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Everyone has a bad side in them just as everyone has a good side. Who we are depends on Our whole system of beliefs and philosophies is built from our past encounters and choices that got us to where we are now. Among these are toxic habits that we picked up throughout our life that need to be challenged and erased. These are habits we’re ashamed of doing but don’t notice when we’re practicing them.
When we were kids, everything was easy. We didn’t have to take accountability for our actions. We were spoiled, sheltered, and protected from the horrors of the world. But as we grew older, we began to know and understand things. We became more curious about the whys and hows of the world, and what it has to do with us. And most of all, we started experiencing tough situations we haven’t encountered before. This left room for mistakes like associating with people who are not good for us. The longer we open our doors for them, the more we get sucked into their world.
10 NEGATIVE HABITS YOU DO SECRETLY THAT MAKE YOU TOXIC:
ONLY SEEING THE WORST IN PEOPLE
Toxic behavior is only seeing one of the many layers that make up a person and defining his worth based on that one kind of personality. This usually happens when we’re at the height of our emotions. We assume the worst in people when we’re in pain. We choose to believe they don’t have any redeemable qualities left. When we’re afflicted, we choose to believe that person is a lost cause, that everything in his heart breeds ugliness.
Our interpersonal relationships with family, peers, and strangers depend on the behavior they show and how we respond and vice versa. Most of us would agree that we categorize the people in our lives based on the personal connection and vibe we share. Those whose personalities don’t match ours usually are the ones we dislike. But although first-impressions say a lot about a person, we shouldn’t put our biases as the foundation of how we see and interact with him/her.
USING PAST EXPERIENCE AS AN EXCUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR
Many people think the chips on their shoulders serve as licenses to get away with being rude. Usually, the people fond of using their past traumas as excuses are those who play the victim. All their lives, they’ve been using this ‘card’ so people would cut them some slack or be more understanding of them because “they’ve been through so much.” The toxic world owes them unlimited patience and compassion because they’re the unlucky ones. Sometimes, even when we haven’t experienced shocking experiences in our life (thank God), we make up some kind of excuse to escape from the responsibility.
EXPECTING KINDNESS FROM OTHER PEOPLE WITHOUT RECIPROCATING IT
Kindness isn’t something you can buy, trade, or negotiate. It’s a selfless act done wholeheartedly by a person without expecting anything in return. To accumulate the impact of kindness to more people, it has to be paid forward through reciprocation. However, not everyone has this principle in life. Sadly, even if you are the type of person who exercises kindness to everyone around him, you have no right to expect the same degree of kindness back to you.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t going to be good to you just because you’re kind. Although disappointing, let this not be a reason to stop showering generosity and sympathy. When you do meet someone with a pure heart as yours, you will be rewarded a million fold. You will be showered with countless blessings because you remained to be altruistic despite the evil around.
However, this good karma doesn’t come to you if you don’t show kindness first. As the popular saying goes, what goes around comes back around. You can’t control how people behave and react to something no matter how good your intentions are. Some have the audacity to demand respect from the people they mistreated.
They rub your flaws to your face (as if you don’t already notice them) and make you feel bad for not being nice to them when they haven’t been the slightest bit nice to you either. This type of behavior is toxic and ill-mannered because it screams a lot about entitlement. The way some people live life with the kind of mentality where they’re superior to other sickens me (and I’m pretty sure it upsets you too.)
If you have this kind of behavior, remove that victim mentality immediately and take responsibility for your life. What you give out to the world is what you get back no matter how highly you think you deserve. If you can’t treat people with basic decency and respect, you’re not getting any from anybody. The world will not adjust to your traumas and insecurities no matter how much you whine about it.
INTENTIONALLY OFFENDING OTHERS FOR THE EXCUSE OF “BEING HONEST”
We’re all guilty of making others feel bad for their choices just because we disagree with them. Somehow, we tend to filter other people’s opinions and actions accustomed to ours. Life gets more challenging in our twenties, and over time, it causes us to grow selfish. We have been hurt and compromised for so long that we’re desperate to regain control at any chance we get. It’s why we only think about how we feel and how others must behave around us.
Sometimes, the pain we feel is too great that we forget others are suffering too. When we feel bad for (un)intentionally hurting someone, we tell them they should be thankful because it was the truth. Well, that’s not necessarily always the case; it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Although the burden also falls on the person receiving the honest remark, don’t be too petty to use honesty as an excuse for bad manners and pessimism.
