We hear a lot about toxic people these days, and it usually means that you have a best friend that is no longer doing you any good. She whines all the time, she's never in a good mood and she never stops insulting you. But sometimes you're so caught up trying to remove the negative people from your world that you're actually blind to your own negativity. The good news is that once you know what makes a toxic person, you can see if that's the role that you actually play in your own life, and you can easily cut it out and become normal again. Here are 15 signs that you're toxic and need to change and soon. While you may not be guilty of every single item on this list, if you do only a few of these things, that will still make you toxic. These deeds are not only harmful to the people around you, and may cost you a few friends until you get your act together, but they’re also getting in the way of your own wellbeing and you don’t even realize it!
15 Putting Others Down Makes You Feel Good
Enjoying seeing others in distress raises huge red flags, but it doesn’t have to go that far for the behavior to become a little toxic. Almost everybody has that one person in their lives who chooses their words and actions in the hopes that they will make others feel small. Think snide unnecessary comments, passive-aggressive laughter, and mean-spirited jokes. Think your boss who uses her authority to talk down to you, and your “friend” who makes a sympathetic face when she sees how wobbly your winged eyeliner is. Giggling at someone’s choice of clothes may have you feeling better about your own, but remember that confident people already feel good about themselves! They don’t need these childish techniques to boost the good vibes. People may not realize that you’re acting out of insecurity when you do this, but if you keep it up, they will realize that hanging around you sucks.
14 You Can’t Admit When You're Wrong
Feeling a burning desire to win every single argument is a clear sign that you need to sort things out for yourself. Even if you aced college and have a higher I.Q. than everyone you know, you aren’t right all the time. You definitely haven’t been right in every argument you’ve ever had, and that’s fine! Think of the people in your life that make mistakes and then say, “Oops! That was stupid of me. You’re right.” Aren’t they wonderful? It’s a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by people who can be reasoned with, who accept that they’re human and are willing to learn from their errors. That’s not to say that you should become a doormat and crumble every time someone else has a different opinion but find a balance. When you know you’re wrong, admit it. If the damage is done, apologize. They’ll love you for it.
13 You're Super Mad 24/7
It’s good to be passionate sometimes, and of course, you're allowed to be mad sometimes. But when you seem to be angry 24/7 and you become worked up over the tiniest problems, you’re definitely treading in toxic territory. Anger management is a challenging problem for some, and nobody can help the predisposition of their nervous system or how their body manifests stress. Some will distract themselves in difficult times, some will cry and some will scream. Unfortunately, the screamers tend to make things difficult for the people around them. It’s hard work having to tiptoe around somebody, unsure which comment or which action will set them off like a minefield! It’s just not fair for your family or friends who want to feel comfortable around you. If you find yourself getting angry all the time, and taking it out on the people in your life, it may be well worth making an effort to manage those emotions.
12 You Ignore Consequences
“Every action has a consequence” is probably one of the first rules you learned in life, and yet so many people seem to completely forget it! Avoiding the fact that there will be an outcome for whatever you do in life is harmful to you, and isn’t too good for the people around you either. While a bit of spontaneity can add zest to any rut, it gets very tiring to spend time with someone who constantly makes reckless decisions. If the consequences of your actions are actually affecting your friends, they may want to keep their distance. When in doubt, just think about that remark before you make it and consider the rule before you decide to break it. Really understand what will happen if you decide to stay out until 5:00am raging when you start work at 9:00am. You know, you’ve also got your own back to watch out for!
11 You Aren’t Happy For The People You Love
It’s normal to feel a little bit jealous when something amazing happens to somebody close to you. You often wonder why it didn't happen to you, but that's okay. It’s natural to compare any blessing you see with what’s going on in your life. The problem arises when your hint of jealousy turns into an overbearing black cloud of envy that rains over the relationship and makes it impossible to function. Wanting the best for somebody is one of the highest signs of love and affection, so when you can’t get past your negative feelings to revel in the fact that your friend or partner or relative has just been blessed, it says a lot! Nobody wants to surround themselves with somebody who won’t be excited about their good news, and may even try to dull their shine. Instead of being that person, remember that you love the people in your life, and you want the best for them.
10 You’re Too Selfish
Every toxic person is inherently selfish because that's just where all this crappy behavior comes from. It makes you hurt and neglect other people because you're only thinking of yourself. Have you ever invited a friend over so you could vent them, only to have them turn the conversation around to their own issues? Or has there ever been a time where you really needed somebody’s support, but they weren’t able to give it to you because they were doing something superficial for themselves? Yep, there are so many disappointing ways for self-interest to become apparent within a relationship! Every situation is different as priorities change all the time, but if somebody you love needs you, try and be there for them. Listen to them when they talk. Of course, don’t lose your goals and morals trying to cater to others, but if you’re in any kind of relationship, remember to pull your weight!
9 You Think Only Your Opinion Matters
Empathy is a beautiful quality to find in a friend. You want to be able to apologize when you need to, and you definitely don't want to refuse to see other people's points of view! Being stubborn and close-minded makes somebody a challenge to be around, and if this is you, eventually friends and family might decide that you’re not worth the stress. Accept that different opinions are everywhere and there needs to be room for more than one. Try and stop yourself before you jump to conclusions because somebody is acting in a different way to how you would act. It’s true that this can come from a genuine place. You probably think they’re making mistakes and want to help! Remember that every walk of life is unique, and you never know why somebody does what they do. Rather than demanding justification, simply allow others to be, even if you don’t understand.
