Does the 2003 Britney Spears classic "Toxic" speak to you like no other song? Are you totally unable to name your best friend's birthday? Do you make faces at babies on the bus just to see how loudly you can make them scream? You, my friend, could use some ways to be a less toxic person in 2018. Please quell your immediate urge to excuse your unpleasant nature with tales of heartbreak and woe — it doesn't really matter how you got to be this way. The important part is that with enough effort, you can learn to be less of a jerk.
The word "toxic" gets bandied about on the Internet often enough, but what does it really mean? According to Psychology Today, it describes people who are manipulative, unhappy, and critical. Many of their actions are motivated by a need for sympathy, so as soon as one problem is solved, another rears its ugly head. As a result, interacting with them can be draining. Toxic people are, in a word, extra — and not in a pleasant way.
Does that sound a little too familiar? Everyone has behaved this way at some point or another, but it becomes a problem when manipulation and self-centeredness defines your relationships. In the interest of making the world a happier place, here are 12 ways to become less toxic in 2018. They aren't foolproof, but they're a start.