What does It mean if you are seriously considering if you are the toxic one? - Action Items

In this post, we will explore a couple of things you can do to begin exploring this week's question on your own terms. One of our goals here at Empowerment Through Thought is to help each and every one of you develop your own thinking about this big topics. These exercises can help you do just that! 

First thing to do is to try to identify your own goals in exploring the question "Am I The Toxic One?"

Remember that one of the major differences between Cindy and Jessie in our last post were their goals. Once you identify what your motivations and goals are, we can begin to unpack what it really means that you are asking this question. 

To begin, I want you to do a massive brain dump. Grab some paper and write out ALL of the different reasons you are asking yourself this question. You might have some internal reasons- like you want to improve yourself. Or you might have more external reasons- like you are trying to respond to questions that people in your life keep bringing up. Let yourself be as messy in this brain dump as needed. 

Our next action item is to analyze your goal list. 

After you have taken a bit of break from initially brainstorming your list of reasons, take a look over the whole list. Identify which of your reasons resonates best with you. These are probably list items that stand out to you for some reason. Don't worry if you aren't sure why they stand out to you. Just whatever items feel right, slap a star by them. Since the last action item was just a big brain dump, this second pass through will show you which of these reasons seem to best capture how you are thinking about the question “Am I the toxic one?”

Now you can grab a new piece of paper and just write down all the items that really resonated with you. This simplified list is going to be quite useful in our next step. 

We want to try to separate your list of reasons into two categories. 

  • SELF – Understanding
    • These are reasons that are all about you learning more about yourself
  • Others – Understanding
    • These are reasons that are all about how you want others to understand yourself

Once you have everything sorted the best you can, then we can begin to look for patterns. 

If you have more items marked as "SELF - Understanding" then you're investigation of the question "Am I the toxic one?" probably involves an authentic curiosity about the way you may be contributing to the problems in your life. 

If you have more items marked as "OTHER - Understanding" then you may be more interested in the question "Am I the toxic one?" in order to construct a particular narrative about yourself. 

Now just as we saw from our previous action items, the world is not as simple as "If you have 5 items from SELF-understanding then you are not a toxic person." I could create arbitrary cut-offs and give you overly simplistic answers, but that would be dishonest of me. Analyzing your reasons gives you some insight into your real motivations behind asking yourself "Am I the toxic one?" It is hard to analyze your own reasons accurately. That is often why seeking the help of someone like a philosophical coach, a person who is trained to take an objective look at reasons, can be useful. You can sign up for a free 15-minute consultation with a philosophical coach here if you are interested. 

In general, it is inconsistent with the fundamentals of toxic people to seriously investigate whether they are really toxic. If you are asking this question and you are able to consider that you may be the source of your problems, you are able more likely to be able to tolerate criticisms. That is, at least, some evidence that you may not be a toxic person. You may still be engaging in some toxic behaviors since that is a common thing for human beings to engage in.

So our question of the week was: What does it mean if you are seriously considering if you are the toxic one? Well, serious consideration of this question requires being open to the idea that you are causing some of the problems in your life. Toxic people cannot usually tolerate the idea that they are part of the problem. If you are considering this question and being open to the fact that you are playing a role in these problems, that is some evidence that you are not a toxic person.

Next week, we will wrap up our exploration of "Am I the toxic one?" by looking at what you can do once and for all if you are the toxic one. Be sure to check us out over on Youtube, Instagram, and over on our Podcast for more great content! 


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