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.
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.
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.
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.
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.