What if I’m the problem? 5 signs I’m the toxic one

This is a hard article to write, but it’s important.

What if I’m the problem in all of my relationship failures? What if it’s me causing the tension in my work relationships? What if I’m the one being selfish in my personal life?

Over the last few months, I’ve slowly come to the realization that I’m not apro particularly pleasant person to be around.

To be honest, I would even go so far as to say that I’m a pretty toxic person.

It’s actually quite mind-blowing to be telling you this. I’ve never thought about myself in this way before, but the realization makes complete sense to me.

And it’s actually a very empowering realization. Because just as I’ve become aware that I’m the problem, I also have the understanding that I can be the solution.

So in this article, I’m going to share with you the 5 signs of being a toxic person that I’ve identified in myself.

And then I’m going to talk about what I plan to do about it. Or you can watch the video version of the article below.

YouTube video

1) I’m always judging people

The first sign I’ve noticed is that I’m always judging people.

I’ve done a lot of self-development work and have learned about living my life free from the expectations of others.

It’s mostly thanks to Rudá Iandê’s online course, Out of the Box, that I learned about how damaging expectations can be.

It completely freed me up and ignited my personal power.

But then something unexpected slowly crept into my behavior.

Because I’d figured out how important it is to break free from expectations, I started to judge people when they had unhealthy expectations of me.

And I also judged people when others had expectations of them and these people couldn’t break free as I’d managed to do.

I was always looking out for examples of where I’d managed to create the kind of freedom in my life that enhanced my personal power and where others weren’t able to do the same.

It wasn’t so explicit, but rather at a deeper subconscious level, I’ve been incredibly judgemental.

And recently I realized that it’s not pleasant to be around someone who’s always judging.

2) I’m arrogant

The second sign of being a toxic person I’ve noticed in myself is I’m arrogant.

I think it’s related to all of the self-development work I’ve done and my achievements in life.

I feel like I’m on solid ground when it comes to these things. And I’ve been judging others less favorably when they’re not on solid grounds themselves.

I’ve noticed arrogant I am particularly in my life as a single person. Lately I’ve started to think that it would be very fulfilling to enter into a romantic relationship.

But the dating game has been hard for me because of my arrogance. I’ve judged people against these standards I have, and because my standards are so stringent, most people fall short.

RELATED: How to humble an arrogant person: 14 no bullsh*t tips

If I’m completely honest, I would say that I’ve put myself on a pedestal and I’m looking down on people around me.

It definitely hasn’t been a conscious thing. This has been happening at a subconscious level but that’s why it’s such a powerful realization.

I think my arrogance has been quite hidden because I know one isn’t meant to behave in this way.

But the arrogance has been operating under the surface.

And now that I’m realizing I’ve been behaving in toxic ways, I can see how unpleasant it has been for people to be around my underlying arrogance.

3) I’m passive-aggressive

The third sign of being toxic I’ve noticed in myself is my passive-aggressiveness.

I’ve been trying hard to identify all the triggers in my life that could cause this passive-aggressiveness in myself.

I’ve noticed I become really passive-aggressive whenever someone does something displeasing to me.

I’m not even sure what exactly I’m annoyed about. But there’s a general feeling of annoyance and anger when someone does something displeasing.

I’ve got enough self-awareness not to overtly display my anger. But my frustration is still there under the surface.

And the frustration combined with judging people manifests itself as passive-aggressiveness.

Once again, this is a very unpleasant way to be for both myself and those around me.

It’s another red flag that I’m toxic.

4) I take things personally

The fourth sign of being toxic is that I take things too personally.

This is closely related to my passive-aggressiveness. I take things personally when someone does something displeasing to me.

This definitely happens in my dating life.

Now that I’m opening up emotionally, it really feels like I’m out of my comfort zone.

I’m starting to care a lot about how I’m perceived by others.

RELATED: 15 signs you’re too sensitive (and what to do about it)

And when someone doesn’t show me the affection that my arrogance tells me I deserve, I become easily crushed.

The same goes for when someone rejects me.

I take it very personally and judge them for being emotionally weak.

In fact, I’ve been starting to want to fix these people. But on the other hand, if I can’t fix them, it proves that I’m superior, because they’re obviously not as strong as me.

And they’re not even aware of their weakness. That then makes them unworthy of my time and energy. That’s the toxic mindset there.

I’ve been preoccupied with how others see me and I take it personally when someone doesn’t treat me with the reverence I think I deserve.

It’s a toxic way of thinking because it makes people around me feel uncomfortable.

And my pride is deeply rooted in this way of thinking. When someone doesn’t show the respect that my arrogance considers appropriate, my pride takes a hit.

5) I’m comparing myself to others

The fifth and final sign I’ve identified in myself is that I’m always comparing.

My self-development work has taught me how to break out of the old mindset that compares people to each other in a negative way.

One of the core principles in Rudá Iandê’s Out of the Box course is that we are all unique and we can embrace that about ourselves but also about other people around us.

So when it comes to dating, I’ve known at an intellectual level that there are so many different types of people and there’s no need for me to look down on them.

But even though I’ve been able to change my mindset, the comparison mindset has come about in other ways.

For example, I’ve been having toxic thoughts when I look at someone who’s not doing well in life and think about how much better off than them I am.

I’ve noticed this so often happens in my own mind. And it’s deeply unsettling because I don’t want to be this kind of person.

I don’t want to judge people based on who’s doing better or worse than them in life.

That is a toxic mindset, and it’s not the person I want to be.

I’ve always been taught that comparison is the thief of joy. So why am I allowing myself to do this, despite all my self-development work?

It just goes to show how hard it can be to break free from unhealthy thought patterns. And how important it is to continue the journey of self-knowledge and developing myself.

How to stop being toxic

So these are the five signs I’ve identified in myself of being a toxic person.

But I don’t want to be this way any longer. I want people to feel more comfortable around me. I want to have better relationships with my family and friends. I want to meet new people and even have a relationship if the stars align.

I’ve decided to take responsibility for everything happening in my life, including my toxic behavioral tendencies.

So I’ve decided to really embrace radical acceptance of people around me. I’m going to do my best to stop judging people and just embrace people for who they are – even if they’re the ones being toxic.

Along with the acceptance, I’m going to do my best to stop judging people. These two things definitely go hand in hand.

The third thing, and the most important thing, is I’m going to embrace radical acceptance of myself.

I think if I’m really honest I would say that my toxic behavioral patterns are a manifestation of the relationship I have with myself.

I’ve learned from the Out of the Box online course that the relationships I have with others are a mirror of the relationship I have with myself.

So I can see clearly that I have some work to do in fully accepting myself just the way I am.

I know the path to radical self-acceptance is a life-long journey. I don’t expect that I’ll ever arrive at a destination where I get some kind of pass mark for being fully evolved or enlightened in any way.

So this realization that I may be the problem and I may be the toxic person is just another chapter. I’m going to give up on judging myself for being toxic and just accept it.

The next thing I’m going to do is jump back into Out of the Box and go over the course again.

Because the lessons there have given me the tools to be able to self-reflect in this way.

And like a good book, Out of the Box is the kind, of course, you can do again and again.

I think I’m going to have even more powerful realizations this time going through Out of the Box and it will have an even bigger impact in my life.

I can see how much I’ve grown in the last few years and am really excited to continue the path of self-exploration.

If you’re interested in learning more about Out of the Box, check it out here. There’s a special offer to join but it’s only available for a limited time.

Let me know your thoughts below as I’d love to connect with you.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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