Unmasked Toxicity

authentically you relationships May 28, 2024

To be happier and healthier, it's important to recognize and change toxic behaviors in yourself and your relationships. First, let's look at how you might be toxic to yourself. It’s hard to admit flaws but if you believe you might need to improve, you stop growing. Surrounding yourself only with people who agree with you can also prevent growth. Ignoring self-care, like not eating well, sleeping enough, or exercising, harms your well-being. Comparing yourself to others and always thinking negative thoughts about yourself can make you feel worse.


In relationships, toxicity can appear when you avoid conflict, disguise unkindness as being "real," or ignore others' needs. Signs of a toxic relationship include feeling unsafe, walking on eggshells, and experiencing abusive behaviors like gaslighting (making someone question their reality) and blame-shifting (making you feel guilty for their mistakes). Anything come to mind?


To build healthier behaviors, start by knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Listen to your thoughts and feelings and set goals for who you want to be. Balance working to improve yourself with accepting that it's okay to be imperfect. Consider how others feel and practice empathy. Physical activities, like dance or simple gestures, can help express and manage emotions.


Self-criticism is beating yourself up for your mistakes and shortcomings. It condemns you for not being up to par and keeps you reeling in shame. It’s mean. But self-awareness is knowing your weaknesses without judging or beating yourself up for it. It is honest and supportive of your growth and learning. But it’s not destructive or condemning. You are simply conscious of where you need help. It doesn’t elicit feelings of guilt, shame, or insecurity.


Begin to focus on some ways to work on admitting and improving your flaws — like identify one specific flaw and make a plan to work on it.


For example: If you often procrastinate, create a schedule to manage your time better.

Do you only surround yourself with people who always agree with you and are overly positive?

If you answer yes, then seek out friends who can provide honest feedback and support you through challenges. Have a conversation with a trusted friend about an issue you need help with. Are you neglecting basic self-care like eating well, sleeping enough, or exercising? If you answer yes, choose one self-care habit to improve, such as setting a regular sleep schedule or planning healthy meals for the week.


Making a small change in how you set and stick to your boundaries can really improve your life and help you avoid toxic situations. Start by figuring out what you need and who or what is crossing your healthy boundaries. Surround yourself with the right people who respect those boundaries. Once you know this, speak up about it, but do so kindly. Being firm but nice helps you stay true to yourself without being mean, leading to better relationships and a more authentic, happier life. By understanding and changing these toxic behaviors, you can create better relationships with yourself and others, leading to a happier and healthier life.


Tune into the Stacked Intent Podcast for Season 6! 

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