Self-criticism has to be one of the hardest things one would have to face. It’s messy and filled with bouts of denial about the way you treat other people, or even yourself. But, it’s necessary from time to time. It’s having the ability to look at the mirror and see your flaws as the toxic scars they are, instead of a reflection that’s pure and white as snow. It’s knowing that something needs to be fixed, and actually doing something about it.
However, it’s obviously easier said than done; perhaps you might find one or more of these symptoms below all too familiar to you. And really, recognizing that there is a problem is the first step towards fixing it.
1. You’re angry all the time
Every little thing makes you snap; your partner’s a few minutes late for your coffee date? You better believe you’re gonna be ignoring them for the better part of the afternoon. You let loose a stream of filth when the traffic doesn’t seem to be moving anytime soon, and you go to sleep with the firm affirmation that everyone is obviously incompetent and if it wasn’t for you, nothing would ever go right.
Newsflash: Those feelings of rage and self-righteousness? They’re totally toxic. Anger is unhealthy, and it feeds into your ego, making you seem like you’re constantly in the right.
2. You have too many acquaintances and not enough friends that stay
The problem here isn’t having too few friends. Having a tiny group of close friends is completely fine; the issue is when not enough of your friends stay. When you change friends like a piece of clothing, it shows that there’s an issue with the way you handle your relationships with other people, and not the other way round. When it comes to point where you’re celebrating different milestones of your life with a set of different people each time, then there’s definitely something wrong if you constantly rotate your circle of friends like a spin cycle.
3. You find it difficult to be happy for other people
This relates to the previous point: when you feel envious, or even worse, untouched and unaffected by other people’s achievements and successes, that’s when you need to understand that it’s toxic to undermine someone else’s efforts, or not even acknowledge them in the first place.
It is straight up selfish, self-absorbed and in no way conducive towards building better, healthy relationships with those around you.
4. You suppress your emotions all the time
Stressed? Exhausted? Angry? Once you start trying to suppress all those negative, toxic emotions instead of letting them out, that’s when you stop taking care of your mental health. It’s a downward spiral of constantly trying to get through the day without abreakdown that, more often that not, results in your emotional systems shutting down abruptly.
This, in turn, can go both ways. Either all of those feelings you’ve bottled up finally explode in one random outburst, or you’ll end up being the emotional equivalent of a robot. Either way, neither outcome is a pretty one.
5. You either blame everyone for your mistakes or you blame yourself for everyone’s mistakes
Being at either end of the spectrum isn’t a great place to be, when you’re either too proud to admit your own flaws, or you’re too insecure to believe that you do possess your own strengths.
Both situations are toxic because they both feed into the inherent deniability we all have and channel in different ways; sometimes, we have too much faith in our abilities to understand that we are simply human, and we mess up from time to time. And other times, we have too little faith in ourselves to understand that we aren’t the only ones who are human.
6. You don’t take care of yourself
When was the last time you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep? When was the last time you stopped thinking about work, school, family for at least five minutes of your day? When was the last time you’d eaten a home cooked meal instead of going to the drive-through for dinner for the fifth time in a row?
Being toxic isn’t just detrimental to other people; it affects your own well-being as well. One of the ways you could be feeding toxicity to your mind and body, is when you don’t feed it anything else but toxic emotions, actions and thoughts.