A lot of times when we think of toxic people, we think of others. As human beings, we tend to be biased against others and for ourselves, however, it’s important to be self-aware.
The thing about toxic traits and behaviors is that when we are aware of them and genuinely want to be and do better, it is possible. But, you have to be truthful with yourself first. And the thing is, if you are genuinely wondering if you are toxic, there is a high probability that some inner work is needed.
Being toxic doesn’t mean you are broken and cannot be fixed. Being able to acknowledge that you have toxic traits is healthy because truly toxic people (the ones that typically cannot be fixed) are those who refused to even acknowledge that they might be the toxic person in their life.
So, if you are here, you’ve already made a great first step. Here are the signs to look out for.
1. You are extremely manipulative to a fault.
If you are pushy, to the point of overriding people’s boundaries to obtain what you desire, this is manipulation. Everyone can be manipulative at times, but when you are willing to lie or cheat your way into getting your way, this is toxic. And if you don’t listen when people tell you no- but instead, continue to push them to do something they have expressed they are uncomfortable with, this too is toxic manipulation.
2. You have a victim mentality.
Everyone is a victim sometimes in life, however, when you feel like the victim of every circumstance in your life, this is a problem. Especially if you sit around ruminating about how everyone is always doing you wrong. In life, you can take two routes: you can be a survivor and move forward while acknowledging the bad things that have happened, or you can take the mindset of a victim and believe the world is against you. The latter is ultimately toxic.
3. You are a conversation hog.
Do you find yourself always trying to draw the conversation back to yourself? Do you interrupt others or talk over them, because what you have to say is more important? This all about ‘me’ mentality is not healthy and eventually, will push others away from you.
4. Everything is a competition to you.
Everything should not be a competition. When someone shares a bad experience, it’s not helpful to try to one-up them. Sometimes, it’s important to just let people talk and vent, without trying to compare yourself to them. It’s okay to resonate with others, but it’s something entirely different to make every conversation a contest.
5. You are highly critical of others because you think you are better than them.
We are all biased in favor of ourselves, that much is true. However, it’s important to also realize that none of us have all of the answers, nor are all of us leading the same lives. Be careful not to constantly judge others, because you do not know what is going on beneath the surface.
6. You spread toxic positivity.
An example of this is if a friend came to you and told you how they failed an exam, and you continue to tell them they need to be more diligent, even though they did all they could. Another example is if something traumatic happens to a friend, and you tell them to look on the bright side. The fact of the matter is- that positivity is not always the answer. Sometimes bad things happen and part of the process of moving forward from them is to feel those bad emotions and vent them. By pushing toxic positivity you are invalidating their emotions and healing.
7. You push your truth onto others.
Just because something works for you, does not mean it will work for everything. It’s one thing to share something that you love, in hopes that it can help someone you love. But, being pushy about it is something else entirely. Be careful to remember that we all are living our lives and following our paths.