Human beings are a challenge to figure out. We get pulled in so many directions. So many priorities loudly call to be moved to the top of the list. We can claim we have no need for others while simultaneously crying out for companionship. In this complex existence, we can find ourselves dealing with toxic people we desperately want to separate from. We can also be the toxic people others are trying to shed to avoid the massive headaches. It’s likely that all of us have been on both sides of that equation.
Ultimately, we humans are built to need other people in our lives. This makes it important to avoid being people repellants. We have compiled a list of 7 toxic behaviors that will send people running the other way. Give your life a thorough examination to see what applies to you, and apply the necessary changes. Then, if you have others that display these tendencies, you may to make adjustments in that relationship as well.
7. Taking everything too personally
It can be very draining to be around someone who thinks everything that happens is about them – usually about them being beaten down by life. While you definitely want to accept constructive feedback and desire some affirmation, you must keep outside opinions in perspective. You can’t get too high from the praise of others, and you can’t get too low from criticism of others. Also, events that happen in life are usually just events, not referendums on your worth as a person. Avoid jumping to conclusions. If there is a conflict, try to see things from the other person’s perspective, and approach any attempt at resolution with a clear mind.
6. Acting like you’re always a victim
Believing you are a victim implies that you have no power to exert and no power over the direction of your life. Your problems are endless and your complaints take away your power to do anything about them. While there are many aspects of our lives that we can’t control, the negative and helpless attitude you have is what’s controlling your mentality of taking action and stopping your progress of moving forward. We have access to far more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we initially believe. The world is filled with stories of people who’ve suffered terrible trauma in their lives but found the courage to turn it all around. Allow yourself to feel sad/overwhelmed, and then make plans to do something about it. Stop yourself when you begin to blame others for your misfortunes. Believe that you can take steps to fix the situation – regardless of if what happened is out of your hands.
5. Needing constant validation
Few things in the world are more paralyzing and defeating than attaching your worth to what others think of you. These are people who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over and over, and constantly want to win over everyone around them. Although the way we’re perceived to others matters to an extent, your entire well-being isn’t based solely on those opinions. How you feel about yourself is a much larger factor than we give it credit for. Make an effort to take time to grow as a person (find a new hobby, unplug from the online world, master a skill, etc.). Differentiate and focus on the tasks that are important to you — instead of the ones that are simply approval-seeking. Recognize when you feel yourself depending on others for reassurance and take it upon yourself to filter these toxic thoughts.
4. Obsessive negative thinking
How tough is it to be around people who ruminate and speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the scorns they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life? It’s incredibly draining. They won’t seek to discover lessons in what’s happening or take a positive view of things. It’s not a terrible thing to be pessimistic, but it doesn’t need to be a permanent negative perspective on everything in existence. It’s a mindset, and you can always change your mindset.
3. Lack of emotional self-control
Just as tough to handle are those that who explode in anger and tears over the smallest hiccup or problem. It’s not the grocery store clerk’s fault the line is so long, the one typographical error in the report one of your people submitted is not the end of the world, and the drink your child spilled on the new carpet was most likely not done on purpose. If you are prone to regular emotional outbursts, you may want to consider outside assistance. If it’s not that severe, just seek to keep the proper perspective on small things that happen to not go as planned.
2. Cruelty, or lacking empathy and compassion
This is one we see more frequently in online spaces. We see online regularly. People can speak with previously-unimaginable levels of cruelty toward others, hiding behind the shield of anonymity, completely forgetting that the person being attacked is an actual human being, with emotions, experiences, and a need for community. If you ever find yourself attacking anyone in this way, please stop the interaction, step away from the device and/or forum, and seek ways to build compassion into your character. No one deserves to be attacked in some of the ways we see being done today.
1. Being envious of everyone else
Envy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by engaging in it. Do not buy in to the advertisements that claim “everyone else is doing/getting this, so you are a failure if you aren’t in the same position.” You are not in competition with co-workers, neighbors or family members. You are only in competition with yourself. If you absolutely must have a comparison, then compare you today to where you were yesterday.
We live in a big world. It’s too big to go it alone. We need the help, support and companionship of others. Avoiding toxic behaviors will help ensure we are in a position to be a person of great impact.