How to Identify If You Are the Toxic Person?
It’s a good sign that you’re willing to wonder how your actions affect other people. The most toxic among us are also the least self-aware. They are the last to admit that they are the problem. The closest to them like spouses, children and parents get hurt the most. Here are some signs of being toxic…
- You avoid and criticize people as a means of dominating them.
- When friends share parts of their lives with you, you pick out what’s wrong rather than expressing happiness for them.
- You are constantly trying to coach or “fix” the friend or family member with whom you have a poor relationship. You are constantly harping on why their behavior is unacceptable, but at the same time you don’t remove yourself from your relationship with them.
- In the past year, you have not once admitted to another person: I was wrong, I will do better.
- Many people have negative things to say about you, but there seems to be a consensus about what those negative things are, and you seem to make enemies virtually everywhere you go.
The main litmus test is this: Are you a consistently negative presence in someone’s life, and yet seem to always manage to convince them to keep you around? Are you at least somewhat aware that you’re hurting someone, and yet feel too afraid to apologize, or stop?
The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone, you are okay, but you have a lot of healing to do. Your toxicity in your relationships with other people is actually an extension of the toxicity in your relationship to yourself. What you have is not an issue with how you relate to others, but a fundamental trauma that is preventing you from being at ease within yourself. That is what you must address. You can enlist the help of a medical professional to help you, and in fact, you should.
But the first thing you need to do is listen. If someone tells you that you are hurting them, do not respond with a list of reasons why you are not. Do not deny that you are negatively impacting someone’s life if they claim that you are. People do not say such things for no reason.
You are not hurting others because you are a bad person, you are hurting others as a defense mechanism. That doesn’t make it okay, but it does give you an explanation. And most importantly, it means that you have to heal. If not for yourself, but for the sake of others.
Do not allow your legacy to end like this. Do not allow your life to be like this.
Apologizing is a start, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The work that is yours is to change who you are. It is time to be selfish in the sense that it’s time for you to stop worrying about what’s wrong with everyone around you and start really focusing on what needs to change within you first. The happier you are, the kinder you will be. You are not helpless, you’re just wounded.