Source: www.bustle.com | Original Post Date: January 30, 2016 –
This is not a fun thing to admit, but I used to be a toxic person. In fact, my level of toxicity hurt everyone in my life and drove many people away. I was a master at being selfish and making everything about me — all the time. It made a particularly tough period of my life even harder to deal with, too. I was in the deepest, most depressive phase of binge eating disorder (BED), and I was unhappy with the overall direction my life had taken. But I eventually got the help I needed, and now I’m able to look back and see the repercussions of my toxic behavior without experiencing overwhelming guilt.
Even though this all happened a long time ago, it’s not easy for me to put this information out there. But as uncomfortable as it is to write about, I know it will be worth it if just one person can benefit from my honesty. Because as useful as it is to read about the textbook psychology behind emotional toxicity, reading about someone else’s personal experiences as a toxic person will probably be more beneficial. Maybe my story can help you identify some behavior in your own life that you could do without, or perhaps it will help you notice which of your friends are tearing you down.
Here are seven ways I used to be a toxic person, and how I recovered:
1. I Said A Lot Of Passive Aggressive Things
I was the kind of person who would insist for days — sometimes weeks — that I wasn’t mad. No, I’m not mad. Not like you would care if I were anyway, I would say to my boyfriend all the time. I would spout similar things to my mom and my girlfriends, too. On top of that, I would frequently criticize others in underhanded ways, rather than have a frank conversation about why I was upset.
How I Recovered: Therapy was my savior in this department, because toxicity can’t really be reasoned with. No matter how many of my loved ones called me out on being passive aggressive, it only stuck when my therapist bluntly put it out there for me.
“Do you hear how passive aggressive that sounds?” he said to me once.
I was stunned, but because he wasn’t someone that I felt comfortable fighting with on the subject, I actually went home and mulled it over. Gradually, I started to see just how right he was — and how right my loved ones had been.
2. I Was Jealous Of Everyone
It was impossible for me to be happy for anyone when they came to me with good news. I coveted my mom’s new car at a stage in my life when I neither needed or wanted a vehicle. I resented how good my friend got at Zumba, even though I hated it. My envy ended up seeping into even the most remote corners of my social life.
I wasn’t actively choosing to be jealous all the time, but much of my time was spent thinking about other people’s accomplishments and possessions instead of finding ways to make myself happy.
3. I Blamed Other People For My Problems
I was a champion at the blame game. I pointed the finger at my roommate for the state of our apartment, (which I rarely lifted a finger to clean) and insisted my yoga teacher was the reason why I couldn’t balance perfectly in class. I thought my life would feel simpler if I wasn’t the one at fault for the unpleasant things happening to me.
How I Recovered: Therapy helped with this, too. My therapist gave me a few tools to practice when I found myself on the verge of pointing fingers. Eventually, I started to feel relief when I took responsibility for my own actions. It took a lot of pressure off of my relationships, too.
4. I Attracted Drama
Written by Gina M. Florio of www.bustle.com