Regardless of the form toxic behavior takes, it can drain your energy and suck the happiness out of you. It can weaken your confidence and destroy your dignity. Are you wondering how I know this?
Well, unfortunately, I had to learn it the hard way. I was in a relationship with a guy for two years in which I had to tolerate his toxicity, which, I can say, came in all shapes and sizes. And I know how much this experience was damaging to my self-esteem and how hard I tried to rebuild it.
But, this painful experience has also taught me a valuable lesson, and that is that if you establish clear, firm boundaries and you’re willing and strong enough to defend them, there’s no such person that can undermine your confidence.
Here are 6 toxic behaviors you shouldn’t ever put up with:
Gaslighting is probably the most severe form of toxic behavior. It’s a form of psychological abuse by means of which a person tries to convince you that some words were never uttered or some actions never happened.
This kind of behavior enables a person to do something bad or say something hurtful to you and then deny doing that. They can even accuse you of lying or exaggerating things and make you apologize for something which isn’t your fault at all. And if you’re not aware that you’re a victim of gaslighting, they can even make you doubt your own perceptions and logic.
If you know someone who often displays this kind of toxic behavior, you may think that they’re reserved or too shy to express their feelings, but know that you’re wrong. Because stonewalling has nothing to do with being timid.
It’s just manipulating, degrading, and controlling kind of behavior which is used when someone wants to avoid answering your questions, listening to you, or taking responsibility for their bad behavior.
Threatening is a common behavior for a person that has more power in some part of your life, such as a partner or a parent that makes most of the money. The person who often displays this highly negative behavior usually uses phrases, such as, “If you don’t do … then I’ll …” By verbally threatening you, they actually try to show that they’re the one who is in control, not you.
What you need to remember is that whether a person threatens you verbally or physically, you need to make sure you distance yourself from them, because if you don’t, they can greatly damage your self-esteem.
4. PERSONALIZING CRITICISM
Whether it is forgetting to take out the garbage or what products you should buy at the supermarket since you left the list on the table in the dining room, we all make mistakes.
But, when the person you’re in a relationship with begins listing your flaws, insulting you, and humiliating you every time you make a simple mistake, know that you are not in a healthy territory anymore.
5. DOWNPLAYING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
When a person downplays your accomplishments, know that this is because they envy you your success and happiness. They have low self-esteem and they have trouble accepting that you’re smarter and more successful than them and that you have a better and more fulfilling life than theirs.
If you know someone who regularly displays this toxic behavior, know that they’re not worthy of your time and attention.
While you may think that blaming someone for something they never said or did is unfair and absurd, unfortunately, there are people who don’t share your attitude. These people have no problem laying the blame at your door for something that’s not your fault. Why?
Because this is the easiest way for them to avoid taking any personal responsibility. When they gaslight you, it’s easy for them to avoid admitting their mistakes and apologizing to you for their bad behavior. And as if this wasn’t bad enough, this manipulation technique enables them to convince you that you’re the one to blame for their own mistakes and bad actions.