8 You Love Holding Grudges
Ever heard of forgive and forget? Forgiving somebody who doesn’t want or deserve to be forgiven is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but there’s something magical about it. It sets you free. It can take time to stop hurting and let things go, but if you can manage to stop being bitter, you’ll no longer have to carry around bottled-up anger, and revisit the problem every night before you sleep. You won’t be so stressed every time you know you’re going to run into them (because as you probably know, you can’t just make people disappear!). This can’t happen overnight, and you have every right to stand up for yourself and move away from people who are no good for you. But don’t let it eat you forever! If forgiveness seems impossible, aim for acceptance. Recognize that it’s in the past, and you can choose to leave it there.
7 You Live For Approval
Thinking this way may seem like the total opposite of being selfish, but it's actually very similar. You’re still thinking about yourself, your ego still has too much control over your life, and even worse, you need other people to endorse these feelings. If the only gratification you get comes from how many likes you can snatch up on Instagram and how many people comment on the dress you’re wearing, you need to acknowledge that your opinion of yourself should be all that matters! This way of living has negative effects on your life more so than anyone else’s, but it is exhausting to hang around someone that is only concerned with how they appear to everyone else. You won’t ever please everyone. Not a chance. Instead, why not live for your own approval? Remember too, that there’s a whole world out there beyond you, and other people’s perception of you.
6 You Don't Take Care Of Yourself
Neglecting your health will have you ruining things for yourself pretty quickly! Skipping out on exercise, continuously indulging in the wrong foods, and putting toxins into your body can be tempting. If you think hard enough, you can probably always make an excuse as to why these actions are acceptable today, but you’re doing yourself no favors. If somebody else did something every day to gradually ruin your physical health, you’d want to remove them from your life ASAP, right? That’s because, although it may appear sweet and comforting, it’s actually toxic behavior! It’s not just your physical body you need to think about, either! Be aware of the control you have over your mental health, and remove anything adding pressure. If sleeping in is causing you to be late, which is causing you to be stressed, do something about it! You can’t evict yourself from your own life, but you can take charge of your actions.
5 You Forget To Appreciate Things
Gratitude is important for yourself, and for the people around you. It’s easy to dwell on the negative aspects of your life and completely overlook the good stuff, especially if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, which is something you need to avoid doing. Unfortunately, this is a guaranteed way to dampen your mood! In the interest of improving your happiness levels and making life a little easier for yourself, be thankful for what you have. When it comes to your family and friends, it’s safe to say that dealing with someone who’s always negative is a huge drain. Appreciate them for what they do! You’d be surprised at the reactions you’d receive for taking the time out to say thank you for something minor. A simple change in attitude is all that’s required here, but it will change your outlook on life. Your relationships will be strengthened, and most importantly, you’ll feel a lot better!
4 You Compare Yourself
Drowning in comparisons will get you nowhere fast. If you can’t concentrate on the path you’re on because you’re too busy evaluating every step you take against a standard set somebody else, that counts as toxicity! Comparing yourself to others will never help you to thrive, and will never allow you to see all the amazing ways you shine. In doing this, you reject the fact that everybody comes from a different background, has different strengths, and different struggles. Don’t forget that you may not be even judging yourself against a real image! These days, it’s easier than ever to paint illusions of your life for people through social media. You can’t stop people pretending that their lives are reminiscent of paradise, but you can help yourself by accepting that even if they are in paradise, it has nothing to do with you. It doesn’t say anything at all about you, and you still have plenty of opportunities to prosper.
3 You Let Fear Stop You
Fear becomes toxic when it stops you from living your life the way you want, and if that’s the case, it might be time to do something about it! The golden rule would be to differentiate the fears you have in life that are rational, and those that are irrational. For example, you want to apply for a job but you know the interviews are face-to-face and that terrifies you. Every situation is different, but since there’s nothing directly harmful about an interview like that, the fear is irrational. Don’t let it stop you from applying for a great job, because you’ll end up forming a habit of avoiding amazing things in life when they get too scary. It’s easier said than done, but try facing the fears you have. Work out what the worst thing that could happen is (it’s probably less significant than you think) and just go for it.
2 You Forget Your Long-Term Goals
If there were somebody in your life who was getting in the way of your ambitions, whether they were holding you back from chasing a job, sabotaging your body goals or simply ruining your relationships, you’d probably get rid of them. What about when you interfere with your own goals? Of course, life is about balance, but if you neglect your priorities too much, you just won’t get there. And neglecting these goals makes you lose focus on what it is you really want out of life. After all, there isn’t much point in taking one step forwards and two steps back! Dawdling on your important work projects, allowing yourself too many cheat days a week, and deserting your relationships are all examples of delaying the journey to wherever you want to be, and the only person that’s losing out is you. It’s really a case of not trading what you want most for what you want now, and maintaining a little discipline!
1 You Chase Happiness
The belief that happiness is a destination is a venomous trap that too many people are caught in. If you ever find yourself thinking, “I’ll be happy when I have this” or “I’ll feel better when I look like that” then that's not the best way to be. While goals and ambitions are important, and it’s great to have something to work towards, there’s no reason why you can’t be happy on your way there. Setting steep objectives for yourself may work for some people and act as an effective source of motivation, but it’s toxic to seek perfection from yourself, and disallow content feelings because you feel you don’t deserve them yet. Give yourself a break, girl! It’s not to say that you can’t aim high, either. Aim for the moon and the stars as they say... but know that you can still be happy along the way. You don't have to wait to feel good about yourself and your place in the world. What's the point of living if you don't enjoy things?