Recognizing Self Toxic Traits and dealing with them

Are you aware that you can be toxic and not know it? Recognizing self toxic traits can be a bit of a challenge to a lot of people as it is easy to see the faults in others rather than in ourselves, in this article, we will discuss some common toxic traits, what they are and how they affect our lives and steps towards healing.

Self-Toxicity forms part of behavioral traits that are self-sabotaging and may conflict with your surroundings from time to time. This is especially important if they’re affecting your everyday life. Oftentimes, we are quick to blame other people for the failures in our life, when in reality, they could be self-inflicted. It takes a mature person to look inwards at their part in the situation.

No One is perfect; there are always aspects of one’s self that requires change/improvements, whether in a relationship, friendships, or work environment.

One of the key factors in recognizing Self-Toxicity is:

Being self-aware – involves being aware of different aspects of self, including traits, behaviors, and feelings. By checking in with yourself, you may recognize that the problem is not always the other person. It could be you too.

Types of Toxic Traits and Ways to Deal with them 

Self Toxic Traits? How to recognize and manage them

Self Toxic Traits? How to recognize and manage them

Below are 5 Common Toxic Traits and how to recognize them and tips to cultivate a more healthy approach.

1. Toxic Positive

This is the belief that no matter how dire or difficult the situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. And while there are benefits to being an optimist and engaging in positive thinking toxic positivity instead rejects difficult emotions in favor of a cheerful, falsely positive façade.

The problem with this Outlook is that life isn’t always positive we all deal with painful emotions and experiences. These emotions while often unpleasant are important and need to be felt and dealt with openly and honestly

This trait takes positive thinking to an overgeneralized extreme, this attitude doesn’t just stress the importance of optimism it minimizes and denies any trace of human emotions that aren’t strictly happy or positive. This also functions as an avoidance mechanism

It creates a lack of empathy by leading you to dismiss the experiences of others, reduces the opportunity for growth that comes from a hard time.

Anger, Pain, and sadness are natural human experiences,

Coping Mechanism: Embrace Realistic Optimism – This is adopting the ability to balance out negative and positive things in a situation

An example could be exploring  a business or an opportunity in an area where others are blocked by risk and failure, with the belief that the future will be better than the past

2. Manipulation 

The Cambridge dictionary defines Manipulation as controlling someone or something to your advantage often unfairly or dishonestly.

Sometimes, It may seem like you can get more out of what you want by exploiting others, making them do what you want for your personal gain and not putting into consideration the consequences of their actions towards the people involved. Using knowledge gained to get someone to do what you want and twisting people’s words or making them feel guilty to get your way is manipulating them.

3. Sense of Entitlement

A sense of entitlement is a personality trait that is based on a person’s belief that they deserve recognition for things that they did not earn. In simple terms, people experiencing this believe that the world owes them something in exchange for nothing.

Below are recommendations to overcome this toxic trait:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Remember, you are a unique individual and you can accomplish your own goals and dreams.
  2. Take the time to think about things you want to achieve and make a list of things you are willing to do to make it happen.
  3.  Don’t be discouraged by temporary setbacks. If you fall, get up and go again. The feeling you get from accomplishing a goal on your own is going to be much greater. With willpower and determination, you can overcome this.
  4. Do something because it’s the right thing to do, not because you expect to be rewarded.
  5. Try and look at things from another person’s point of view, it can make doing things simply because they are right to feel like a good thing.
  6. Take responsibility

4. Toxic Cynicism 

The Oxford dictionary defines cynicism as

An inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism.

While cynical people are those who constantly assume the worst in others and in the world. Cynical people often exhibit condescending attitudes in conversations and often will tell you you’re wrong, even in situations you are more familiar with than them.

A cynic will never be fully willing to assume that someone else is correct to be optimistic or positive. cynics will constantly tell you your optimism is ignorance, and the world doesn’t work like that. They adopt these attitudes because they also take up this rhetoric with themselves. Every failure should have been predicted. Every success pales next to everything that is wrong. A cynic will avoid paying attention to what can work, what will work, or what does work. Cynicism comes from a lack of self-belief.

5. Gas lighting

This is a tactical emotional abuse to manipulate people by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them.

While Self- gas lighting — often manifesting in one’s constant, daily, questioning of self and a breakdown of confidence

Typical Signs of someone experiencing gas lighting are;

  • Feeling of confusion and constantly second-guess themselves
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Antisocial and sensitivity
  • Vulnerability toward the abuser
  • Defending the abusive person
  • Hopelessness, sadness, Incompetence, and a feeling of worthlessness
  • Panic attacks

Other Self Toxic Traits could also include;

  • Toxic Negative
  • Inconsistency
  • The need for other peoples validation
  • Lack of accountability
  • Being judgmental
  • Ghosting
  • Trauma Bonding

You may also like: What is the state of your Mental Health?


Change is constant, in a bid to always trying to improve on oneself to become a better person; one can adopt the following steps to purge out self-toxic traits

  1. Pay attention to your thoughts.
  2. Change the channel.
  3. Examine the evidence.
  4. Replace exaggeratedly negative thoughts with realistic statements.
  5. Consider how bad it would be if your thoughts were true.
  6. Ask yourself what advice you’d give to a friend
  7. Seek the help of a psychologist
  8. DIY – Self-affirmation/confession
  9. Yoga

See useful tips on the video below: