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We’ve always been told avoiding toxic people is one way of showing care to oneself. Whenever we encounter someone whose characteristics are similar to what toxic people possess, we cut off ties with them immediately. We believe our mental health is much more valuable than putting ourselves up with other people’s toxicity. While that may be true, it begs the question, “What if you are the toxic one?”
Being toxic is not an innate human nature or a label to someone’s outlook in life. We are all capable of being toxic for we are all capable of feeling shame, guilt, fear, selfishness, etc. The toxicity of a person can stem from these negative emotions, and without willing intervention, the harder it is to regain oneself.
9 WAYS TO STOP BEING THE TOXIC ONE:
THINK BEFORE YOU ACT
Remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” On the flip side, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you. When you think before you act, you think of the possible consequences of your actions. The future may be unpredictable but as humans evolved, we have learned a lot about the experiences of others. We have reached a point where it’s easier to see the effects of a particular course of action.
This means carefully thinking about the impact of your actions and of your plans in case the circumstances change. Moreover, thinking before acting helps you be more sensitive and tactful. Be mindful of the way you speak or act around people because your actions can either make or break a relationship. Toxic people focus more on proving a point rather than resolving the conflict at hand. They give more importance to their ego which makes it hard for them to control it.
Avoid blabbering about things you have no sufficient knowledge about. You may offend or insult other people with your audacity to speak on matters that you don’t entirely understand. If you don’t have anything good to say, the best thing to do is to keep quiet. Reserve your energy to things you’re fond of but also remember that it’s never too late to learn something new.
DON’T USE PEOPLE’S PAST AGAINST THEM
When you use people’s past against them, you are reducing their worth to a past mistake. You’re unfairly judging someone’s character based on their actions possibly done during a struggling stage in his life. During tough times, you can’t judge why people do what they do. You may have heard or known pieces of other people’s lives in the past, but you don’t know the whole story.
It’s ridiculous how toxic people act as if they’ve never made a mistake in their lives. For some reason, they use other people’s failed attempts in their lives as some form of defense mechanism. They gather stories of gossip and drama from others to have something against them in case they try to dig information from you. Toxic people hold their secrets so firmly that they’d rather hurt other people than embrace what they’ve done.
The audacity of them pretending they have ascendency over the others just because they know something about you. This is a clear toxic behavior that shows their fear of being overwhelmed by their guilt and shame. Using others’ past against them is their way of dragging them down in the same place.
Know that everyone is capable of turning over a new leaf, of leaning towards the right path. Don’t use their mistakes as leverage against them. Don’t suck others right into your pool of insecurities because you don’t know how to deal with them. Don’t deprive people of regaining their confidence. Don’t be the obstacle standing in the way of people who desire to be better individuals.
TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
One clear description of a toxic person is someone who refuses to take accountability for his actions. He doesn’t believe he is capable of making mistakes nor does he want to experience the shame and guilt of facing the consequences. If you don’t take responsibility for your actions, you can’t begin the progress of forgiving yourself. Nobody wants to hang out with someone who does rude things to them without acknowledging the hurt they’ve caused.
Everyone has feelings and your failure to respect them is a reason to avoid you. Even worse, some people have the audacity to apologize just to get by. At least have the decency to express a sincere apology and feel bad for what you’ve done. Don’t apologize just for the sake of apologizing to get by. Insincerity is not the right way to go to repair a strained relationship.
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Usually, toxic people can’t help but butt in other people’s life choices because they’re miserable with their own. They are unable to repair their issues, so to regain their bruised ego, they play the hero or the advisor to others. While doing so, they either act like a know-it-all and pretend they know better than you, or they project their insecurities on you to make them feel better.
When we feel insecure or jealous about a person’s aura and presence, we tend to stick our nose to someone else’s affairs. A toxic person would not only intervene with others’ issues in life but also make them feel bad for their decisions if they contradict yours. If you’re not directly involved in a situation, mind your own business.
What other people choose to do with their lives is none of your concern so avoid putting your two cents in dilemmas you’re not fully knowledgeable of. We should mind our own business because we don’t have the right to tell people what to do and how to feel. You have your own life to deal with, so you shouldn’t meddle in other people’s lives.
By choosing to You are inviting negativity and chaos into your life to patch the holes inside your heart. Stay focused on your actions and decisions instead of imposing your opinions on others. Unless you’re directly involved in any way, don’t think you have the right to intervene. If you can’t mind your business, you’re putting yourself in a whole lot of trouble.
BE GRATEFUL IN EVERY SITUATION
If we don’t practice gratitude daily, we get constantly worried about the future. We don’t get to enjoy the present moment because we’re so focused on the next goal, the next achievement, the next stage of life. When we’re frantic with anxiety about the uncertainties of tomorrow, we become selfish, manipulative, greedy, and pretentious. We feel these negative, toxic emotions, and as a result, we become the people who bring out toxicity to a relationship. It’s part of human nature that we aim for the best to satisfy ourselves and the people who are important to us.
Due to our need to please them, we lean towards fulfilling our selfish desires even at the expense of others. As a need to earn others’ approval, we wish to meet our expectations so we can shield ourselves from the fear of judgment. Without gratitude, it’s harder for you to combat materialism. If we’re not grateful, we find it hard to take care of our physical and mental health. Remember that gratitude not only boosts your confidence but also solidifies your relationships.
It all starts with the kind of mindset you have and how you perceive life as you know it. When you learn how to count blessings in a troublesome situation, you become more optimistic in life. When you don’t appreciate everything you have in the present, it’s harder for you to release positive vibrations. Fostering positivity in your environment can reduce the negative thoughts and emotions inside you. You’re less likely to complain or see only the bad side of a situation because you believe in the light at the end of the tunnel.
