Am I Toxic? How To Tell If You Have a Toxic Personality
Updated on July 13, 2021 by Amber & The Team
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Am I toxic? This is such a buzzword these days… But just how can you really know if you’re a toxic individual?
This is something a lot of people find themselves asking about and there’s a valid reason for that – toxic behavior is a real problem that plagues many people’s lives. Every day we hear about spouses who belittle their partners. Parents who make their kids feel unwanted. Online bullies. Toxic colleagues at work. Our world overall is, in fact, toxic and it can be a hard pill to swallow.
Now, what exactly is a toxic person? Here are a few characteristics.
- A toxic individual is someone who makes other people feel bad by words or actions.
- They often bring down others much more than they bring up, and they leave others feeling tired, negative, and hopeless.
- They tend to disregard any kind of etiquette and personal boundaries.
- They have no qualms about using strong language, belittling others in general, and being nasty.
And obviously, there are other levels of toxic behavior, so if you keep asking yourself “am I toxic and negative, am I a little too blunt, am I a little too harsh?..”, this article is going to help you to analyze yourself. Because hey, we all need to make sure we are not being consumed by our own toxic behaviors… It can consume you and make others around you uncomfortable too.
The key here is to take some time out and look at your own behavior.
Am I Toxic? How To Tell If You Have a Toxic Personality
1. You Are Toxic If You Often Make Promises To Change And Then Never Keep Them
One toxic characteristic is repeating yourself, more specifically – your negative actions and then – unfulfilled promises to not do that again. For example, if there’s something you do regularly that hurts others and they ask you to stop, you should try to at least minimize that hurtful behavior. But if you do it again and again, even after promising not to do so, that’s toxic.
Why? First of all, if you keep repeating mistakes that hurt other people, it’s already a sign of toxic behavior. But if you tend to go further, promise to change, and never do, you are giving false hope which hurts others even more. When you do this, you undermine your own value as an individual and you destroy the illusion of worth that you have in the eyes of others. You also lose all credibility and trust in yourself and in other people.
2. You Are Toxic If You Often “Act As Nothing Happened”
Toxic behavior also involves taking no responsibility for things that go wrong. A toxic individual believes that they deserve to be well-treated, even if they hurt others, or make mistakes, or create trouble. This usually results in unsolved conflicts and even family feuds.
Ask yourself how do you react after a fight with someone. Do you try to find common ground, apologize if you were not right, or at least explain to others what has made you upset? Or do you try to make everything look as if nothing really happened?
3. “Am I Toxic If I Say Fake Compliments”? Unfortunately, Yes!
Toxic people also tend to say things like “all the best”, “great job”, or “you will make it work” without honestly meaning it. These compliments or encouragement words can feel very hollow, especially if the person hearing it doesn’t feel appreciated at all. This kind of toxic behavior is usually accompanied by toxic personality’s tendency to criticize other people’s decisions, behaviors, or looks behind their back.
4. Toxic People Never Accept Negative Feedback
If someone tells them they are wrong, toxic people react by trying to convince others that it doesn’t matter, or that they’re just wrong. In their mind, if it doesn’t matter, then nothing happens. Additionally, a toxic person who doesn’t accept criticism may begin to withdraw from people, until they don’t have any contact with anyone at all.
If you continue to tell people that something is wrong with them when they criticize you, or if you tend to disassociate from the people around, this might be a sign that you have toxic tendencies.
5. “Am I toxic towards myself?”
Sometimes, people with toxic personalities direct their toxicity to themselves. A toxic person may start off with a nice attitude and polite conversation, but then just abruptly change all of their opinions and behavior to make others feel sorry for them. You might say that this is someone who is seeking attention, but really it is someone who is completely out of touch with their self-respect.
If you’ve noticed yourself doing this too, it might be a sign you’re toxic towards yourself, but it’s not your fault. People who do this are not negative inside, instead, they have just lost that special connection within. It’s solvable! (Hint – read this: How To Finally Start Feeling Your Self-Worth).
Okay, I’m toxic. Now what?
Learning to be less toxic includes recognizing the toxic behavior that drives you to act in a toxic manner. If regularly find yourself getting angry at your family, colleagues, clients, or customers, you are most likely being toxic. There are two great ways to deal with it:
- Learning to manage your anger will go a long way towards limiting your toxic behavior;
- Controlling your reactions to situations will prevent toxicity from happening in the first place.
So when you are aware of toxic behavior, find ways to counteract it. You can do this by framing various situations in your mind. Rather than thinking that someone is making you angry, tell yourself that it is perfectly natural to get angry but it doesn’t mean you have to snap at them. It is your responsibility to learn how to deal with anger quickly so that the next time you make a mistake, you know how to handle it calmly and properly, without being toxic or overly defensive.
If you keep making promises you never keep, try to either truly change or not promise at all. If you’ve hurt someone, make sure to apologize. Do not belittle other people, and do not make fun of others.
Last but not least, try to not be toxic towards yourself. A lot of resentment we feel for others originates within. If you keep saying negative things to yourself, it’s time to stop and turn to self-love instead. It’s a lot easier to spread love to the world when you are filled with love yourself!
So the next time you ask yourself “am I toxic in this situation?” also ask “am I loving + respecting myself and others right here?”. This can help you to make the shift in any situation.
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