Many of the toxic behaviors we conduct can push people away. These people could be influential and helpful to your business. Imagine if potential customers or investors saw this behavior; it could break an important deal or sale. This damaging behavior can cause problems in your professional success, relationships, and wellbeing, and you may even hurt people, which is likely not your intended goal. Sure, we’ve all done some toxic things, but it should be a balanced and rare occurrence. If you want true fulfillment, happiness, and success, it’s essential to know when you’re behaving in a toxic manner and shift your actions accordingly.
Here are some toxic behaviors you may not realize you’re doing:
Steady Stream of Cynicism
Nobody wants to be around someone who is constantly negative. It’s hard to be around those who won’t let go of things and play out their negative thoughts. When you obsess over negative thoughts, you are dwelling on them and talking about them constantly. Nobody wants to hear about this continuously, and you bring everyone down around you. Instead of making the best out of bad situations, you wallow, and growth doesn’t occur. When you’re locked in your negative thoughts, you can’t see any light shining through. If you act like this in your business, you may limit yourself, and your business can suffer.
Being Cruel to Others
When we don’t think about other people’s feelings, we can be really cruel. People will step out of your way but, although ruling with an iron fist in the 1980s worked, the world is different now. There’s no reason for anyone to stay and put up with this kind of toxic, damaging behavior in the professional world. This kind of cruelty comes from a lack of empathy or compassion for others, and you’ve probably seen nasty words thrown at people online and throughout the media.
If you’re in a bad mood and your go-to is to take it out on others, you’ll want to learn to curb this habit, or you run the risk of giving your company a bad name. Even if you’re cruel to an employee where nobody can see, you still run the risk of ruining your company’s reputation. If they say something on social media, the public can connect the dots, and it will come back to you. In addition, cruelty can cause you to be labeled as a “bully,” which is simply unacceptable. As a business owner and manager, you have power over people, in a sense, but using that for evil will not win you any friends or new business. So, if you’re backstabbing people or tearing people down, look for the compassion within yourself.
Consistent Bad Responses
The downfall of Napoleon was due to the fact that he would kill anyone who brought bad news. So the messengers stopped telling him the reality of the situation on the battlefields. The French conqueror is an excellent example of someone who reacted badly to any bad news he received. Everyone around him shut down, and he didn’t have the necessary information to make the right decisions. Nobody wants to be around someone who overreacts about even the smallest things. Reacting badly is also unhealthy for you in general. If you’re constantly reactive, you may need to look at some solutions for this. It’s probably coming from a place of stress that’s bottled up in your body. Getting some support with managing how you react can be helpful. Even some breathing exercises can train you to calm down in the heat of the moment before you respond.
A Need for Validation
As a leader, you shouldn’t focus on getting an “atta boy” for all your good work. It’s pretty easy to tell when someone needs constant validation. It’s exhausting to tell everyone that you achieved something as though you have the cure for cancer. Looking to prove yourself to everyone with a need to win is only going to repel people. Don’t worry about outcomes like getting people to pat you on the back for your good deeds or great work ethic.
Taking Everything Personally
Some of the more spiritual masters out there have learned not to take anything personally. While that’s not always possible for us regular people, it’s still important to ease off on taking everything personally. There is, however, a positive in taking some things personally. It shows you care about your business, but when every small thing feels like a hit, you can become bitter and negative. Toxic people have a belief that things happening in life are happening to them. They take it as a direct assault. It can cause them to react badly, as with extreme hurt, disappointment, and sadness, we will often retaliate viciously to get our power back. You may get angry at employees, customers, or other important people, who may not recognize why you’re doing this. Remember that nobody can see what’s going on in your mind, and this vulnerability of taking things personally will hurt your business and relationships.
You can probably see how these toxic behaviors would negatively impact your business. You can lose valued employees, customers, and investors. The workplace won’t be a productive, uplifting environment, and when you walk through the doors, you may even feel tension surrounding your presence. You may not even be that extreme with any of these behaviors, but you are causing people around you to seek out somewhere else to work, purchase, or invest. You’ll probably feel a lot better about your business and life if you treat people with kindness and elevate them. It will create a far more motivating and productive environment with greater business success.