Can you or someone you know identify with these words? They describe common thoughts in someone who is struggling with toxic emotions, or with similar emotional issues related to stress, anxiety and depression.
7 signs that you are struggling with toxic emotions
Most of us are aware of the effects of alcohol. We know that alcohol changes our perceptions, increases our heart rate and reduces our ability to react. But are we just as good at interpreting the signs that try to tell us that we are overwhelmed by our own toxic emotions?
If you have been through difficult times yourself – perhaps you are even in the middle of one at the moment – it is likely that you have tried to push away the bad feelings rather than go into yourself and work with them. Not taking the time to feel and process our emotions is one of the reasons why the toxic emotions occur.
1. You are constantly in a defensive position
As we mentioned in the previous section , you often go into a kind of “defensive position” when difficult feelings arise, to protect yourself from what you see as harmful and painful.
When our emotions take over, it is easy to misunderstand the words and actions of others, and interpret them as offensive. We like to rethink situations and make a number out of every trifle.
This happens because our self-esteem is reduced to a minimum and we therefore feel vulnerable. Our emotions are blocked, which shifts the focus to the negative and allows every detail to affect us and our thoughts.
As a consequence of this, we twist the words and intentions of those around us, and often react aggressively because we think we must be on the lookout for dangers that in reality only exist inside our heads.
2. Your views have changed
It is likely that you experience everything around you through your own emotional barriers. And therefore neither is willing to listen to yourself or others. It may seem like a waste of time, but not taking care of these conflicts can create countless problems.
For example, nervousness, impatience and uncontrollable emotional reactions come from just this. How little we understand and are aware of the world around us.
3. You are extremely critical
One of the reasons why it is so difficult to relate to a person who is struggling with toxic emotions. Is that they have built up a barrier that consists of an uncompromising attitude.
If you feel this way, it is very possible that your need to keep your emotions under control has led to you losing the ability to be flexible. Try to be kinder to both yourself and others.
4. Your uncertainty comes to the surface
A sign that you possess toxic feelings is that your insecurity comes to the surface and controls your life. You react more strongly and often go into a defensive position.
Your self-esteem has bottomed out, and you feel vulnerable in most situations. You also feel weak and have trouble fully understanding what it really feels like, who you are and what you are capable of achieving.
As a consequence, you tend to think that you need someone by your side who can meet your needs, protect you and help you through the day, because you are not able to do this yourself. This is without a doubt something that needs to be worked on to rebuild your self-esteem and to regain your emotional identity.
5. You do not feel like yourself
The emotional overload can be so overwhelming that you no longer feel like yourself. This means that you have neither the strength nor the ability to improve your situation.
When this happens, you draw the curtains and try to protect yourself from your own emotions. And therefore also gives up an essential part of yourself. In short, it takes both physical and mental effort to be able to make your own choices and keep going in everyday life.
6. The blocking of your emotions holds you back
When we are overwhelmed by our emotions, we are often unable to mentally distinguish between emotional reactions. As a result, our ability to communicate, to make choices, and to develop ourselves is reduced. We then often end up in situations where we either are not able to respond adequately or in the worst case not at all.
Your toxic emotions prevent you from thinking carefully before you say something, and limit your perspective. Your attention and memory are very selective. Which leads to you misinterpreting other people’s words and actions. And draw your own conclusions about what is going on around you. This only leads to more frustration and aggravates your problems.
“Always keep your head cool and your heart warm,” Confucius said. Violent reactions lead to uncontrollable emotions and impulses.
7. Your emotional barricades prevent you from saying goodbye to the bad feelings
We are all afraid of losing what we carry with us internally, and therefore find it difficult to let go of even the emotions that hurt us.
The emotions we have may be unpleasant, but we are even more afraid of emotional emptiness. This is because we have the feeling that the ’emotional construction’ inside is about to collapse. And that the pillars that form the foundation can not be replaced.
But we are wrong. This point of view is a result of emotional exhaustion and blockage that leads to precisely the toxic emotions.