9 Bad Habits That Can Be Toxic To Other People & How to Turn It Around

The premise of toxicity is a popular one as of late. It can be therapeutic to finally understand why someone has the ability to suck the happiness right out of your soul, Dementor-style. Sometimes, it’s even necessary to ask yourself, “Do my friends think I'm toxic?” While the 'you do you' mentality is important to a certain extent, it’s also imperative to remember how many people exist on this giant floating green ball — the way everyone acts and the things they say can affect others.

The tell-tale signs of a toxic person can entail constant complaining, perpetual negativity, non-stop gossiping, a disregard for boundaries, and more. However, I’m of the belief that everyone, no matter who they are, has been the toxic one at some point in their lives. Every single person could use a little self-work — and that’s not because there’s something fundamentally wrong with them, but because the minute people stop trying to improve themselves, the ball’s no longer in their own court. If you’re starting to sense that people around you are getting a bit frustrated (or if you don’t sense that at all, but you’re looking for a few ways to up the positivity in your life), check out this list of tips to turn those toxic habits around.

If You Focus On Faults, Embrace Imperfection, Instead

The Gifts of Imperfection , $10, Amazon

The world has everyone believing that the closer they get to perfection, the closer they are to complete satisfaction. But author Brené Brown points out that no matter how much you get done in a day, you are still worthy of love and belonging. You don't need to be afraid of failing or constantly wondering when you can stop trying to prove yourself — you are enough. This book uses ten guideposts of introspection to help you cultivate a healthy, self-embracing outlook when it comes to living your life.

If Being Compassionate Is Hard, Take Care Of Something

Deluxe Heirloom Gardening Kit, $45, Amazon

It’s often said that interaction with nature increases empathy — your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This intricate gardening kit helps you start your very own garden, and keep it going for an entire year. It comes with 14 varieties of non-GMO seeds, peat pots, a kitchen shear, and a set of gloves, as well as a how-to manual that teaches you everything from planting to harvest. At the end of the year, you’ll have a whole bunch of fresh vegetables to show for your work (like cherry tomatoes, kale, beets, and broccoli), as well as some newfound nurturing and de-stressing skills.

If You're Primarily Negative, Rewire Your Thinking

Encouragement Bowl, $35, Amazon

This is a trick I learned from a friend, and it does wonders as far as giving your negative thoughts a makeover. Put one of these positive affirmation reminders in a pocket, or at the bottom of your bag. Every time you unintentionally touch one, you have to take it out, read it, and think of one thing that coincides with the words on the stone. If you pull out the “Appreciate the smallest things” rock, think of something that you've been taking for granted. Because they’re small and beautifully colored, they’re a convenient, uplifting reminder that you’ve always got some good in your life.

If You’re A Gossiper, Learn How To Control It

Shut Up Already! A Guide to Overcoming the Bad Habit of Gossiping, $9, Amazon

Gossip usually ends up back where it started, and if you’re talking trash behind your friends backs, they probably know it. Shut Up Already! gives advice to the modern person whose mouth often ends up with a foot in it. Whether you're repairing a relationship damaged by gossip or you're working on not venting so much on social media, author Jason Linton points out the different ways gossip creeps into your life and how you can steer clear.

If You Need An Outlet For Stress, Learn A Creative Skill

Learn To Knit, $19, Amazon

Knitting is therapeutic for a whole bunch of reasons, but if you’re potentially a bit toxic, it’s great because it helps you channel your energy and stress into something relaxing and productive. This introductory knitting kit comes with everything you need to make your own scarf, including needles and yarn, and because the step-by-step booklet is informative and well-illustrated, you’ll be knitting like a boss in no time. Even better, you’ll have a new gift-making medium, and nothing says “I value our friendship” like a homemade hat.

If You’re A Complainer, Learn To See The Good Stuff

Gratitude Journal, $10, Amazon

Venting is healthy, but if everything out of your mouth is about something that irritates you, it can be exhausting for the person on the other end. Taking time out of your day to express gratitude for the things you have helps shift your focus away from complaints and towards a feeling of contentment. This gratitude journal motivates you to keep a daily record of the things that (despite the negatives) are going great in your life. Along with lined and dated pages, it also comes with inspirational quotes and motivational prompts to keep you on track (so you can train yourself to be thankful for that job you have, instead of how much you hate the commute).

If You Need Perpetual Care, Provide Your Own Pampering

Premier Dead Sea Spa, $30, Amazon

While friends and family do care, no one’s going to make you their top priority every second of every day. When other people can’t give you the pampering you need, learn to take care of yourself. This Dead Sea spa kit comes with everything you need to feel loved and cared for, all on your own. The set has an all-natural mud mask, bath salts, luxury pillow, spa slippers, and an exfoliation towel, and because everything’s comforting and great for your skin, you can turn your bathroom into an at-home spa for the night.

If You Need Constant Attention, Learn To Be Content By Yourself

Guided Meditations, $13, Amazon

Having company’s great, but if you’re so dependent on attention that other people’s needs take a back seat, it might be time to make a change. I first became comfortable with just my own presence when I started meditating, and I began with guided meditations just like these. This audio guide comes with seven tracks that help you relax, center yourself, and ease into your own mind and body. Calming instructions make it easy to focus on the current moment, and beautiful background music helps transport you to a place of contentment and self-acceptance. For someone who’s just beginning with meditation, tracks like these are definitely the way to go.

If You Have Trouble Putting Things In Perspective, Travel

Scratch Globe, $20, Amazon

Yes, bad things can feel like the end of the world when they happen to you, but the world has tons of people going through things of all different amplitudes. This scratch globe inspires the type of travel that will help you put your problems into perspective. Underneath its foil finish are all the brightly-colored countries of the world, just waiting to be explored. Because you need to visit each before you can scratch them off, you’ll be inspired to pack your bags and head somewhere new. Reviewers love it because it’s classy, fun, looks good on any dresser, and really brings out the wanderlust in someone.

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