Honesty, almost all the time, is better than a lie, but there is more than one way to get your point across without being blatantly rude. You can frame your phrases in a way where the brutal truth is delivered without offending them just for the sake of it. Keep in mind that it’s not a justifiable reason that you’ve experienced the same treatment from others. If you truly know how it feels to be insulted, you would have the decency to care.
WISHING BAD KARMA FOR OTHERS
The bad force strong enough to make us wish bad karma for others is jealousy. We do this after we place ourselves on long, resentful hours of comparison to everyone. We feel so deeply insecure that we think the world being unfair is a personal attack on us. There is no fair playing field for everyone because we are all different in many ways.
When we turn bitter for someone else’s success, we say things like, “I wish she’d get sick,” or “I hope she’ll fail next time.” Sometimes, we can’t help it. Sometimes, we say things we don’t mean to justify our failed attempts. In our head, we make up a false sense of world where we’re superior to the people we’re insecure about in real life. It’s the only place we can stroke our ego because we have no self-esteem left to show our faces.
Wishing bad karma is not only toxic but also cruel. There’s nothing more graceless than hoping somebody’s parents get divorces or any horrible event to befall on her because of your jealousy. “They’re just thoughts” does not justify the toxic behavior. Even if you don’t actually do something to her, the vulgar thoughts you have of her will eventually manifest in your actions. Your deepest insecurities will reveal themselves unconsciously because of the negativity you’re breeding.
The more you’re wishing bad karma to happen to someone, you’re not going to notice your actions slowly turning volatile to yourself and those around you. At the end of the day, this will affect you more than it will to that other person. Imagine having so much vested interests that you constantly feed the delusion in your head that your needs are the only things that matter.
Desiring something awful to happen to others won’t increase your chances of growing. It will not make you feel any better nor will it make them vulnerable to you. If you want to achieve success in life, be mature enough to accept that there will always be people better than you. Instead of competing with other people, take the challenge to improve yourself and focus on your growth.
TAKING CREDIT FROM ANOTHER PERSON’S HARD WORK
As someone who’s had experienced this numerous times throughout my life, I would say this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I don’t understand how people dare to claim something that isn’t theirs and shamelessly announce it to everyone. I believe people with this kind of attitude has a different, more intense degree of people-pleasing. They get little to no attention from important people around them that they go out of their way to get them noticed. This is why some put themselves in an embarrassing situation because somehow, they’ve completely abandoned the feeling of shame and replaced it with this relentless need for validation.
Clearly, this toxic behavior is quite common, especially in the blogging industry. Some take advantage of the free availability and easy accessibility of information to the point where they plagiarize someone else’s content and think they can get away with it. When we feel unappreciated, we go out of our way to feel a sense of belongingness and approval from people we care about. Sometimes, we even reach the point of taking credit for other people’s work. In this case, not acknowledging the credit of someone is just as insulting and wrong as taking the credit for yourself.
You have no idea what someone has gone through to come up with such output or intention for you to just sabotage it. Their sacrifices aren’t supposed to be overlooked to cater to your measly and selfish wants. Sad to say, these kind of people think taking credit for someone else’s hard work can compensate their lack of self-respect for themselves.
ENABLING THE “I WON’T CHANGE WHO I AM” MENTALITY
Having this mentality screams “my ego is more too important than other people’s feelings.” This speaks about how one highly perceives himself as superior to others because he insists his beliefs and principles are right and those that contradict are on the wrong side. People who have this mentality is too stubborn and naïve to understand that sometimes it’s not a matter of changing who you are, but your behavior in response to others’ actions. You can believe what you believe and also respect some people’s choices on how they want to live their lives. The problem begins when one imposes and controls what others should be doing just because they feel uncomfortable.
It’s difficult to get along with this kind of attitude as it’s suffocating to keep on extending your patience when what they truly deserve is one hard slap of reality. People like this are a piece of work, and having a relationship with them is close to impossible. This makes you toxic because you don’t want to deal with people correcting you for your bad behavior. It makes you a hypocrite to expect others to compromise for your actions when you’re the one not compromising for them. You think the world revolves around you that you must get your way all the time. Ironically, people with an “I won’t change who I am” mentality are the ones quickly getting into relationships left and right even when they’re mentally and emotionally stable to be in one.
MAKING OTHERS FEEL BAD FOR THEIR HAPPINESS
Feeling a little jealousy is normal, but these tiny feelings shouldn’t be left unchecked. We often do this when there’s nothing much going on in our lives and suddenly someone gets great news. Our anger gets projected onto them for something that doesn’t involve them, yet they end up feeling regret for even opening up to us in the first place. Our frustration is translated to words of discouragement to others just because we couldn’t handle rejection well. Making others feel bad for something they’re excited about is just plain rude. It automatically makes someone feel unimportant and irrelevant—feelings nobody wants to feel at all.
