I’ve talked a lot about how to know if you’re in a toxic relationship… but what about if you’re the toxic person?
Eek! Now that’s a truth none of us wants to admit. But sometimes you have to take a good hard look in the mirror, especially if you find yourself having the same problems over and over again without changing anything.
Being a toxic person isn’t a final destination or a death sentence. It’s not as if you can never change or break free. We all go through periods of being a little toxic so if you find yourself identifying with some of these things, just know that it’s 100% possible for you to change.
Sometimes it’s simply toxic behaviors, other times it’s a fully toxic personality. But the first step is to identify it so you can start making changes to get yourself on a better path and become a happier, healthier person.
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Are You In A Toxic Relationship?
1. You Aren’t Happy For Other People
This is a tricky one and it happens to the best of us from time to time.
If you find that you really struggle with feeling happy for other people, it usually indicates you aren’t fulfilled in your own life in some way. People who are happy and fulfilled within their own lives are generally happy for other people, because why not?
It can be really hard if, for example, you’ve been single a long time and everyone around you is getting into relationships or engaged and married. Or you’re struggling financially and your friends are getting raises and promotions.
The point to remember though is that they aren’t taking anything away from you. Someone else getting something is not removing something from your life. If your friend got engaged, it doesn’t take anything away from you. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to be single forever.
Instead of stewing in jealousy and negative self-talk, use it as fuel to inspire you to get what you want. “If that happened for them, it can happen for me!”
2. You Have A Problem With Everyone
Do you have a problem with everyone in your life? Is everyone too self-involved, selfish, narcissistic, and mean? Do you feel everyone is out to get you? Do you have criticism for anyone and everyone all the time?
If you do, then they may not be the problem. It’s you.
Sometimes we do find ourselves surrounded by terrible people but if this is an all-day, everyday occurrence for you, it’s time to look in the mirror.
It’s a sign that you aren’t accepting responsibility for your own life and you could actually be causing people to behave that way towards you because they’re simply reacting to whatever negativity you’re constantly putting out there.
3. You Love The Drama
Maybe you stir the pot. Maybe you like to gossip. You can’t help but start up some drama just to have some excitement in your life and something to talk about.
Drama is an escape and a really unhealthy coping mechanism. It’s an escape from your problems or maybe you like to see other people having problems to distract you from things you’re avoiding or hating in your own life. As they say, “misery loves company.”
Maybe you’re a drama queen because you like the attention. You have to have the spotlight on you so you insert yourself into problems or create them for the fun of it.
4. You Think You Know Best
I fall into this trap! Sometimes it’s hard to not act like the end-all, be-all expert when you feel like you know best and everyone else is wrong.
This can also manifest as being controlling because you somehow feel out of control in your own life.
Maybe you think you know best, but you also have to have empathy and recognize it’s not always so easy for people to change. It’s not always so easy to leave that relationship or that job or to stand up for yourself to family members.
You probably have your own experience of this so you should be able to recognize and have compassion when someone else is struggling in that area.
When we get frustrated with other people like that, a lot of the time it’s frustration within ourselves for not doing what we know we should have done in a situation and we see this as a chance to “correct” where we ourselves went wrong.
5. You Can’t Accept Responsibility
Nothing is ever your fault. You look outward and blame everyone else- you blame people, circumstances, your upbringing, the economy, etc. Anything else that isn’t you and your own choices. You don’t admit where you may be at fault and I get it. It’s a really hard thing to do.
This could be a really important indicator that you have unresolved issues you need to start dealing with.
If you always need a scapegoat, it’s a sign you’re letting a toxic mindset run your life. It’s not because all men are jerks, your parents messed you up, society, the economy, the patriarchy.
There’s no reality in which you are 100% free from any responsibility at all times.
6. You Aren’t Nice
Look, there is that famous expression that “hurt people hurt people.” If you’re feeling wounded and hurt, it’s easy to lash out and hurt others.
