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Signs You’re Becoming A Toxic Version Of Yourself

It wouldn't hurt to check ourselves for toxic behavior through the occasional introspection.
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Unless we’re blessed with the power of being outstandingly self-aware, it’s easier to recognize indicators of unhealthy habits in others than it is to spot these signs in ourselves. It wouldn’t hurt to check ourselves for toxic behavior through the occasional introspection. Here are possible hints indicating that you’re morphing into someone with detrimental deeds.

You run to friends when you’re in need but you’re MIA when they’re the ones seeking for help.

We’re always thankful for friends we can run to when we’re in distress. But being nowhere to be found when it’s their turn to ask for support is not really a great way of expressing our gratitude. Friendships are a give-and-take relationship that involve more than one person. While you may not be in the proper shape to conjure words of wisdom for friends who need it, there are more ways to be there for your friends and show that you consider their well-being, too. Just your mere presence is enough to let them know you care.

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You keep your feelings pent up until you reach your breaking point and burst.

Holding your emotions back may be harmful, not just for you, but for everyone in your immediate vicinity. At some point, you will reach your emotional threshold and your emotions will just burst out—which can cause you to say things you don’t mean. Make sure to let your feels out every once in a while. Channel them into a creative outlet, talk to someone about them, write them down in a journal, but just don’t keep them bottled up inside.

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On the other hand, you dump your emotional baggage onto friends with little to no regard for their own mental capacity.

While it isn’t ideal to keep your feels to yourself, dropping them like a bomb onto a friend might not be the next viable move. We don’t all have unlimited psychological tolerance for the unfortunate events that make up our lives. Some may find it hard to cope with certain tragic episodes and require emotional support from people they trust, and that’s okay. This, however, doesn’t excuse you from unloading your emotional stress onto friends without probing into whether they have room for additional emotional baggage or not. Your friends may seem fine and completely capable of handling your issues, but you’d never really know what they’re going through unless you ask.

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We’re sure that real friends are more than willing to help you out, but the least you can do is check up on them and make sure they’re emotionally and mentally ready to do so. We might be relieving the stress off of ourselves, but we must also be mindful of who we might be transferring it to. And this shouldn’t just be one-sided thing—your friend may also need someone to vent their problems to. Ask them if they have anything they want to get off their chest and offer to listen to them just as they’ve done for you.

Other people feel drained after spending some time with you.

If you notice your friends or acquaintances slowly withdrawing from you, there must be something unhealthy hovering over your relationship that makes them feel uncomfortable and emotionally exhausted. You don’t have to force any sort of positive emotion if that’s not what you’re feeling at the moment, but if you surround yourself—and by extension, your friends—with a persistent negative atmosphere every time you’re together, then it might grow into something too toxic, and not just for you. It might be because every instance you meet up with them becomes an instant rant session, or because all you can ever talk about are the people you despise in your class.

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Instead, try showing your friends that you’re willing to get out of your toxic rut. It doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to rant or hate on someone anymore, but incorporating something remotely adverse into your social routine might be beneficial for you and the people around you.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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