7 Signs You’re A Person With Toxic Traits & How To Stop

Signs you are a toxic person

When things go wrong, have you ever asked yourself Am I the problem? If yes, you might be dealing with toxic traits. Although it is not a mental disorder, some underlying mental issues can make you or someone else act in toxic ways and upset others. Here, we will discuss the signs of a toxic person, what it means, and how to stop being a toxic person.

We all are good at nitpicking and pinpointing mistakes in others, but how often do we do inner introspection? The truth is never because we fear the darkness within. Even the best of us show toxic behavior without realizing it.

This not only stresses others but is unpleasant for you and them. But why do people show behavior, and how do you know you are dealing with a toxic person?

Also Read: How to Find Peace of Mind In 40 Ways

Who is a Toxic person?

A toxic person is someone whose actions adversely affect others or negatively impact the lives of people around them. However, there is a difference between being toxic and behaving in a toxic manner.

When abusive behavior, hurting people, becomes our personality trait, and the person gets a sense of happiness, it is toxic. At the same time, when the behavior is negative in some specific situation, it is acting toxically. Sometimes, we are so used to this behavior that unintentionally, it takes over us. Luckily, it is curable with self-reflection and taking feedback from others. This helps one understand oneself better and be a better person.

What makes one Toxic?

Humans are copycats. We learn by observing others and sometimes pick the wrong role model. On the other hand, sometimes life throws a lot onto us that we cannot handle, making us see the world pessimistically and boosting toxic behavior.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you will be like this forever. If you are committed to personal growth, you can change this behavior by going to the root cause and creating a new, stronger person with integrated wisdom. As you start this journey, each step will be a victory and a struggle, so pat your back for even the tiny milestone you achieve.

Also read: What is the box breathing method? Benefits and How to Practice

Examples of toxic traits

Negativity – These people are cold and cruel and complain about everything ruining the fun. They pass comments on people and hurt their feelings.

Judgmental – these are those persons who judge situations, events, and people without experience.

Dishonest – Generally, these people lie and mislead others. They act by choice and use dishonesty as a coping mechanism.

Rigidity – a person who is stubborn, rigid, inflexible, and does not want to adapt to things is one with toxic traits.

No empathy – it is a sign of toxicity when you find someone struggling to understand others’ feelings and thoughts.

Business – One with a toxic trait of business believes in taking charge of the situation, demands control, and undermines others’ leadership.

Apart from these traits, like

  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Perfectionism
  • Manipulation
  • Lack of self-awareness is also an example.

Warning Signs of a Toxic Person

Overview –

  • Manipulates you into doing something you don’t want to do.
  • The person’s behavior is confusing.
  • Always look for an apology, but it never comes.
  • Feel uncomfortable around them.
  • Get the feeling of being judged when they are around.

If you or someone around you shows such signs, they may be toxic. This means it will be bitter if you plan to have future relationships with them. So, it is better to alter or break the relationship once and for all.

Signs of a Toxic Person

As there are signs of a toxic person, similarly, there are signs that highlight a person’s toxicity. Below, we discuss some of the common signs.

1. Sarcasm is the go-to way

When watching a comedy show or stand-ups, we often think passing a comment or being sarcastic is good. We may fall for it and believe it is the right way to deal with people. But the truth is the things that might look funny in real life hurt in real life. When you are at the receiving end, it hurts.

However, for most people, this becomes their default mode due to their profession or family environment, and they give remarks as I told you, See now, the same is happening. These comments are often exhausting, and such people create a negative environment.

To fix this, before you open your mouth to undermine someone, ask yourself, “How would you feel if you were sharing something important, your thoughts about a thing, and received such a response.”

2. Avoid dealing with conflicts.

No one likes arguments or conflicts. Hence, sometimes, to deal with such situations, you develop ways to get around them. In doing so, you forget beating around the bush makes you hostile and how you deal with such situations is inappropriate. Due to this, most of the time, you insult or are stubborn. No matter how bad the situation is and whether we are right or wrong, passive aggressiveness is painful. It is like cancer that slowly eats up relationships.

To fix this, try to have a conversation. They might look tricky in your head, but once you start communicating, things get easier. To simplify things, next time you are in a conflicting situation, ask yourself, How can I put my thoughts in a way that they are useful? You will get an answer which you can use to handle the situation.

3. Everything happened with someone you have been through it.

Relating to someone when they are telling you their story is different than showing you have suffered more. The former shows empathy, and the latter is competition.

Most of us are conditioned to see the physical signs over mental health. This is why when you see someone living a good life and still complaining, you think, how can they be unhappy? They are better off. Or sometimes, when we see someone struggling, and we’ve been through worse, we ask them to buckle up and face the situation as what they are going through is nothing compared to what you went through.

