Toxicity in our world today


Carlie Massey

Sophomores Faith Jones and Olivia Arp demonstrate how to partake in a healthy, nontoxic friendship. Illustration photography.

Carlie Massey, Copy & Online Editor

Toxicity is a common theme among high school aged teenagers today. Whether it is being toxic to friends, family members or themselves, there are no limitations to this verbal and mental abuse. Being toxic is not cute or trendy. Being toxic is a habit that affects those around toxic energy in a negative way.

To fall under the category of being toxic, one partakes in behavior that can be deemed as harmful, unkind, or ruthless. The first sign of being toxic is that you blame your problems on everyone around you instead of shedding your pride and taking responsibility. Another sign is that you constantly talk about people behind their backs. Whether it’s your best friend, your parents or siblings, your teacher, or even a stranger you have never spoken to before, there is always something negative ready to come out of a toxic person’s mouth. The third sign is that you take more than you give. If you find yourself in a pattern of asking people for favors and rarely allowing anyone to ask you for help, then you most likely are in the mindset that the people around you are there at your disposal. However, asking a friend or family member for help every once in a while does not immediately turn you into a toxic friend. As long as there is gratitude towards their actions and you are willing to return the favor, all is well.

If you are a toxic friend, you will notice that you are at a loss of friends. Toxic friends tend to mentally abuse their friends, even if they do not have the intention of doing so. With that being said, their friends will grow distant, eventually cutting themselves off from the toxic friend altogether. Toxic people constantly have some form of drama in their lives. When things go wrong, toxic people tend to thrive and consistently speak about all of the negative events going on in their lives.  

If you are a toxic friend, you will notice that you are at a loss of friends

In a toxic relationship or friendship, the toxic person often rubs off their toxic energy onto their partner. There are a few ways to tell if you are trapped in a toxic relationship – whether that be platonic or romantic. In a toxic friendship, the toxic partner will constantly tell you habits or characteristics about you that needs to be fixed or changed. For example, this could include them telling you that you chew too loud or you spend too much time getting ready in the morning. It does not matter what you do or how perfect you do it, the toxic partner will find a way to critique you.

If you are in a toxic relationship, it feels like you are riding an emotional roller coaster that you cannot seem to control. You could be extremely mentally stable at the beginning of the friendship, but due to their extreme shifts in moods throughout the day and the toll it takes on you, your mental state can be severely damaged. In a toxic relationship, there is no trust in place. There are random outbursts and false accusations towards you that leave you feeling scared and in a place where trust cannot be built.

However, if you are a toxic person, it does not have to be that way for the rest of your life. There are a few tips and tricks to stop yourself from continuing the cycle of toxicity. The first is to start telling the truth. That does not mean a little fib cannot slip out every now and then. Toxic people tend to be pathological liars. Their lies are obvious and major – just begging for attention. Those who work at not being toxic are consistently working at being honest all the time.  Another way you can avoid being toxic is to mind your own business. Stay away from drama or negative attention. If it will not bring you or your peer’s long term happiness, then drop the matter and move on, or don’t spend your energy on it at all.

Stopping yourself from allowing jealousy to be your main emotion is a great way to stop being toxic. Also, do not allow negative thoughts to control your life. Positive energy and mindsets are a useful way to knock toxicity out of your life. Lastly, take care of yourself. Taking care of your body and life will help you to take care of others as well.

If you are toxic energy, work at bettering yourself for your own benefit and others as well. Additionally, if someone around you is toxic, encourage them to work through the process of not being toxic in a way of bettering themselves and your relationship with them.