Having Toxic Traits Without Being Aware of It

Jade Augustine

It's easy to talk about having toxic friends and relationships when you're not putting yourself in the equation. The truth is, every person has exhibited toxic traits at one point or another, and not every person will be a healthy person to be around at all times.

If you notice these four traits in yourself, changes should be made.

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Never Apologizing

It's not always easy to admit when you were wrong--none of us like being proven incorrect or being told that we have unintentionally hurt someone else. Yet, when you find yourself in the position of being able to own up to what you have done and take responsibility for your actions, what is it that you end up doing?

Do you pretend that it never happened and try to forget about it, forgoing your chance to apologize? Neglecting to apologize to someone when you owe them an apology is toxic.

If you do apologize, how do you do it? Does it come out as a genuine apology? Or do you say things such as "I'm sorry you feel that way," or "I'm sorry that you took it that way"?

Those are not genuine apologies and imply that the person who took offense is at fault.

Other standard fake apologies include making statements as "I'm sorry I'm such a terrible person."

If you'd like to eliminate all toxic traits from your behavior, the first thing you should look at is how you apologize to others when an apology is called for. Apologies should not be a guilt trip or a way to deflect blame. An apology should be a way to own up to what you did and make amends.

Not Respecting Boundaries

Friends are meant to be there through thick and thin. They are there to celebrate your successes and cry with you over your struggles.

But do you find yourself picking up the phone and venting to a friend without any regard for how that person is or if they were up for the conversation at all?

Chances are, most people have done this at least once before, but if this becomes a habit, it can lead to your loved ones dreading picking up the phone when they see your name on their caller ID.

What you can do instead is let your friend know that there's something that you're struggling with and would like to talk about and ask if they are up to the conversation. This is an easy way to allow you and your friend to set healthy boundaries about communication.

Talking Too Much About Yourself

How much do you know about the people in your life? You may know a fair bit, but if you find yourself constantly interrupting them and making sure they remain a captive audience for anecdotes about your life, then you may not know them as well as you think.

In most cases, a conversation should be in a back and forth motion, where each person has an equal amount of time to talk.

If being a listening ear for a struggling friend somehow turns into you sharing your own experience in detail without letting your friend get much time in the conversation playing field, you may have some toxic traits that need to be addressed.

Always Being A Victim

The problem with the victim mentality is you won't take responsibility for anything that happens in your life. If you get into trouble at work, it was your manager's fault, not yours. Or if your partner breaks up with you, they're crazy, and you had nothing to do with it.

It can be hard to be friends with someone who has a victim mentality because they can quickly become very bitter about their circumstances without making any effort to change them.

If you've noticed some toxic traits that you have without realizing you had them, don't despair. The first step to changing the negative characteristics is to be aware that you have them. Awareness makes it easier to catch yourself in the act and make changes as needed.

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Jade Augustine is a writer from Fort Collins, Colorado. She is passionate about cats, dogs, entertainment, vegan food, and traveling.

Fort Collins, CO

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