Can I be a toxic person?
These are the keys to recognize toxic behaviors in oneself.
There is a lot of talk about toxic people, referring to those who have a negative influence on their environment and those around them.
It seems relatively simple to identify them, although it may not be so simple.... What if you were a toxic person and you are not aware of it? Let us see several considerations and reflections on the matter to know how to approach this subject.
Do you worry about the possibility of being a "toxic person"?
In spite of what we have just explained, it seems to me important to make a clarification and it is not to speak so much of toxic people as of toxic behaviors.
It is necessary to clarify this because it may happen that someone is going through a period of toxic behavior directed towards others, without this meaning that he or she must always be a toxic person. On certain occasions, when we are overcoming a significant life problem (a loss, an addiction, a time of various changes, etc.) and we feel unbalanced, in a situation of vulnerability, we may be acting in a way that makes it difficult for us to be toxic, we may be acting in a way that is difficult for our close environment to understand..
Our first conclusion is that, rather than speaking of toxic people, we will speak of toxic behaviors or toxic behaviors. The difference is also supported by the danger of labeling people, because when someone is told "you are.... ..." a burden is being placed on them a burden that is very difficult to get rid of and that conditions many behaviors in the future.We are not always aware of what we provoke in others and, as if this were not enough, we also tend to attribute to others a lack of empathy or understanding for some situations that bother us, hurt us or hurt us.
We are not always aware of what we provoke in others and, as if this were not enough, we also tend to attribute to others the lack of empathy or understanding for some situations that bother us, hurt us or seem unfair to us. The awareness that we are going through a bad patch or an intense emotional difficulty, will allow us to realize it and to face the shortcomings that we detect.
Personality traits associated with toxic behaviors
At the base of toxic behaviors we find some personality traits such as egocentrism and narcissism.. Both traits are not the same. The egocentric person tends to think that his or her needs and interests are more important than those of others. As a general rule, as we develop as human beings, egocentrism is reduced, since it is usually very present in childhood and even in adolescence.
The narcissistic person has a great need to feel the approval and admiration of others and finds it difficult to empathize with what others feel. and finds it very difficult to empathize with what others feel; he/she may feel superior to others, and these appreciations translate into behaviors that are difficult to bear.
The tendency to victimization is another indicator of acting towards others in a toxic way. This happens because, on many occasions, victimizing behavior brings direct or indirect benefits to the person who engages in it. It is the case that the events suffered become that person's calling card, a claim for attention and care. a claim for attention and permanent care and can even become emotional blackmail towards others.s.
Closely related to this behavior would be the permanent pessimistic view, or constantly putting oneself in the worst that can happen. The tendency to wait for negative events to occur and for the consequences of these to trigger more negative aspects is a tendency typical of toxic behaviors.
It is a common learning that we place more value on the bad than on the good around us, that the focus is placed on the negative because it tends to attract more attention and, in this way, we develop a tendency to self-lamentation, to a certain impotence or to generalize towards the negative with expressions such as "everything goes wrong for me", "I can't do anything to avoid it". This pessimism is harmful because it generates stress, frustration, tendency to depression, lack of assertiveness and other consequences that can be toxic towards others.
Another aspect that may be present is more or less frequent unhappinessIt is clearly related to pessimism and the tendency to victimization. Unhappiness is nourished by this catastrophic vision, by putting in value the bad things that happen and feeding the belief that we can do nothing to be happy, when what we have had to live is so negative. Unhappiness favors complaining, which is a highly toxic attitude towards others, and also distrust, which produces the same effect.
How can we correct our own toxic behaviors?
The first step is to become aware of it, become aware that we are generating discomfort in the people around us and assume it from the responsibility, not from guilt.and not from guilt.
Responsibility allows us to make behavioral changes, it favors that we undertake actions of improvement or correction. It is essential to change the focus and strive to find something good in our life, which there is. Learn to open your perspective and broaden your focus to see beyond.
In many cases it will be necessary to ask for helpIt will be necessary in many cases to ask for help, as much to the people of the near environment as to some specialized professional. It will be necessary to learn to accept the limits that put us in front of those toxic behaviors and to admit that this is also a way to obtain help. Whatever it is, it is necessary to face it, not to run away waiting for the bad streak to pass and the matter to be solved by itself. That usually doesn't work.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)