Are you guilty of toxic behaviour?

Aoife gives her tips on ditching that toxic behaviour that may be holding you back

Written by Aoife Gray


I will stand up and admit that I used to be a toxic person. I was surrounded by toxicity for so long, I unknowingly adopted the techniques, thinking they were normal. This doesn't mean that I was a bad person, but a person with bad experiences and bad behaviours. To stop hurting the people you care about, it's important to recognise toxic behaviours, so you can stop them.

1. Being passive agressive

"Fine, whatever." "K." You don't express your feelings, but you say things that you know will make the other uncomfortable, or feel guilty.
You 'keep score' with someone. If someone is annoyed at you, you reflect it with, "Well, at least I didn't do (insert grudge here)".

2. Never apologising

A toxic person often feels like a wounded animal. They do everything they can, and feel wrongly attacked if someone questions their actions. It's easy to forget that other people have feelings too, and even if trying your best, you are not perfect and are going to do something wrong. The word sorry may never leave your lips, which will leave a nasty atmosphere.

3. Blaming something else for your behaviours

I will never forget the day I did this, because I was disgusted with myself. I was with my boyfriend, and I was in a crowded shopping centre and was very anxious. I ended up snapping at him, and afterwards blaming it entirely on my anxiety. While yes, anxiety did play a big factor in why I lashed out, I learned that I needed to take responsibility of my actions, and stop anxious behaviours that hurt people I love.

This is only the tip of a big iceberg, but how can you rectify toxic behaviours?

Communication is key. Don't hold grudges, keep score and pent up anger. If someone has upset you, tell them. It'll be out in the open, and the air can be cleared, rather than months or years of hostility being present.

Think before you speak / re-read messages. Look at that message, and think how it'd make you feel. Squirmy? Guilty? Anxious? Change it. Again, if something is bothering you, tell someone, rather than trying to make them feel bad.

Apologise It's what it says on the tin. Acknowledge that you're not, or ever will be perfect, like everyone else in this world. If you've done something wrong, you're not being attacked when someone confronts you with your behaviours. Take a breath, and apologise. 

Toxicity takes time to fix, but it can be done. Be gentle with yourself, know that you're not an evil person, and mend your relationships.

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