Thursday, June 26, 2014


Toxic Behavior

Summer is a time of reflection for me.  How about you?  I was reflecting today about a term I recently read about called "Toxic Behavior".  Hmmm.  I decided to revisit the definition of "toxic".

TOXIC - def.  1. containing or being poisonous2. extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful, 3. relating to or being an asset that has lost value.  Synonyms: poison, injurious, malignant, unhealthy, hurtful. 

Lord knows, I don't want anything to do with anything that is toxic. Is there anyone who would like to be described as having toxic behaviors?   I think not.  Do people with toxic behaviors exist?  I believe so.   Now, being honest to with myself......have I ever exhibited a toxic behavior?  Yes.  I mean, yes.  We all have at one time or another.  None of us is immune.  But most people are evolved, balanced, aware, and it happens only rarely in their lives.*

Toxic behaviors are damaging.  They are attached to a harsh word like "toxic" for a reason.  They can cause havoc and chaos within a group of people who work together.  We all make mistakes.  But, a person with consistent and perpetual toxic behaviors can make you want to retreat to your classroom or even find another job.  Toxic behaviors damage relationships, professional success, and the well-being of the individual behaving this way, and to everyone around him or her.*

* Quoted from "6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How to Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them" by Kathy Caprino, Int'l Women's Coach, Speaker, & Writer
But, let's shine the light on the darker side of the coin.  Perhaps YOU are the cause of a toxic behavior.  If so, know that you are doing more damage to yourself than anyone else.  This is not an easy thing to reflect upon.  The reality of admitting you are "the cause" of toxic behavior can be a bitter pill to swallow.  But the sooner you reflect upon it, the sooner you can neutralize it.  Keep this in mind:  toxic behavior is negative emotional energy in motion.  Whether you are the giver or receiver, it drains energy and adds stress to you and all who are affected.  

So what is the solution?  I wish I came up with this myself, but it was listed in the comments to the original article about this topic.
"Environmental pollution does harm biological life.  Negative, reactive, and defensive behavior does not happen in a vacuum.  The solution to achieving the right ecology is the generosity of understanding, support, and love." - Dennis Brinkley

Ecology....I love it!  Plant kindness. Nurture it while it grows. Water it.  Shed light on it.  Fertilize it.  But keep in mind....pestilence will kill it.  



  1. Such a great post. I hate to admit that I have been toxic at one time or another, but recognizing it is key. Thanks for sharing this!!

  2. Now that the toxic behavior is identified the next step is to identify the root cause. Just loving, supporting and understanding them will not help to change and overcome the behavior. Eventually, one or all of the behaviors will alienate the one recieving the misuse or abuse. The behavior needs addressing and sometimes professional help to identify and modify or change the thought patterns and feeling that go along or triggers the behavior. Cognative Behavior patterns are manageable and can be changed. To start with, there are some good self help resources and books out there which can begin the process of awareness, self help tools or counsel. Do you know of any of these good books?

  3. I think the Best solution is to look for the cause in yourself. Most Toxic people blame other people for their behavior until some one who really cares about them and who is brutally honest, tells them that they need to change themselves in order to stop the Negative energy around them.


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