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10 Quotes To Help You Identify and Avoid Toxic Behavior

 We've come to understand through social experiments and careful study that toxicity isn't only something that can come from chemical agents or spoilt food. The truth is that people can also be extremely toxic. Toxic people are those whose presence tends to focus on the negative. Their behavioral patterns often focus on emotional manipulation, harsh criticisms, hypersensitivity, and a refusal to hold themselves accountable. And toxic people can be found everywhere in both personal and professional situations. 

The first thing we need to do is identify those behaviors that show us a person is incapable of creating a supportive environment for you. From there, the journey begins to distance yourself from that toxic and unkind behavior. While there is no clinical definition for toxicity, mental health professionals have long since acknowledged the role that toxic interactions can play in any person's life, even if they are brief. 

Psychologists are not alone in this acknowledgment, and their views have been echoed by artists, business people, and numerous other famous personalities. These are a few of their quotes that will teach us lifelong lessons on how to deal with toxic behavior in any situation that arises.

1. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can defend yourself against this. You can’t. Just walk away. Don’t try to make your case.” ― Christiane Northrup, MD

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can defend yourself against this. You can’t. Just walk away. Don’t try to make your case.” ― Christiane Northrup, MD

This is perhaps one of the most challenging lessons to learn when dealing with toxicity, which is why it should be the first one. Author and women’s health expert Christiane Northrup explains that people that have consistently displayed toxic behavior cannot be convinced to see things from the other person’s perspective. Continually trying to reason with them or explain to them your perspective will only enable the toxic behavior to continue. The only way to put an end to it is to walk away. 

2. “If somebody is looking for a bin to throw all their trash into, make sure it’s not in your mind.” — Dalai Lama

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “If somebody is looking for a bin to throw all their trash into, make sure it’s not in your mind.” — Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama is known for these words addressing the innate difficulty that arises when toxic people are allowed into our lives. “Let go of negative people... They only show up to share complaints, problems, disastrous stories, fear, and judgment on others.” It’s important to remember that your mind is not a junkyard for other people’s negative thoughts. Do not tolerate someone consistently sharing only negative experiences with you.

3. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.” — Mark Twain

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.” — Mark Twain

The hilarious Mark Twain was not only a legendary writer also insightful and highly introspective. Twain observes that belittling the ambitions and feelings of another person is usually something done by "small people". The great people in this world are the ones that inspire greatness. Anyone that feels the need to tear down your aspirations is probably feeling insecure about their own and should not be allowed into your life.  

4. “Pay no attention to toxic words. What people say is often a reflection of themselves, not you.” ― Christian Baloga

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “Pay no attention to toxic words. What people say is often a reflection of themselves, not you.” ― Christian Baloga

Fiction author Christian Baloga points out one of the most important things to remember about toxic words - they are more likely to be accurate descriptions of the person who said them than of the person to whom they were said to. Psychiatrists have noted that consistently toxic people tend to be unempathetic and not aware of or interested in how they affect others. 

5. ​Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” ― Kamand Kojouri 

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” ― Kamand Kojouri 

Kamand Kojouri, author of The Eternal Dance: Love Poetry and Pose, further emphasizes Christian Baloga’s observation, adding an explanation to the need to create toxic words. That person is likely coming from a dark place and seeking to project their darkness on to you. It is important to ensure that you keep yourself above it.  

6. “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” —​ Shahida Arabi

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “When you notice someone​​ does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it.” —​ Shahida Arabi

Best-selling author Shahida Arabi deals with narcissism and bullying in much of her work and specifies the need for people to trust their instincts. If a person’s behavior is off-putting, uncomfortable, or negative, don’t wait to see if it was just a one-time thing. Toxic behavior should be addressed at that moment, whether it means confronting the person or simply taking steps to remove that from your life. 

7. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” — Anne Lamott 

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” — Anne Lamott 

Here’s another insightful best-selling author who seeks to remind us all that our stories, even the bad ones, give us power and strength. In her memoirs, she addresses numerous toxic people she interacted with throughout her life. While her recollections of these people may not make them happy, the truth is what holds the highest power. If someone is creating a pattern of toxic behavior in your life, you have every right and all the power to show them their patterns.  

8. “I will not allow anyone to walk in my mind with dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “I will not allow anyone to walk in my mind with dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Toxicity plays a major role in the lives of freedom fighters and political players the world over. It can take time, but once you experience toxic and negative behavior, you can learn to identify them in advance and take active measures to keep them out of your life. Do not allow toxic people to enter your life and consequently cloud your mind with negativity.  

9. “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

19th-century author and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson shared many words of wisdom but this one brings us to the core of toxic behavior which is negativity. A consistently toxic person will likely belittle your choices, professional and personal, and ensure your focus is kept on the bad. Holding on to this will only set you back. Leave the toxic behavior in the past and ensure your focus remains on the positive. 

10. “Don’t let toxic people infect you with the fear of giving and receiving one of the most powerful forces in this world… LOVE!​” — ​Yvonne Pierre

Quotes from experts and philosophers on dealing with toxic behavior and interactions, “Don’t let toxic people infect you with the fear of giving and receiving one of the most powerful forces in this world… LOVE!​” — ​Yvonne Pierre

Of all the many difficult things that toxicity can do to your mind, it can leave you in a state devoid of hope or faith in people. Yvonne Pierre, a writer and former victim of abuse, encourages people to see beyond the toxic people in this world. Love remains a powerful force that can do far more good for this world than toxicity can do bad. Losing your faith in love and giving only gives toxic people more power. The future is completely yours so be open to it.  

Share these quotes with anyone you know that might be facing toxic interactions

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