How to Identify Your Toxic Behaviors

Oct 1, 2022 | Just Be

How to Identify Your Toxic Behaviors

Our toxic traits can be our downfall, and recognizing them early on is necessary. Do you know what your toxic traits are? Have you been aware of them? Learn how to identify your toxic behaviors and work on them in this post. Read on for more. 

How to Identify Your Toxic Behaviors

Sometimes, we are unaware of our traits and often think it is okay to behave that way. However, what seems alright to you may not be okay with other people. Here’s how you know you have toxic traits that need to be addressed:

  • Your sarcasm is on point. 

Modern comedy shows have used sarcasm as a means to make people laugh. However, that is not always the case in real life. Sarcasm can be an easy default response if you’re used to the toxic work environment or grew up in a home where this is a “normal” response from your family members. Or it could also be a defense mechanism to show others that you are not someone to mess with. 

While dry humor is sometimes funny, sarcasm is not. You can end up hurting others with your sharp remarks. So, before you open your mouth and say something “clever,” think of yourself in their position. 

How would you feel if you were on the receiving end? – Holding your tongue can be challenging, but there is always a time and place for this kind of behavior. Think before you speak. 

  • You always want attention.

Everyone needs attention, but if you need more than what is given to you, this could be a toxic trait. You feel like you need to be constantly called up, and texted to, or you need people “need you”. But if you are not being as supportive in return, this behavior is considered a red flag.

If you have heightened self-interest or the need to show off your greatness or achievements to get affirmation, then this may be an early sign of a narcissistic personality disorder. 

  • You turn every situation, comment, or feeling into a joke. 

There are hilarious moments that we all think are funny, but then there are things that are not. And if you laugh at an inappropriate moment (like at a funeral or found out that someone you know is sick or dying) then you may have to work on that. It could be a ground for developing toxic behaviors. 

However, this could also mean that you don’t know how to react to a situation or respond, so you want to end it with a “wholesome” reaction. 

If this happens, try saying that you don’t know how to respond to it or that it makes you uncomfortable responding. It would be a better response than laughing when it’s not funny, right?

  • You LOVE drama.

You crave the sob stories and the firing up of emotions. You enjoy the conflict, and you love to stir the pot to see what happens. A harmonious relationship is not something you crave, so you enjoy being at the center of all the drama. 

When you find yourself in this situation, stop. Rethink your decisions and take a step back. How would you feel if you were the one affected by it? So, before you start a conflict, think of the consequences. 

  • You believe that pointing out someone’s flaws will change them.

One of the toxic traits you can identify is when you think that pointing out someone’s flaws will help them change. While this may sound like you have a good intention, it is not. 

When you point out that someone gained weight, is fat, or doesn’t look good in their jeans, it could be the start of toxic behavior. 

You must understand that doing this is alienating and hurtful. Many people are aware of their flaws, and if you add more insult to injury, it will only trigger them to feel more ashamed or embarrassed. 

The best thing that you can do is assure them that you support their weight loss journey or whatever they are doing to correct it. 

Pointing out other people’s flaws will not change them overnight but rather destroy whatever self-confidence they have left. 

  • You like to manipulate others. 

Do you enjoy taking advantage of people? Is it easy for you to manipulate others to get what you want? If yes, then these are signs of toxic behaviors. 

When you find yourself lying often, exaggerating stories, bending the truth, or hiding information from others, you are a walking red flag. 

One of the ways to identify your toxic behaviors is when you enjoy manipulating others for self-gain. If you are aware of this, you can avoid this behavior by respecting people’s boundaries. By acknowledging them as someone with feelings, you can avoid this toxic trait too. 

  • You push your beliefs toward others. 

One trait that a toxic person cannot avoid is pushing what they believe in toward others. People come from different backgrounds, beliefs, traditions, cultures, and values. What you believe in may not be their truth, and what works for you may not work for them. 

Pushing your ideas toward others and making them feel that their opinions don’t matter is a toxic trait. Remember, you can support them, but you can’t force them to believe your own. 

Why Do We Have Toxic Traits?

By nature, humans copy off each other’s behaviors and traits. We learn these behaviors through people who modeled them or through life experiences. And sometimes, these experiences fail us, so we look at life with pessimism, fostering our negative traits. 

Despite all that, there is always room for change. When you are self-aware and know the causes of these toxic behaviors, you can also change to be the best person you can be. 

Your Takeaway

We are all a work in progress. It means that you can always work to improve these negative behaviors. Life is short to harbor negative thoughts or feelings towards others. It also ruins your relationships. So while you can, correct yourself. Do better!