How To NOT Be A Toxic Person

We all know someone who is difficult to be around. The types who thrive on conflict and drama, whipping up trouble for themselves and those around them.

But have you ever wondered if you were the toxic one in the relationship?

It takes great courage to admit that you’re toxic. But it’s even more courageous to take the steps necessary to right the wrongs you’ve done and challenge yourself to become a better person. It’s also a big leap forward to have the mindset to want to improve yourself – a trait that not all people possess.

So, if you’re interested in making a positive change in your life, here are some tips on how to not be a toxic person.

1) Check your ego.

The first step to not being toxic is acknowledging that you have certain traits that may be toxic. They don’t define you per se, but these behaviors have come up more than once in your past interactions. If you’re the type of person who always has to be right, who can’t stand to be challenged, or who gets defensive at the drop of a hat – it may be time to check your ego.

Arrogance and a lack of humility are big signs that you’re a toxic person. They show that you lack the mental flexibility to see things from another person’s perspective.

It’s not always easy to let go of your ego, but you’ll need to be open to the idea that you might not always be right. Try to see things from other people’s points of view and be willing to change your opinion. Being able to admit when you’re wrong is a key trait of successful and well-liked people.

2) Don’t test others.

Do you often find yourself challenging others to “test” their loyalty?

If you do, it’s time to reassess your methods. Testing others is a toxic way to try to control the situation and those around you—whether it’s by making final ultimatums, asking trick questions, or by making false temptations for your partner.

Testing others may seem reassuring to you at first, but it can be utterly draining for those around you. It shows insincerity, insecurity, and a lack of trust.

If you want to build healthy and lasting relationships, it’s important to be genuine with your intentions. Try building trust and openly communicating with them. Show others that you trust them by being vulnerable yourself. This way, you won’t have to put up a big expectation for them to live up to, but instead, foster a more healthy relationship that emits trust from both sides.

3) Don’t gossip.

Do you find yourself regularly engaged in gossip?

Gossiping may seem fun and engaging at the moment, but it’s not the best way to build rapport. When you gossip, you’re tearing someone else down in order to feel better about yourself. It certainly won’t do your own image any favors either – no one wants to be branded as a gossiper.

Regardless, not only is gossiping hurtful to the person you’re gossiping about, but it also shows a lack of maturity on your part. It’s important to be able to have mature conversations about things that don’t involve putting others down.

4) Don’t be a doormat.

There’s a big difference between being respectful and being a doormat.

When you’re a doormat, you allow others to walk all over you. You don’t stand up for yourself and you don’t voice your own opinion. This not only shows a lack of self-respect, but it also sets you up to be taken advantage of by others.

On the contrary, being respectful doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything someone else says. It’s okay to voice your own opinion and stand up for yourself. But when moments of disagreement do happen, try to calmly express yourself without putting the other person down.

5) Don’t control people’s mindsets.

Do you often tell others to “calm down,” “relax,” or to “not take things so seriously?”

While it may sound rational to tell others not to let their emotions get ahold of them, trying to control other people’s emotional reactions can be a very toxic behavior. It’s an attempt to invalidate someone else’s emotions under the guise of sounding “rational.”

These phrases can stifle an emotional conversation and further alienate the person you’re talking to. Instead of trying to control how someone else is feeling, validate their emotions and provide comfort and emotional support. This can go a long way in strengthening the bond between you and the other person.

6) Don’t avoid or delay difficult conversations.

Think about it, is there something you’ve been wanting to talk to your friend or partner about, but you keep putting it off because you’re “not ready” or “it’s not the right time?”

There’s no question about it – conflict can be uncomfortable. Navigating difficult conversations is never easy. But if you want to have a healthy and successful relationship, it’s important that you’re able to openly communicate with each other – even if that means having tough conversations.

Avoiding difficult conversations will only create more tension and resentment in the long run. Leaving these negative feelings unresolved won’t ever lead to anything good, so it’s important to address them as soon as they arise.

Closing Thoughts

It can be difficult to change your behavior, especially if you’ve been engaging in these sorts of behaviors for a long time. But it’s important to remember that change is always possible. You’ll experience new things, build more memories, and establish more relationships as you move through life. Why let your less-than-stellar habits define you?

That’s all for now Psych2Goers!

References

  • SYH Staff (nd). 12 Ways to Keep Your Ego in Check. Shape Your Happiness. Retrieved at https://www.shapeyourhappiness.com/12-ways-to-keep-your-ego-in-check/
  • MMA Medical Experts (July 19, 2021) What is Toxic Behavior and How to Deal with Toxic People?. Manhattan Medical Arts. Retrieved at https://manhattanmedicalarts.com/blog/2021/07/19/what-is-toxic-behavior-and-how-to-deal-with-toxic-people/
  • WebMD Editorial Contributors. (Dec 2, 2020) Signs of A Toxic Person. Retrieved at https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-toxic-person
  • Neo, P. (June 29, 2021) Am I Toxic? 9 Signs You’re A Toxic Person & How To Stop. Mind Body Green. Retrieved at https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/toxic-relationships-are-you-toxic-person-in-your-life

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