We, humans, tend to normalize behaviors. It’s an evolution thing. It helps us better remember people or circumstances when we condense and simplify them down to repeated behaviors. However, in the process of normalization, we do not realize that we are accepting that behavior, even if it is wrong.
Below are five toxic behaviors that we should stop normalizing.
- Being insincere
One toxic trait that we should retire is insincerity. In efforts to please others or make connections, we say yes to other people’s ideas, even if we don’t mean it. A typical example is: a friend suggests an idea, either a project or group trip, but you don’t agree. Perhaps you think the idea is silly or a bit stupid. However, because you want to maintain that connection, you agree. You go along with whatever they plan.
That’s being insincere. If insincerity is the foundation of your relationships, the relationship will not work because neither of you will be honest towards each other. If you do not agree with someone’s idea, there are ways to let them know without being harsh or brutal. It’s called tact. Tact is the sensitivity of deal with other people. It is an art form that has been lost and needs to make a comeback.
Ghosting began in the late 2000s. It was usually used in the context of romantic relationships when someone ended the relationship without warning. It left the other person with a lack of closure and confusion. While it is a horrible way to end a relationship, we’ve all become accustomed to ghosting and being ghosted. Not just in romantic relationships but in friendships as well. However, just because it has become commonplace does not mean it is right.
Ghosting is cowardly. It is an act of removing any sense of responsibility or accountability for the failure of that relationship. So, for your sake and the sake of the other person, politely let them know that you are not interested.
Nowadays, escaping an uncomfortable situation is easy. There’s no need to do an Irish exit. All you have to do is unlock your phone and choose your own adventure. You could go the social media route. You also have the options of playing with your Among Us friends, plugging in your AirPods, or the classic one, talking to someone who is not physically with you instead of listening to the person across from you–texting. I’m not against escapism. Every once in a while, I get it. The world is a rough place, and we all need a place to disassociate from our environment.
Yet, escaping a conversation or situation with someone can come off as rude. It makes the other person feel unimportant. Additionally, constantly escaping from the situations that make you uncomfortable can stunt your emotional growth. You become less resilient against things that bother you.
If you are escaping from a situation with a toxic person, I understand. However, I think that you should find a healthier method of coping with a toxic person that does not rely on you using social media. If you are in this situation, I suggest you speak to a therapist about how to handle confrontations with a toxic person.
Passive-aggressiveness is usually the go-to tool to let someone know that they’ve pissed you off without hurting their feelings in an obvious way. It works exceptionally well in workplace environments and among college students. However, as great as it is, it doesn’t solve anything. While you may temporarily feel good about getting back at whoever upset you, in the end, the problem is still there. So, since we are all now adults, let try communicating effectively and honestly. The problem will resolve much faster that way.
- Constant Negativity
The world is in terrible shape. With the pandemic, wars, and impending doom that is climate change, no wonder we’ve become cynical and frustrated. I don’t blame you. But, I dare you to try to look at things in a positive light.
Negative thoughts and bias eventually cement themselves into your neural pathways, which perpetuate negativity. To revise my previous statement, try to be mindful of how you perceive things. There is always a negative and a positive side and events, people, and situations are never as dichotomous as they seem. Acknowledge that you are not responsible for changing things. The only thing you are responsible for is how you see them.
You cannot change people or how they behave, but you can change how you behave. If you notice any of these traits in yourself, it is up to you to try to reform them. If someone you know and have a close relationship with practices a toxic behavior, try to let them know. But, do so with honesty, tact, and respect. As always, seek professional counseling on how to overcome toxic behaviors.