Someone who consciously or unconsciously feels their lives are out of control will often behave in ways to gain a sense of control. If you see these toxic behaviors in a friendship or relationship, be careful. If you see them in yourself, be honest. Honesty is the first step towards getting help.
Be aware of some of the following behaviors; when you spot them, consider them to be warning signs that something needs to change. Have you ever spotted these situations in yourself or others?
- Narcissism Not wanting others to know they are struggling; they feel the need to appear superior. Often, they will put others down in order to feel better about themselves and appear more successful.
- Addiction In order to deal with stress or other unpleasant areas of their life, they turn to substances or other addictive behaviors to try to find fulfillment.
- Gossiping Their time is spent spreading rumors and speculations. They choose to live through others as they feel their own life is uninteresting or boring.
- Stalking So they don't have to think about their own life, they start to obsess about the lives of others.
- Self-sabotaging Not wanting anyone to hurt them, they make a point of putting themselves down first before someone else can do it.
- Withdrawing Lacking the confidence to live out their life, they withdraw and stop interacting with friends and family, feeling that they don't have anything to contribute.
- Dangerous Risk-taking Feeling their life is not valuable, they turn to dangerous behaviors to feel a rush or a sense of importance.
The truth is: people who engage in these behaviors don't gain control in their lives, instead they create more problems for themselves and for the people around them.
How to rise above these behaviors if you see them in yourself:
- Admit that your behaviors have been unhealthy and, in some cases, hurtful. Ask for forgiveness.
- Get support from friends, family, or a counselor.
- Turn to a higher power.
- Do good things for others. Helping Others Helps You.
None of us have complete control over our lives. We can't control everything that happens tomorrow. We can, however, make healthy choices today.