7 toxic behaviours we accept & consider normal—but they are not

what are toxic behaviours?

Toxic behaviours are actions or patterns of behaviour that are negative, harmful, or offensive to oneself or others. Toxic behaviour can manifest itself in different ways and in different contexts, for example in personal relationships, social interactions or in the professional environment. Examples of toxic behaviours include manipulative, invalidating, passive-aggressive, controlling, intimidating behaviours.

It is important to recognize toxic behaviors and work to change them, as they can have serious consequences for both those who exhibit them and those around them.

Many unacceptable and harmful behaviors have been normalized and accepted in our society, despite the fact that they are very harmful.

Here are some examples of behaviors that we commonly consider normal, even though they are toxic:

invalidating your own or someone else’s emotions, feelings, experiences, trauma, because:
others have it worse
it was a long time ago
it wasn’t that bad

commenting on the appearance, behaviour or decisions of another person in a harmful way and calling it constructive criticism (or invalidating the importance of these comments)

disrespect for someone’s decisions—acting surprised, ridiculing, noting that someone doesn’t eat/drink/like the same things you do and urging them to do so

feeling guilty or making others feel guilty when you need/need to rest

talking about others, about their experiences, emotions, decisions, appearance—behind their backs and without their consent

agreeing to something that makes you uncomfortable

being mistreated by your parents, and accepting it just because they are your parents

Toxic behavior in relationships and relationships is much more than big arguments or jealousy. It can also be much more subtle actions that you overlook that affect the way you see yourself and the world.

Identifying these behaviors and considering whether the relationship dynamics you’re in is hurting your mental health can help you make better decisions for yourself.

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