Are you a nice person? Or are you mean, nasty, and spiteful?
Do you easily lash out at everyone around you and snap at the slightest thing? Are you filled with resentment, anger, and bitterness?
Work on just being nicer. It’s so easy being nice to everyone. Kindness costs you nothing and honestly, it will make you feel better about yourself. It’s inevitable.
7. Emotional Vampire
You suck the energy out of other people to meet your emotional needs.
Emotional vampires have an excessive need for validation. If you’re one of these people, you leech onto others to make you feel good about yourself, to pick you up, and to always be there for you when you need them, even though you don’t return the favor.
You basically are draining to other people and they don’t feel good around you. They feel like the life has been sucked out of them when they spend time in your presence and they start to avoid it.
This behavior tends to come from the belief that the world owes you something. You’re hurt and feeling a lack so you feel you are owed whatever it is that you’re constantly taking from others and not giving back.
8. You’re Self-Involved
It’s all about you and your drama. You’re always the #1 priority and everyone else’s needs are beneath you.
The truth is that healthy relationships are reciprocal. They require a give and take in order to succeed and be good for both parties. This is true for both romantic and platonic relationships (and even those with family).
If you are only concerned with yourself, then what value are you offering other people?
9. You’re Passive Aggressive
I’m sure we’ve all struggled with this at some point in our lives. It’s a sign that you’re not comfortable openly expressing how you feel and articulating your needs. And so you end up doing it in a roundabout way that doesn’t get you what you want and also makes other people feel negatively towards you.
This can happen if you have unresolved trauma and you end up doing anything and everything to avoid conflict or confrontation. Instead of being clear and upfront about how you’re feeling, you choose to be passive-aggressive.
Then you find yourself feeling resentful when you aren’t getting your needs and wants met. The key is to start recognizing if and when you’re doing this so you can start to be clearer in your communication.
Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself with no relationship, no friends, and no one wants to be around you because you’re resentful and negative.
10. You Think You’re Toxic
Look, if you think that you’re toxic or you’re identifying with some of these points, it doesn’t mean you’re a full-blown toxic person. You have to be able to recognize if and when you’re doing these things so that you can choose to act differently and start getting better results.
If you suspect you’ve got some toxic behaviors, it means something is going on and you’re not your best self.
So, what’s the solution?
A lot of times these behaviors stem from past experiences whether it’s from your childhood, past relationships, or something else. It’s the product of feeling deep hurt and pain.
Once you can recognize that, you can start to heal from it. Whether you choose to work through it yourself, with a therapist, or through self-help books, it’s important to start tackling it so that you can be the best version of yourself that you love and other people love being around.
Another simple thing you can start doing is think back to a time when you were being your best self and loving your life. Try and tap into that energy and that mindset you had.
What were you thinking? What were you feeling? What were you doing? That version of yourself already exists. Focus on becoming that person and moving forward.
Work on what you can control. You can’t control how other people act or what they get in life. You can only control yourself, what you think, how you feel, and what you do.
Start there and focus on what’s within your sphere of control. These small steps will start to snowball into bigger and better experiences in your life.
And finally, be grateful. Having an “attitude of gratitude” is such a powerful tool that’s available to you at any and every moment.
If you find that you’re a toxic person or at least have a few toxic behaviors, it’s likely due to you feeling sad, angry, or some other negative emotion that is masking something you need to deal with.
It’s a negative perspective on life that is painting your reality and everything in it. I guarantee there are things in your life that are good, that you can recognize and be grateful for.
Try keeping a gratitude journal, meditating, or find a few quiet moments where you can sit in the feeling of being grateful for something like your morning coffee and the sun shining.
I hope this was really insightful for you and that you were able to gain some recognition and tools to help tackle any negative, toxic behaviors you might find yourself doing.
Let me know how it helps and if you have any tips or tricks I haven’t mentioned and remember to subscribe to our list for more great content.