Recently, there’s been a surge of people discussing and exposing toxic behavior on social media and in their personal lives. When this first started happening, I was (well, still am) clapping my hands and even wrote a post on identifying toxic relationships; however, I’ve noticed that saying, “oh, that’s toxic!” when any disagreement happens is becoming more regular.
I could call one of my friends right now (I’m making this story up) and say, “I’m so frustrated! My fiancee never buys our coffee. I’m always the one buying stuff.” and a typical response is, “wow, that’s so toxic. He can’t pay once in a while?” But the reality could be he doesn’t even know it’s a problem because I’ve never brought it up to him, or that he usually pays for something else, so it evens out. Have I ever talked to him about it, or am I just complaining to friends? Now that toxic behavior and people are exposed (which is a good thing,) sometimes people are beginning to over-generalize situations.
I want to go back over some instances that might make the situation or person toxic.
- Continues to push back or ignore an argument or an essential issue.
- Gets information from you to use it against you in the future.
- Knowingly does something wrong, then acts like you’re the problem when you react.
- Blames you for everything, without taking responsibility for their faults as well.
- They lack empathy for you but expect compassion and kindness in every situation from others.
- Something making them the problem won’t be tolerated.
- Does not apologize, and if they do, it’s in a condensing or fake way.
- If you’re upset about something, they’ll become angry or blame you for upsetting them with the problem you’re upset about.
I want to put a small disclaimer that everyone has narcissistic or bad habits, so it comes down to the motive and if they listen. For example, someone may postpone talking about an important issue so that they have time to think about the situation and what they want. If this behavior is draining you, it’s essential to communicate that putting the conversation off is not good for you. What would make this behavior toxic is if they put off the conversation because they don’t care or because they know it hurts you.
The video below shows an example of reactive abuse. The older sister smugly blows out the younger sisters’ candles, but who gets in trouble? The little sister for reacting to the older sister. This is just an example; I realize siblings will have fights, but this is toxic behavior, and the older sister should have some discipline.
Here is another example of toxic behavior.
Remember to talk through your issues and to communicate about issues that are bothering you, but if something feels wrong, then it probably is. Trust your intuition.
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