Disrespect for other people’s personal boundaries, avoidance of responsibility – we often do not see such inclinations in ourselves and cannot understand why those around us do not like us. If you constantly experience problems in relationships with people, it may be worth taking a closer look at yourself. Here are some toxic habits that get in the way of harmonious and constructive relationships.


1. Unpreparedness for an honest dialogue

We tend to avoid talking about really important topics. As a result, many serious problems remain unresolved. If we cannot get away from the conversation, then we often try to create doubts in the interlocutor and undermine his confidence.

2. Avoiding responsibility

It is very difficult for us to admit our mistakes, and we often shift the blame onto others. If we do not realize what problems we create with our own behavior, this prevents us from growing and developing.

3. Inability to apologize

We distort the facts, trying to make ourselves look like a victim or just innocent. And even when we can no longer deny our own mistake or misconduct, we prefer to break off relations with a person, so long as we don’t have to apologize.

If someone tries to call us to account for misbehavior, we begin to aggressively defend ourselves, get offended in response to any criticism (even constructive).

4. Manipulative

Trying to manipulate others for your own gain is typical toxic behavior. Such people lie, distort, exaggerate or hush up facts in an effort to get the desired result. A common reason for this is the desire to create a positive opinion of others about themselves.

Manipulation can also include insults, making fun of the other person’s “sore spots”, refusing to show support, attention and care, as well as gaslighting – an attempt to make the other person doubt his perception of reality and even his own adequacy.

5. Disrespect for other people’s personal boundaries

If we do not respect the boundaries of another person, we thereby deprive him of his sense of security and undermine his trust in us. By ignoring his needs and wants, we gradually destroy the relationship.

6. Unreliability

No one is perfect, and everyone is sometimes optional. But if you regularly break your promises, people around you are likely to be very unhappy with you.

Research shows that although men and women do not differ on average in terms of reliability and responsibility, we tend to be more judgmental of women for being noncommittal.


By finding the strength to change, you can significantly improve relationships with others – especially with those closest to you. Here are some important steps to get rid of toxic tendencies.

1. Take care of your mental health and well-being

If you find that unproductive behavior patterns disrupt your mental balance and relationships with loved ones, try mindfulness practices such as breathing exercises and meditation. They can help you better understand your own thoughts and feelings that trigger toxic behavior. If you cannot do this on your own, you can consult a psychologist.

2. Be prepared to sincerely apologize

If you realize that you have acted unfairly, it is best to immediately ask for forgiveness. It is important to show that you are willing to take responsibility for your mistakes and accept constructive criticism. Apologies help to immediately reduce tension in a relationship, and also demonstrate a willingness to work on yourself and your shortcomings.

3. Respect personal boundaries

If you realize that you often violate other people’s boundaries, try to put yourself in the place of these people – how would you feel if someone treated you so unceremoniously and disrespectfully, ignoring all your requests?

4. Don’t Avoid Responsibility

Yes, admitting your mistakes can be hard and uncomfortable, but it’s an extremely important skill. We all sometimes make mistakes and, trying to shift responsibility to others, look much worse in the eyes of others than if we honestly admitted our role in what happened.

In order to really change for the better, it is very important to learn to take responsibility for our behavior and the impact it has on us and those around us.