DON’T ENGAGE IN A ONE-SIDED STORY
We’re all guilty of being fed with rumors that are so full of loopholes but ironically believe them, especially if they’re about the people we hate. Even if the story obviously sounds fabricated, our ego tells us we should pass the story on for a good laugh. We spread lies to other people because our ego becomes satisfied when the reputation of others is tarnished.
Avoid engaging in a one-sided story, whether it may be in the form of listening, believing without actual proof, and gossiping it with like-minded people. No matter how juicy the story sounds, keep in mind the subject of these rumors. Think about how that someone must be feeling and if she’s able to sleep soundly at night. Think of the other people who are rude enough to confront that person with the lies that have been going on around her.
Think about her family, her friends, and anyone else professionally and personally affiliated with her. Ponder pensively the effects that these rumors will cost. If it’s not your story to know and share, cultivate the kindness in your heart and do the right thing. Stop putting words in other people’s mouths and minds. The cycle must end with you.
BE HAPPY FOR OTHERS’ SUCCESS
You become a toxic person when you feel miserable for other people’s success. It shows you hate that they are in a good place which reflects the bitterness in your heart. You must learn how to control your jealousy, especially when you haven’t done anything to get out of your rut. Don’t let your jealousy get the best of you; instead, use it as a harsh motivator to work on yourself. If you think that somebody doesn’t deserve the blessings he got, keep it to yourself.
You are not in a position to judge or question how he bought that car or how he received that award. Success is still success, no matter how you see it. Know that the success other people get doesn’t make your chances of achieving success any less. There is no point in being bitter and resentful because the possibility of success is in your hands. As long as you put in the work and make every opportunity count, your time for success will come.
You need to practice gratitude for what you have while remaining hopeful for what’s to come. Resenting others’ fortunes is just going to destroy your self-confidence until you won’t have any more reason to believe you can achieve your goals. Being the villain in their success story is not the foundation you want to build to reach success. Focus on your vision of the future while cheering on others.
ACCEPT YOUR FLAWS
When you genuinely accept your flaws, you’re couldn’t care less about your imperfections. You’re self-aware of what you’re good at and what you’re not, so you don’t feel so bothered when someone points it out for you. Regardless of their criticism, you don’t feel as hurt because you already know and accept that. You’re not good at everything, and that’s fine because you don’t have to be.
You don’t easily get insulted when critics come at you for being lesser than what they expected of you. This means you get to protect your mental and emotional health from unnecessary clamor because you learn to choose your battles. When you learn to accept your imperfections, you don’t spend your time questioning if you’re good enough to do this or if your ideas are amazing enough to be recognized by the world.
This prevents you from being toxic to yourself and other people because insecurities are not an issue anymore. Self-awareness gets you to places you deserve. A toxic person is miserable enough to leave hate comments on small business owners. But when you’re self-aware, you’re confident enough to know it takes time and courage to build a start-up business.
Moreover, when you learn how to not be afraid to strip yourself off the mask you’re wearing to hide your flaws, you create a deeper, more meaningful with others who share the same struggle. Your openness and sincerity inspire others to be vulnerable to their insecurities as well. Allowing other people to see the imperfect parts of you would make them feel not so scared as well. Embracing your weaknesses is the key to living a peaceful life.
BE SENSITIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS
Toxic people often forget that their words and actions have the power to crush others’ feelings. It’s not so hard to be compassionate with the people around you. Express kindness in and understanding to other people’s concerns by not immediately assuming the worst in them. Give them a chance to prove themselves and show what they can bring to the table without any prejudices from you.
Being conscious about what you say and how you act around different kinds of people reflect deeply on your knowledge and attitude. Don’t let your ignorance get the better of you; it will only put you in a bad light. Understand that people go through hurdles in life that you have no idea about so spare them the attitude.
Don’t lay on them your anger at the world because they too are just trying to live and be around their loved ones. When you find yourself in overwhelming emotion, choose to isolate yourself and relieve the anger through different means. Do your best to make people not scared of you when you pass by (because it doesn’t feel good as much as it sounds).
If you see someone in an awkward position, be kind enough to make her not feel any worse. Don’t add any further embarrassment to the situation just because you’re not the one in her place. If the roles were reversed, you wouldn’t want anyone to make you want to disappear. Choose kindness first before your ego.
Taking care of yourself plays a huge role in your journey to becoming a less toxic person. It’s not so easy to undo or stop doing all of these habits because we’ve been toxic people for some time in our lives. The first step to becoming a less toxic person is to remove toxic behaviors from our daily routine. To achieve this, you must sever ties from toxic vices and the people who encourage you to indulge in them.
Be mindful of the way your day turns out every day through writing down what you’ve learned and experienced that day. Do your best to be aware of how your relationships are developing and how they are affecting you in any way. Make it a habit to reflect on your actions daily to check if they help you to reach your goals.
Design your environment for success where you’re less likely to fall short on your daily objectives. Have the desire and intention to improve your life by being meticulous to even the simplest of things that you often overlook. It is in these minute things that add up and determine our tomorrow.
Start taking responsibility for your actions so it would be easier for you to regain your confidence when you fail. Be kind to others while withholding the urge to pass on a judgment in other people’s choices. Exude a kindhearted disposition to friends and strangers to build a healthy relationship with them. To become a less toxic person is an active effort to develop our character and individual growth.
“Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.”Leon Brown