When we’re in relationships, most of us find ourselves monitoring them, or looking out for red flags, in order to spare ourselves the misery of falling prey to a toxic partner. We’ve grown accustomed to living with the fear of playing the victim, that we sometimes forget that us, too, can be the villains in other people’s stories. And while there is no shame in admitting having flawed traits that need polishing, there is one in refusing to admit their presence in our lives.
Toxic, is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days. But what does it really imply, and what are actions that you might be doing that could cause you to be a toxic influence in the lives of others? Let’s delve deeper into the causes behind the toxic traits that push people away, as well as how to stop their re-occurrence.
You take advantage of other people’s kindness
Upon seeing a kind hearted person who has a soft spot for you, all you see is “an opportunity” to make personal gains. You take as much as you can, with minimal appreciation in return. When their name comes up, it’s not their kindness that appeals to you, but rather, a “naïve” fella that I can manipulate. But when you keep taking advantage of them, they will soon come to their senses, leaving you behind for good.
You overly prioritize yourself
Some toxic people often feel that the whole world revolves around them, they believe they’re the hero of their own story. There’s a fine line between taking care of your needs and wellbeing, and between treating them like they’re the only ones that matter. You never see “compromising” as an option, and you never feel the need to get out of your way for someone else’s comfort.
You have a major superiority complex
You find it difficult to accept other people for who they are, and you will regularly criticize or judge others for their flaws. This usually comes from an inner belief that those around you are inferior, so you start rolling your eyes, curling your lip in disgust, or using a sarcastic tone with those around you, under the premise that you’re better off.
Your attitude with others is unstable/unpredictable
No one’s always on cloud nine, or in the best mood at all times. But when it’s the norm that you’re moody and have no problem passing this bad mood onto others, this toxicity comes in handy. You use your unpredictability to keep the other person on the back foot. You indirectly force people to walk on eggshells in fear of triggering you, because they do not know which version of you they will be dealing with next.
You give yourself excuses for throwing tantrums
Having a temper can sometimes be a part of someone’s personality that they struggle so hard to control. But doing so, while feeling that it’s legitimate and excusable, is a whole other story. It comes to a point where one wrong move and suddenly you snap and blurt nasty remarks, feeling like its the responsibility of others to deal with your anger. This is a serious toxic trait, that should be treated as such.
You feel entitled to hurt others
This is related to the point previously mentioned. This false inner feeling, that you are entitled to have/maintain harsh stances, using the most hideous of terms while speaking to others, just because you think they “deserve pain”, is only a manifestation of how toxic your mindset is. Not just that, but it is also indicative of the lengths you are willing to go to, just to spare yourself the process of thinking your actions through.
You threaten repercussions if people don’t fall in line
You’re nice and sweet when everything is moving at your own pace, but when you start facing disagreements or maybe advice, you snap. You threaten them with undesirable actions, or serious consequences. They don’t have to be physical, but maybe using emotional coercion, like cutting ties with a friend or breaking up with a partner, so you can get people to do what you want.
You never apologize or admit wrongdoing
Everyone makes mistakes and messing things up is only human nature. But it starts turning into a toxic trait when you are unable to admit to these mistakes and mess-ups. The ability to apologize and hold yourself accountable is what separates a toxic person, from one who is not.
You take the easy road, always!
There’s a communication problem with your partner, a sibling fight that needs discussing, or even a misunderstanding with one of your work colleagues, what do you do? Instead of taking the time and effort to fix things, you decide to break up with them or ignore the work/sibling issue. This is usually because you want to spare yourself the process of trying, in complete disregard to how the other person might feel about it.
You use tears to weasel your way out
That’s a less noticeable card that many play with, when getting caught into doing wrong, and they simply just want to get out of it scot free. You turn on the water works as a weapon to save your face when you’re on the verge of losing an argument, or, when you’re getting to a point where you need to apologize. Instead of holding accountability, you choose the easy road. This is not healthy, but pure manipulation.