7 Signs of Emotional Toxicity

· January 4, 2016
We all should dedicate a little time to cultivate our inner selves and purge our emotions. When emotions become toxic, we take everything to the extreme and misinterpret the words and actions of others.

I feel vulnerable, I easily get upset, and sometimes, I feel like leaving it all behind. I can go from interested to indifferent in a fraction of a second, and just as quickly I can feel like finishing a project that previously bored me.

I live on a constant roller coaster. Laughing and crying, I can become unstable at the most unexpected times. It takes a lot of effort to separate my past and present concerns and insecurity runs my life.

I frequently react disproportionately to the situation and have a hard time clearly expressing my thoughts and emotions which is causing me a lot of trouble. I also do not feel comfortable with anything or anyone and it feels like I’m drowning because I feel a deep need for someone to take me by the hand…

Can you or someone you know identify with these words? These are the words of someone suffering from emotional toxicity, or similarly, with emotional problems related to stress, anxiety and depression.

7 Signs of Emotional Toxicity


Many of us can easily understand the effects of alcohol intoxication. We know that it alters our perception, increases heart rate, and increases reaction time. But are you able to interpret the signs that indicate that you’re overwhelmed by your emotions?

If you’ve gone through or are going through times with a heavy emotional load, it’s likely that you’ve neglected to properly purge your emotions. Although there are many causes, emotional toxicity is the result of not designating time to cultivate your inner self.

1. You are constantly on the defense

As we were discussing, a person who is emotionally intoxicated has gone into “self-defense mode” to protect themselves from what they perceive to be harmful.

When our emotions overwhelm us, we might misinterpret the actions and words of others as an attack. In fact, we take everything to the extreme.

This happens because our self-esteem is completely diminished, making us feel vulnerable. Our emotions are blocked, causing us to pay attention to only the negative and allowing every little thing to directly affect us.

As a consequence, we twist the words and intentions of others and react aggressively and disproportionately, believing we need to be on guard against dangers that exist only in our minds.

Also read: Emotional Manipulation: Recognizing and Avoiding It


2. Your perceptions are altered

It’s likely that you’re experiencing everything around you through the lens of your emotions and not listening to yourself or others. It might seem like a waste of time, but not taking care of these conflicts can cause you a multitude of problems.

For example, nervousness, impatience and uncontrollable emotional reactions have their source here: how little we’re understanding and paying attention to our surroundings.

3. You’re excessively critical

One reason that it’s so difficult to deal with an emotionally intoxicated person is because of the self-imposed barrier caused by an uncompromising attitude.

If you’re feeling this way, it’s possible that in your desire to keep everything under control, you’ve lost the ability to be flexible. Try to be nicer to yourself and others.

4. Your insecurities are surfacing

If you’re emotionally toxic, then your insecurities are probably surfacing and controlling your life. You’re more reactive and often defensive.

Your self-esteem is completely depleted and you feel vulnerable to anything that happens. You probably feel weak and unable to clearly understand how you feel, who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing.

As a consequence, you think you need someone at your side who will satisfy your wants, protect you and get you through your day because you can’t do anything for yourself. Obviously, you need to work on this in order to restore your self-esteem and emotional identity.

5. You feel out of it

The emotional overload can be so overwhelming that you don’t even feel like yourself. Feeling out of it means not having the strength or ability to recover.

When your vitality goes, you close the curtains and try to protect yourself from your own feelings, giving up an essential part of your being. In short, it requires a great deal of physical and mental effort to make decisions and stay on top of things because you don’t have the strength to face day-to-day tasks.


6. Your emotional blockage is holding you back

When we’re overwhelmed by our emotions, we’re unable to mentally filter our emotional reactions. As a result, our ability to communicate, make decisions and progress is impaired. So we find ourselves in situations in which we respond inadequately or simply don’t respond at all.

Being emotionally toxic keeps you from thinking before you speak and taking perspective of what’s going on. Your attention and your memory are excessively selective. You begin to twist the words you hear and draw your own conclusions which only makes your frustrations and problems worse.

“Always keep a cool head and a warm heart,” Confucius once said. Reacting hotly allows our emotions and impulses to erupt.

Visit this article: The 5 Best Plants for Improving Your Emotional State

7. Emotional vertigo keeps you from saying goodbye

We’re afraid to get rid of what has been with us, either close by or for a long time. We just can’t let it go, even though it creates suffering.

It usually costs us when our emotions have invaded and we’re facing an even greater fear of emotional emptiness. This is because we feel our emotional architecture is about to collapse and there are some basic pillars that just can’t be demolished.

Obviously, we’re wrong. This perception is the result of exhaustion and blockage that causes emotional toxicity.