Recognising And Unlearning Toxic behaviour

Welcome back everyone! so in honour of mental health week, I will be posting two posts (this one included) on mental health and awareness. So, I’m just going to get straight into it. No beating around the bush here.

So, no matter who you are or where you are in life, we all get toxic from time to time, and a lot of us have toxic behavioural traits that we need to unlearn. I know, you might beg to differ and say that you are the only one out of seven billion people with no sense of toxicity whatsoever. However, when you begin to open up your third eye and critically analyse yourself and your relationships with people, you might realise your inner toxicity. However, for a lot of people, it is not so easy to recognise their toxic behaviour, let alone unlearn it. Today, I am going to be explaining how to recognise any sort of toxic behaviour, and how you can stop it from manifesting and basically ruining your life and your relationships, so that you can finally be free mentally, and live a fulfilling life with nothing holding you back.

Disclaimer : I am not a psychologist or therapist, neither am I academically qualified to be giving such advice. I am only giving tips on what has worked for me in terms of unlearning toxic behaviour. If this does not work for you, I advice seeking professional assistance. Also, please note that there are some toxic behaviours that might not be possible to unlearn on your own. For mental illnesses e.g. eating disorders or personality disorders, professional help and assistance is imperative.

Recognising your toxic behaviour

  1. Look within yourself. I know, this is extremely cliche and almost expected, but it is not as easy as it sounds to look within yourself and search for your own toxicity. However, when looking within, it is important to look at certain things. Firstly, what is that one thing that always holds you back? whether its getting that new job or just trying to build a connection with somebody in the hopes of progressing in life. What always severs those chances of your progression? if you notice a pattern, then that just might be your toxic trait which is destroying you. Also, instead of accepting something as a product of your toxicity, do you tend to blame other factors? do you insist that you did not get the job because you are not attractive enough, or was your interaction just terrible? I used to do this all the time. When something did not go as planned, I could literally go to the extent of blaming it on the cosmic energy of the universe rather than just accept that it was a product of my lack of composure or hard work. If you do this, this maybe be a way of you psychologically trying to deflect from the fact that you have toxic behaviour that must be addressed.

2. Check your relationships with people. Try to analyse failed relationships and current relationships, and maybe try to find a pattern. Why did they leave? why are your current relationships falling apart? what is always talked about in your behaviour that creates conflict in your platonic or romantic relationships? if there is usually a recurring thing, then you just might have a toxic trait. Also, if you always blame the people around you for leaving you in all your toxicity, claiming that maybe they did not love you enough, or care for you enough to manage your flaws, again, from what I have experienced, it is usually the mind psychologically trying to deflect from your toxic behaviour.

3. Check the things you think about other people. Usually, people without any sense of toxicity in their lives tend to be happy for other people and their achievements. I know this may seem like a tricky one, because you can also have self destructive toxic behaviour that does not affect other people directly (even though it really does). But from my experience, when you possess toxic behaviour that you are trying painstakingly hard to suppress, this usually manifests in the way that you view people or interact with people. Picking people apart and trying to find every flaw possible to make their achievements seem meagre could be a sign of hidden toxicity that you are probably already cognisant of but refuse to admit to yourself, or could, in fact, be the toxic trait itself.

Okay, so now that we have maybe attempted to recognise our toxic trait, it is time to learn how to unlearn this type of behaviour. I will say again that I do not have any qualifications to be giving such advice, and I am only speaking from what has worked for me. I apologise greatly if this does not work for you, and I advice seeking professional help.

Unlearning Toxic Behaviour

  • Accept that changes need to be made. This one is quite obvious, but not easy at all. Once a toxic trait has been detected or recognised, it is very difficult to actually accept the fact that this toxic trait is very harmful and is doing you more harm than good. I am speaking from experience. I knew I had a very toxic trait within me, but I just did not want to accept the fact that this toxic trait was ruining all the good things in my life , and I just passed it off as “oh well everybody has flaws”. No. It is important to understand that toxic behaviour is really not acceptable, and to be able to see the difference between flaws and toxicity. A flaw would be pimples on your face, or being too impulsive. Getting unnecessarily angry to the point where you begin to throw things around, or self destructing relationships without even realising is a toxic trait.
  • Realise that sometimes you are the problem. Maybe you did not get that dream job or offer because of your toxicity. Maybe your friends or family left you because of your toxicity, and not necessarily because they are fake. Maybe your romantic relationships crumbled as a result of your toxicity, and not necessarily because they did not love you enough to stay. Now, do not get me wrong. I am completely aware and cognisant of the fact that relationships, whether platonic or romantic, could end because of the other person, and I am not encouraging you to blame yourself even when it is obvious that you are not the problem. However, being able to recognise when you actually are the problem is a sign of growth. It is a sign that you are taking responsibility for your toxicity, and therefore meaning that you might be willing to try to remove this toxic trait for your life, so that such does not happen again. Knowing and accepting when you are the problem is important when trying to unlearn toxic behaviour.
  • Try to catch yourself in the act. When you know what your toxic trait is, try to master the act of catching yourself in the act, and then try as hard as possible to stop immediately when you catch yourself doing it. This will probably take a while, because sometimes we become so used to being toxic that we do not even know exactly when we do it. However, with knowledge of what this toxic trait is and constant practice, it will become easier to recognise what triggers this toxic behaviour to manifest, and therefore being able to stop yourself right when you are doing it. It is definitely not easy, but with time, you become cognisant of this behaviour, and it will fade away with time.

And with that, I hope that this can help you recognise and unlearn your toxic trait, to live a more fulfilling life.

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like! Did this help you? are you toxic, or do you still think that you possess no toxic traits? are there things I did not add to this post that you think I should’ve? leave it in the comments! Again, I will be posting another blog post pertaining to mental health before the end of this week, so stay tuned!

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