Most of us can instantly spot toxic behavior in other people. But, we are less likely to spot that same type of behavior in ourselves. After all, that’s human nature.
Toxic behaviors are things we do that disrupt, frustrate, or harm people around us – and oftentimes, even ourselves. From our relationships at home to our work in the office, exhibiting toxicity in our behavior is bad news, and it might cost us a relationship or job.
And we may not even realize that we’re doing it.
Here are the seven most common toxic behaviors that will turn off everybody around you.
7 toxic behaviors to avoid
Being passive-aggressive – Passive-aggressive means that you’re indirectly criticizing or questioning someone else, and you might be surprised at how often people instantly pick up on this type of behavior. Resist being passive-aggressive. If you have a problem with someone, an honest and direct dialog will often solve the problem much faster.
Telling lies – Nobody likes associating with liars. If we cannot be trusted, then we won’t have many friends. We might destroy relationships, get passed up for promotions at work, or just be disliked by those around us. Lying is a good way to find yourself alone.
Constant criticism – Constructive criticism is helpful, but if you are the type of person who finds fault in virtually everything that someone else does, you might be guilty of this toxic behavior. For example:
- “He’s a horrible driver!”
- “Her parenting is awful”
- “They never get anything right”
“Before offering your opinion or guidance, think carefully about how it’s likely to be received,” writes WebMD. “Remind yourself, for example, that critiques of one’s parenting are almost never welcome. You might also take a closer look at what’s driving the pattern of criticism, and discuss with the recipient how you intend to change your behavior.”
Always being distracted – This might come from an addiction to cell phones (especially at the dinner table!), video games, or any other stimuli. Being distracted all the time means you’re never truly “present”, and that damages relationships and makes friends and family think you don’t care. Give the people around you the attention they deserve.
Believing you are always right – None of us are perfect. While we all have our opinions, that does not automatically mean they are always “correct”. After all, our perspectives, experiences, and path through life drastically affect what we believe. Embrace differences of opinion respectfully.
Complaining often. On occasion, complaining about something is perfectly natural. But when we complain all the time by making it a habit, we inadvertently set a negative vibe around us. People notice our tendency to complain. Being negative or complaining all the time is toxic energy that most people do not want to be around. And, it will hurt our relationships at home and job prospects at work, every time.
Gossiping. If you are the type of person who loves to spread the scoop about your friends and coworkers, you might be a gossip. And, this may affect what people tell you, fearing that their personal situation will get passed around the office or neighborhood. Be a trusted confidant, not an office gossip.