These biases are not good as they hurt the other person. Pain isn’t a competition, and you can’t say I endured more pain, so you, too, must. Pain is pain regardless of a person’s social status or lifestyle. When you become insensitive toward their condition, you try to invalidate their pain and alienate them.

To fix this, you need to understand the reason for the competition. Why do you think you have suffered more? Is it because this is how you validate your experience, or is it something else? Sometimes, being honest with ourselves is the best gift we can give to ourselves, and we can be a true empath to others and ourselves.

4. Take everything lightly.

We all in our lifetime have met that one person who will always be there to make a joke about everything. To them, the situation and its emotions do not matter. It is probably because they either don’t know how to deal with such a situation or are scared of ripping off the bandage and hiding old wounds. So, to escape, they make a joke about everything.

To fix this, you need to accept what you are feeling. If you are uncomfortable, say it and accept that you are not used to facing such situations. This is more respectful than laughing and showing insensitivity.

5. You are the fixer

Some of us have a habit of fixing everything or are unconsciously drawn toward situations that require fixing. This can be because we felt helpless while growing up or we like helping others. But this type of emotional support sometimes, rather than helping others, makes you distressed and resentful, creating issues. So don’t think it is your responsibility to help everyone. Probably what you see as a problem, the other person doesn’t even look at it that way.

To fix this, pay attention to what people are asking. Sometimes, they just want someone to hear them out. So, don’t rush to provide solutions; you might be creating a problem instead of fixing it. Hence, before you offer a solution, as do them, do they want to talk about it? Tell them you are here to hear them out if they deny it. In addition, if the person did not ask for advice, say, I have a suggestion would you like to hear it?

Remember, you cannot fix everything. Everyone has flaws, and you need to accept them that way. When asked for, only give a solution. Then, you don’t have to give your shoulder to every person you see with the problem.

6. Wanting things to go bad that way can receive more attention.

Change has two sides to it. One craves transformation, while the other doesn’t. It is because of the drama the pity parties bring and the attention you gain. You may ask for a solution but don’t want it, as nothing changes, and the sob stories remain the same. You might enjoy it, but the friends helping might feel bad as their lives are filled with negativity.

To fix it, focus on your actions. If you find that all your actions aim to gain attention, it’s time to stop them. Instead of looking for support, start mastering the situation and yourself. Think about when you were in control and move towards finding that person you have lost somewhere who always had a solution.

7. Pointing out flaws will change others.

Picking on someone never helps. The more you pinpoint others’ mistakes, the more alienated and frustrated they will be. Adding salt to the wound triggers anxiety, guilt, and shame, so rather than finding mistakes, try to be supportive.

To fix this, instead of saying you are fat, you can’t do anything. You can change your dialogue to I’ve noticed you are struggling with weight. If you need any help, let me know. This leaves the ball in their court and gives them the freedom to come and connect with you. 

Myths about toxic traits

  • People can’t change toxic personality traits.
  • It is easy to fix others.
  • People struggling with toxic personality traits are aware of them
  • A person with a toxic personality is bad

How do you deal with toxic people?

Now that the definition of a toxic person and its signs are clear, it is time to learn how to deal with them. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when dealing with toxic people:

  1. Look into the eye and talk to them.

As you notice the signs of toxic behavior in a person, instead of running away, confront them. Let them know that you know all about their lies and inconsistencies. Tell them their behavior will not be tolerated. This will make them understand that you are paying attention to their actions and are giving them a chance to explain or apologize.

  1. Set Boundaries

If the toxic person in your life is someone you cannot leave, set boundaries. For example, if someone has a habit of picking on you for everything you do, which hurts you, tell them they can’t treat you like this. Unless they change their behavior, there will be no contact. Make it clear that you will no longer tolerate such behavior and limit the time you spend with them until they understand their mistakes and work on rectifying them.

  1. Do not react

If someone mistreats, reacting similarly will worsen the situation. Therefore, before reacting take some deep breaths, try to understand the situation, and react and act calmly.

  1. Be honest about your feelings

Most people are unaware of their toxic traits. So, tell them how their behavior affects you. An honest interaction will help others understand their mistakes.

  1. Disown them

If none of the tips explained above work, it’s time to leave the toxic person else it will only cause you harm. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is to stand up for yourself and move out.

Final Words:

Just because we showed bad behaviors for certain reasons doesn’t mean we are this way. By understanding the root cause, we can change our toxic behaviors. Also, have empathy towards yourself and be self-aware. This will help you become a better person. Acknowledgment is the first and most difficult step of this journey. 

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