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Freeing Ourselves from Toxicity Starts with Personal Responsibility

Whether it's toxic relationships, environments, or behaviors, we often find ourselves caught in a cycle that drains our energy, impedes personal growth, and hinders our overall happiness. It's natural to blame others for the toxicity that infiltrates our lives. In today's world, it has become increasingly difficult to encounter individuals who are capable of self-reflection or accepting constructive criticism without reacting defensively or becoming angry. However, in this column, I want to "make sense" out of and challenge this conventional wisdom while offering a twist: sometimes, we may unknowingly contribute to our own toxicity. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on our own actions and attitudes? What if we acknowledge that we, too, can be the source of toxicity in our relationships,

both personal and professional?

Understanding and accepting our own toxic behaviors can be an uncomfortable and challenging process. It requires humility and self-awareness. By doing so, we open the door to personal growth and transformation. When we recognize our toxic traits, we can take proactive steps towards changing them, thereby improving the quality of our relationships and overall well-being.

So, how can we rid ourselves of toxic tendencies and foster healthier connections? It starts with an honest self-assessment. Take a moment to reflect on your interactions and behaviors. Are you quick to criticize, judge and focus on others rather than yourself? Do you hold onto grudges and refuse to forgive? Are you prone to manipulation or passive-aggressive behavior? Do you lack conversational skills 101? For example, when you’re speaking to someone are you really listening and responding appropriately or are you possessing the toxic trait of self-absorbency where you jump to get the next word or blubbering thought out…completely failing to respond to the persons inquiry or statement. If any of this resonates with you, or you’re thinking about it, well it only “makes sense” that it’s time for a change. Don’t let your toxic traits impede on or sever relationships.

Once we have identified our toxic behaviors, it is crucial that we take responsibility for them. Merely acknowledging them is not enough; we must actively work towards self-improvement. This may involve seeking therapy or counseling, joining support groups, or engaging in self-reflection exercises such as journaling or meditation. Really focus on your interactions and how you handle yourself. By investing in our personal growth, we can break free from the toxic patterns that hinder our relationships and hold us back from reaching our true potential for ourselves and those around us.


Furthermore, let us not forget that toxicity thrives in enabling environments. By surrounding ourselves with toxic individuals or tolerating toxic behaviors from others, we perpetuate the cycle. Therefore, it is equally important to evaluate the relationships and environments we expose ourselves to. Setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing our well-being, and surrounding ourselves with positive influences are crucial steps in creating a toxic-free life.

In conclusion, while it may be tempting and easy to blame others for the toxicity in our lives, it is essential to recognize that we too can contribute to this negativity. Take a minute and reflect on yourself for a moment, think about what you can do better... rather than focusing on what someone did or does to you. Once you embark on the journey of self-discovery and growth, we can break free from the toxic patterns that hinder our relationships and hold us back from reaching our true potential of living a fulfilling, and purposeful life.

Wishing you and those around you a transformative and toxic-free future.


With Love,

Melissa Cassiliano

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