Five things to consider before taking on the “behavior detox”

As part of some personal work I’m doing on my life there’s been some work done on correcting toxic behaviors.  I know I have some seriously toxic behaviors (need for validation chief among them) but there are so many blogs and articles about toxic behaviors, it’s easy to beat yourself up over it.  So I’m gonna try to give five suggestions to think about before embarking on that “detox” quest:

Remember that nobody is perfect.  We are all flawed and toxic on some level.  That’s what humans are because we are imperfect creatures.  The key to a so-called “detox” is self-kindness and – spoiler alert – that is what so many of us have trouble with.  Believe it or not, you might not be all that toxic.

Cast stones at yourself first.  Before calling someone else toxic, it’s wise to ask yourself if they are reflecting in you qualities which you find abhorrent.  Yes helping someone to see the error of their ways is wonderful, but don’t take the “I don’t sugar coat” route if you aren’t prepared to have some rocks slung back at you.  After all, it’s easy to make mountains out of molehills when you don’t want to face your own inner demons.

Remember the flip side to the Law of Attraction.     The ever popular notion of “like attracts like” is true.  Wealth attracts wealth.  Positivity attracts positivity.  There is a shadow side.  Toxicity attracts toxicity.  If you are screaming someone is toxic, chances are you have a toxicity of your own which is drawing them like flies to a shitpile.  Look yourself in the mirror and see what’s going on.  You might be surprised why you drew that person into your life and it’s often a toxic behavior of your own.

Lose the absolutism.  Not everything in life is black or white.  What looks toxic to you may be perfectly natural to someone else.  What may be completely out of whack to another may seem like happy land to you.  Perspective changes things as does point of view.  If someone is looking for validation because they never received it as a child, or because they were teased relentlessly growing up, does that make them toxic?  To some yes to others not at all.  Look at all sides before deciding.

Remember how you view and treat others is a reflection of yourself.  Ask yourself if how you handle people or talk about people is how you want to be treated.  Granted we are all imperfect and make mistakes, gossip and gripe.  It’s human nature.  The question becomes whether we complain despite good fortune or if we are so concerned with putting up a front or act we forget that being authentic is more important.  It’s easy to want to be around someone when life is good; the real crunch comes when that person is down to nothing and acts toxic but it’s the result of life tossing them a rough go. That’s when you got to decide between what’s right and what’s correct.  It’s not an easy choice but it’s also very personal and choice one must live with, regardless of the outcome.

Finally, please stop taking every blog as gospel.  We all have opinions and everyone is different.  One blog could be a magic bullet to you, but the next could be a bitter pill.  Think for yourself, be gentle with yourself and above all, learn to accept you for you.  It’s not easy but it is worth it.  And always seek the advice of a qualified professional before engaging in anything like this.

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