You may not know exactly what this one thing means to someone and just don’t care, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay to rain on their parade. It costs nothing to put on a happy smile and say, “I’m happy for you” after being told of their good news. Some people are too miserable with themselves that they would discredit any form of success or happiness other people experience. They didn’t get what they want so they want other people to not get theirs too. Instead of shitting on their happiness, listen and support them. Help them out with small pieces of advice if you have something useful to say. Instead of discouraging them, be the kind soul they gain inspiration from.
INVALIDATING PEOPLE’S FEELINGS
Feeling a little jealousy is normal, but these tiny feelings shouldn’t be left unchecked. We often do this when there’s nothing much going on in our lives and suddenly someone gets great news. Our anger gets projected onto them for something that doesn’t involve them, yet they end up feeling regret for even opening up to us in the first place. Our frustration is translated to words of discouragement to others just because we couldn’t handle rejection well. Making others feel bad for something they’re excited about is just plain rude. It automatically makes someone feel unimportant and irrelevant—feelings nobody wants to feel at all. You may not know exactly what this one thing means to someone and just don’t care, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay to rain on their parade.
It costs nothing to put on a happy smile and say, “I’m happy for you” after being told of their good news. Some people are too miserable with themselves that they would discredit any form of success or happiness other people experience. They didn’t get what they want so they want other people to not get theirs too. Instead of shitting on their happiness, listen and support them. Help them out with small pieces of advice if you have something useful to say. Instead of bursting their bubble, be the kind soul they gain inspiration from.
There’s nothing more crippling than sharing great news to someone only to not be given the same energy back. Reciprocation is key to a stable and healthy support system. Just because their success doesn’t mean anything to you, that doesn’t mean it’s right to spit all over it. Other people’s dreams may not be something you care about but showing at least an ounce of happiness for them can go a long way.
Telling them you’re proud of their achievements and how far they’ve come can do wonders to their self-esteem. Whether it’s an achievement in school or at work, it still counts the same. There’s no use in comparing accomplishments because it varies in so many levels for different people — according to meaning, purpose, competence, and the like. It’s the same idea when a student expresses his exhaustion from school and you invalidate his tiredness because you think you have bigger reasons to be tired.
Invalidating other people’s feelings is like dictating how one should feel, thus making them feel invisible and unimportant in their own lives. It’s like taking away their freedom to express their feelings and forcing it to meet your expectations. The worst part is, we don’t even know when we’re doing this. Sometimes, we’re unaware of us crushing another person’s spirit and drive to achieve his dreams simply by not paying attention to what he has to say.
THINKING ONLY ABOUT YOURSELF
Since we all coexist in this world, it’s essential to heed the needs of every person when making collective decisions. Everybody must compromise, participate, and act according to his role. At certain times, we must put others’ needs before ours. Unfortunately, many people don’t think this way. Some put themselves in higher regard, on a higher pedestal than the rest. It’s natural for a person to think about himself first, but your concern should extend to other people too. Some are quick to pass judgment when others express feelings or suggestions that don’t coincide with theirs.
Even worse, some discourage those who want to change the current situation because they have no interest in changing a condition that already favors them. There’s no reason for you to cancel out the pain others might be feeling just because you think you have it harder. It makes you toxic when you undermine the strength and endurance of others. It makes you toxic when your selfishness affects other people’s well-being. Unless you learn to be a cooperative team member, no one will be on your side when you’re in unfavorable circumstances.
All of us are capable of doing these negative habits because we are vulnerable to greed and selfishness. As we grow older, we learn new things, including negative traits and behavior. We have taken and developed these toxic habits from our experiences and relationships with different people in the past.
Learning this is not inherently our fault; we may not have known better before. We may have unconsciously picked it up somewhere, from a traumatic experience or a conversation with a friend. Unfortunately, once these negative habits are hardwired in our system, it becomes harder to unlearn and completely remove them.
Even worse, we may get so used to these habits that we don’t even notice the damage they cause in our relationships. When this happens, remember that you can’t take back the mistake you’ve done, but you can develop a more respectful approach to repair these relationships and improve the overall outlook in your life.
“Start with changing behaviors, not mindsets. It is much easier to ‘act your way into new thinking’ than to ‘think your way into new actions.’ Recurring and consistent performance results from behavior change will lead to lasting changes in the way people feel, think, and believe in the long run.”Jon Katzenbach