Close-up of angry young woman

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Entering into a new year gives everyone a fresh start. The first day of the year is a day where people take on new (or old) challenges that require giving up bad habits and taking on new, healthier ones. New years’ resolutions don’t just include beginning a gym routine or quitting smoking. It can also include changing your behaviors that are interfering with your relationships, whether personal or professional. Some people engage in toxic behaviors and are not even aware of it nor how it is hurting them or others, which is something I see a lot as a therapist. Here’s 12 toxic behaviors to leave behind in 2021.


Shot of a young couple having an argument at home

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Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that causes people to question their reality. It’s an abuse tactic but it can also happen in day-to-day conversations. For example, if you tell someone how you felt after they did something to hurt you and they reply by denying what happened even if you have clear evidence that it did, that’s gaslighting. Or if they reply with comments that invalidate you or make you doubt your true feelings like “you’re overreacting,” or blatantly lie to you to confuse you, that’s gaslighting. Engaging in this behavior is not only hurtful to others but it shows that a person has poor conflict resolution skills, trouble taking accountability for their actions, acknowledging that their behavior has hurt someone and giving a true apology. FYI, saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” is not an apology. Let’s make it a thing of the past.

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