being manipulated so that you can have what you want.
The Problem: Insulting and Bullying
Toxic people will do anything they can to be in charge and the ones in the spotlight, including insulting and bullying the people who are kind to them. These are the people who will tear you down over a minor disagreement, and they’ll outright bully you if they’re upset with you.
A toxic person will make you feel like you can’t do anything right. You never say the right thing. You’re obviously not intelligent enough to make any decision by yourself. This is where they’ll take over control. This bullying and insulting is part of the manipulation tactic they use to assert control over your life.
Sometimes they aren’t outright insulting. They’ll sneak their disdain into backhanded compliments. They say things like, “You’re really smart, for a girl,” and “That outfit really came together nicely, seeing as how you only had old clothes to choose from.”
These sorts of statements are hurtful, damaging, and inexcusable, but a toxic person finds a way to say them in a way that leaves us feeling confused so that we’re not sure that they meant it to be hurtful. And many of us don’t want to start an argument or conflict, so we allow toxic people to say these things to us.
The Solution: Complimenting and Supporting Our Peers
Even if you know that you look great, or have done a good job, share the spotlight. Compliment others when you see they’ve put effort into something. You can choose to either positively or negatively impact someone based on what you say and how you say it.
If you choose to be negative, you may find yourself labeled as a toxic person, and then people will start to avoid you.
Try to be supportive of your peers. Cheer them on the way you wish they’d cheer for you. Wish them luck on an interview, date, or other exciting endeavors they’re planning. Be there for them when something goes wrong.
Rather than insulting them or bullying them in their times of sadness or failure, build them up. Offer support. These are traits we want to see in friends and family.
The Problem: Constant Lying
Toxic people tend to be liars. It’s a compulsion, and they lie about most things. Whether it’s a white lie, a lie to get out of responsibility, a lie about someone so they can get ahead, or a lie to manipulate someone, toxic people lie a lot.
These people love to gossip and talk about other people but exaggerate the facts or embellish the event so that things seem like a much bigger deal than they really are.
They do this for a lot of reasons. To make more friends, to have more control over the people they talk about, to make themselves look better, or to tear someone else down, so they’re no longer a threat.
A toxic person and trust never go hand in hand. You find out quickly that you can’t trust a toxic person. If they’ll lie about someone else, they’ll lie about you. If they twist the words of someone else to gain more attention, they’ll twist your words.
The Solution: Always be Sincere and Honest
Mean the things you say. Be truthful when you speak. While no one is honest all of the time, and you should run away quickly from anyone who claims they never lie, you can definitely dedicate yourself to be honest, most of the time.
Unless you want to burn bridges quickly and get a reputation as being toxic, don’t spread rumors, don’t badmouth people, and don’t start conflict that isn’t necessary.
The Problem: They Live for Drama
Have you ever known anyone who seems to find drama everywhere they go? They claim that they hate drama, but it seems to follow them everywhere. That’s because they attract drama, as well as create it.
These people also tend to put their friends and family in compromising and uncomfortable positions by trapping them in the middle of a fight that didn’t involve them, to begin with. Or by telling their friends things like, “Don’t tell anyone, but….”
Sometimes the things shared with you are things that you want to talk about, but you can’t, and now you’re keeping a secret that could come back to haunt you.
The Solution: Avoid Drama, Don’t Chase It
Drama can be entertaining. Most of us like a little bit of drama in our lives because it makes things exciting and breaks up the general monotony of the day.
When we start to create drama constantly, and it seems to gravitate towards us naturally, we’re probably engaging in toxic behavior.
When these sorts of dramatic events startup, don’t help by fueling the rumor mill. Don’t get yourself tangled up in fights you don’t belong in. If there are problematic people around you, ignore them instead of stepping in. Soon you’ll become a person that others think they can trust.
Commit to Being Non-Toxic
It’s essential to commit to being a non-toxic person if you want to have friends and family that stand by you. Toxic people may look like they get ahead because of the tactics they employ and the traits they possess, but in the long run, they seldom stay ahead.
Sooner or later, people see through the facade and start to realize that the person is toxic, and slowly, they all begin to drop off the radar of the person who is toxic.
Don’t let that person be you. If you are honest with yourself and realize that you’ve been demonstrating toxic behavior, commit to stopping these toxic habit and finding healthier ways to have relationships.
Be a good friend by avoiding the behaviors and tendencies of a toxic person. Your circle may be slightly smaller than a toxic person’s for a while, but the friends that you do have in your circle will be true friends. Remember, quality over quantity.