Toxic Traits

There’s a reason why the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. We all have at least one single behavioral feature that we despise (if we’re aware of it), and, surprisingly enough, we can typically figure out where we got it from provided it’s not a distant cousin, else one of our parents can tell whom you got it from. We do not often grasp the impact our toxicity has on us until someone points it out to us. Then we question why it’s there in the first place, or why we’re acting the way we are. This may encourage the individual to focus on themselves to make a change since awareness is the first step towards a transformation. If one examines their family history thoroughly, similar patterns are likely to emerge. It’s seldom random or coincidental.

So, let’s imagine a utopian world where we can select our family, which goes against the whole concept of choosing your friends but not your family, and picking the perfect parents, siblings, and perhaps other relatives as well. Family dynamics can sometimes be so draining and complicated that we simply opt to get as far away from it all as possible in the hopes of doing better than them. No!!! We can do a lot better. We owe it to ourselves and our descendants.

Few people succeed in changing the course of events, when they unintentionally repeat the precise thing, they were attempting to avoid in the first place, it creates a vicious cycle. Let’s return to the utopian world mentioned earlier, as the always dissatisfied humans that we are, it’s a reality that no matter what we choose, we’ll eventually discover something wrong, just like the “what I ordered versus what I got” trend, we just can’t help it.

One person’s vision of a perfect family is another’s perception of a normal or terrifying family dynamic. It’s safe to assume that no family is as serene and ideal as we would like it to be, and that’s good since that’s what makes them so appealing. Dysfunctional families appear to be the last to notice there is a problem; they present such a well-polished exterior that you gush over how lucky they are, but you have no inkling of what goes on behind closed doors.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina). We can agree to disagree that “all families are dysfunctional to a degree.” Some are just more extreme than others. While researching this topic, I came across various pieces of information, one of which stood out and seems to link it all together is how psychologists summed it all up: Nature versus Nurture. In psychology, there is a debate about whether some elements of human behavior are inherited or acquired.

This debate is known as nature vs nurture. Nature, on the one hand, is more about prewiring behavior that is heavily influenced by genetic inheritance, or in other words, internal influences, whereas Nurture, on the other hand, is more about how external factors influence and shape our behavior as we grow, be it our environment, frequentation, life experiences…

Genetics and family dynamics are very powerful. The child grows up paying significant attention to his parents and the environment in which he/she is growing. They all played a huge part in forming his character. The child sees his parents’ behavior as the normal way to deal with things. Let’s not forget that most families dwell in secrecy, and as much as people like to say that “what you don’t know won’t hurt you,”, I’m afraid in this particular case, it will eventually catch up to you somehow. It’s not a conspiracy notion or a mere coincidence.

In general, we don’t often bother tracing back toxic patterns to try to comprehend them or their triggers., We’re either blaming it on our creator for putting us through this or, even worse, shutting down and accepting the circumstance because the culture demands it, persuading ourselves that it can’t be that bad and that it will eventually pass … Dealing with a toxic person can be challenging, culminating in anxiety, depression, low self-esteem… According to psychologists, the perpetrator frequently exhibits personality traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, known as the dark triad. The toxic person may not always be the other person; one can become toxic after a series of untreated mental disorders, for example.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nadjath Akanni

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