10 Toxic Lessons You Need to Unlearn
vemuda.com - Let’s cut to the chase: We’ve all been influenced by our younger years in whether it’s good or bad. And we all have toxic lessons we learned along the way that impact how we interact with the world and in some cases, even make us feel bad about ourselves.
One of the worst things about toxic lessons is that they can be subtle. They sneak in and just nestle themselves into your mind.
But you don’t have to keep them around forever. While you can’t change what happened in the past, you can start shaping your future today.
Here’s a list of toxic lessons you need to unlearn so that you can start fresh with a new perspective on life!
1. You Should Always Be “Nice” and Avoid Conflict or Confrontation
While it’s true that you can often avoid conflict by being nice, it’s not always possible or even desirable to do so. In fact, when confronted with a problem or an issue, it’s usually helpful to address it directly.
Otherwise, you might find that if you just let things slide, they get worse, and the other person will feel blindsided when you finally have to address the problem.
Conflict can be an important part of building trust, developing our problem-solving skills, and even just learning how to better understand and empathize with others.
Avoiding conflict can lead to avoiding confrontation and challenging situations altogether, which can prevent growth and change.
2. You Must Always Be Strong and Never Show Weakness
It’s easy to internalize the idea that you have to be strong and show no weakness or struggle, but the truth is that we all have them.
The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can stop beating yourself up for feeling insecure or letting your guard down around others, and start using those moments as opportunities to grow.
Everyone has times where they feel like they’re not good enough or don’t deserve something, but pretending like that feeling isn’t there can lead to some serious consequences.
It’s okay to be vulnerable. You can let others support you without feeling like a failure. So give yourself permission to be human.
3. You Are Responsible for the Emotions and Behaviors of Others
You may have been taught this toxic lesson in a number of ways, but the underlying message is the same: If someone else is upset, angry or anxious, it’s because of something you did or didn’t do. It leads to feeling guilty and resentful.
You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around certain people, or like you have to apologize for everything that goes wrong.
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t have an impact on others; of course, you can. For example, you can inspire them to action, encourage them to succeed, and try to help them see things from new perspectives.
But how they feel and act is ultimately up to them. Once you realize that you’re not responsible for other people’s emotions and behaviors, it becomes easier to be kinder toward them, and yourself.
4. You Should Prioritize the Opinions of Others Over Your Own
It’s not hard to get lost in the opinions of others. It can feel like you’re not being heard or seen, so you start believing that other people know more than you do.
In some cases, that might be true. But in most cases, it’s probably not. And when you prioritize other people’s opinions over your own, you’re basically saying that their thoughts are more important than yours!
You have just as much right to have an opinion as anyone else does, even if it’s different from theirs.
5. Your Worth Is Based On Your Material Possessions
Material possessions are a good thing. They can provide us with a sense of comfort or security and improve our quality of life. But they don’t define who we are as people.
You are not what you wear, or what car you drive. Your worth is not defined by how much money is in your bank account or the size of your house.
Our character, values, and actions define us; and those are not things that can be bought. They come from within.
6. Negative Emotions Should Be Suppressed
When it comes to our emotions, it’s important to understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel a range of different things. We can’t be happy all the time, and we shouldn’t expect to be.
It’s ridiculous to think we should have a non-stop positive mindset; that’s simply unrealistic. Feelings of anger, sadness, and disappointment are all part of the human experience.
Even if it’s not pleasant to experience these emotions, it’s necessary to give yourself permission to feel them.
Trying to suppress or ignore negative feelings only makes them stronger, and that can have a negative impact on your mental health.
7. Failure Is Unacceptable or Shameful
In a society where those who are successful are often viewed as more valuable and respectable than those who are not, failure can feel like a huge slap in the face.
But guess what? Life is full of challenges, and some of those challenges are going to be ones you don’t feel like you’re prepared for. And that’s fine! What isn’t fine is feeling like failure is unacceptable or shameful.
Actually, failure is part of the process of learning, growing, and improving. If you never fail at anything, you probably aren’t pushing yourself hard enough!
8. Expressing Your Needs or Boundaries Is Selfish
This idea not only encourages us to put everyone else’s needs before our own, but it also implies that we should be willing to sacrifice our comfort and well-being to make everyone else happy.
Unfortunately, this can lead to putting up with unhealthy situations and even abusive relationships because you don’t feel like you deserve better. You can also end up sacrificing your health, happiness, and even your safety for others.
The truth is that when you put yourself first, you have more energy and enthusiasm for all the other people in your life, especially those who are closest to you. When you're not drained by feeling like a doormat, you can give more freely of yourself.
9. Mental Health Issues Are a Sign of Weakness or A Lack of Willpower
Unfortunately, many people face stigma or shame when it comes to discussing mental health issues. This can be incredibly damaging to one’s mental wellness.
It’s important to understand that mental health issues are just as valid as physical ones and can affect anyone.
They can be caused by many factors, such as genetics, environmental stressors, trauma, or a combination of all of these things.
Mental health conditions have nothing to do with being weak or lacking willpower; and recognizing the need to accept help is actually a sign of great strength and courage.
10. You Should Always Follow Societal Norms or Expectations
We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with messages telling us how we should think, act, and live. It can be easy to forget that we’re all individuals with our own set of values, interests, and beliefs.
Unfortunately, many people end up following social norms that don’t necessarily reflect their personal values. They might be pressured into doing something because it’s “the right thing to do” or because it’s “what everyone else is doing.”
They might be afraid to break away from the status quo, even if it means going against their own beliefs.
But there’s nothing wrong with stepping outside the boundaries of “social norms” and making choices that reflect your beliefs.
You don’t have to follow the crowd if it doesn’t feel right for you. Standing up for yourself and your beliefs can be a powerful experience that helps you develop a stronger sense of self-confidence.
Toxic lessons like these are often deeply ingrained in our sense of self and our understanding of the world, so unlearning them is a process.
A toxic lesson is like a virus that has been programmed into your mind from an early age, so it’s not enough to just forget about it or try to ignore it.
You need to take action and reprogram your mind with a positive message that will eventually overwrite the negative one.
Thanks for reading!