7 Toxic Words that You Should Stop Using

Although you may not believe it, toxic words don't only affect those we say them to, but they also undermine our inner selves and make us feel less capable.
7 Toxic Words that You Should Stop Using

Last update: 27 May, 2022

We use many toxic words in our daily lives that we should eliminate from our vocabulary right away.

Believe it or not, what we say has a lot of importance. Every word that comes out of our mouth is a reflection of what we are thinking.

Therefore, we’d like to take a look at some toxic words that we should stop saying. After all, they influence what we do, how we relate to those around us, and also how we relate to ourselves.

1. “Weird”

toxic words

“How weird is that,” and “That’s so weird…” are some phrases that I am sure you hear more than you should. This word manifests something that we usually don’t keep in mind: our prejudices.

Every time that we say someone is weird, we’re assuming that we’re “normal.” When we say that something someone is doing is weird, we are really just saying that what we do is what is considered normal.

But who gets to determine that? We’re all different, but we find ourselves to be more influenced by society than we think.

Stop using this word and open up your mind. Everything is acceptable!

2. “I need you”

What? The verb “need” is used more than it should be among couples trying to show their partner how special they are.

However, underneath this word there are many affirmations that can be uncovered: “Without you I am nothing,” “You are everything to me,” “What would I do without you?” “I love you more than life itself…”

Needing another person in order to be happy is dependence, not love. However, we continue to confuse necessity with this pure sentiment.

3. “It’s your fault”


“It’s your fault” is a phrase that we use a lot. It reflects the fear that we have when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions.

This is one of the most ingrained toxic words, but also one we pay the least attention to. This is because we tend to avoid criticizing ourselves. After all, we want to be perfect!

If you make an error, accept it. It’s not bad; everyone makes mistakes. Don’t put the blame one someone else who didn’t do anything.

4. “Ugly”

Just like with the word “weird,” who gets to decide what’s ugly or not? Beauty campaigns and deceptive advertising are full of digital retouches that display flawless bodies and faces.

If we open up our mind and free ourselves from these thoughts, we will realize that nothing is ugly. Everything has beauty, everything has traits that we can fall in love with or be indifferent to.

So, just because something is not attractive to us, does not mean it’s ugly. At some point you have made the realization that everyone has different tastes, right?

5. “I can’t”

I can't

Are you sure you can’t? This is one of the most limiting toxic words that, sadly, people say and believe.

Everything is possible to the best of your ability. It’s just that sometimes you find yourself with your back against the wall, thinking that you can’t achieve, do or overcome something.

You’re stronger than you think. “I can’t” is a negation that limits you. Turn it into an “I can,” even if its hard to do. You will see how things change, and your view of the world will, too.

6. “Hate”

Hate is a feeling that causes a lot of hurt, not only to those around us, but also to those who feel it. It’s like an ulcer that keeps growing and hurting inside.

However, this feeling is present is phrases like “I hate my job,” “I hate my family,” or “I hate my situation…”

We can hate all of these things, but are we doing anything to change the situation? No. That’s why we’re simply building resentment.

Hate undermines you and fills you with bad feelings. However, you CAN free yourself from it right now. It’s not worth is to continue feeling it.

7. “Failure”


Failure has always haunted us, and just hearing this word scares us. However, on occasion, we still say “I’m a failure.”

We have the false belief that failing is a terrible thing. Instead, it’s an opportunity to improve, to make better decisions and, most importantly, to learn from what we did.

There’s nothing wrong with failing. Actually, it’s just the opposite! Change that “I’m a failure” to “I am a person who learns from every mistake I make.”

Do you use these toxic words in your daily life? Being conscious of this will help you to stop using them. You can change this by substituting them with more positive words. You will definitely notice the change in your life.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Diego Figueroa, Regina; López Castro, Rolando; Plaza Miranda, Aitana; Torres Torres, Samantha. (2018). La palabra: el arma más poderosa. Centro Universitario Anglo Mexicano. México. Congreso de Investigación CUAM-ACMor.
  • Juan Pablo Palacios Ríos. (2019). Una belleza no tan estética. VII intercolegiado de filosofía SAPERE AUDE. https://www2.javerianacali.edu.co/sites/ujc/files/ponencias_2019_consolidadas.pdf#page=206
  • Verónica Marcos, Yurena Gancedo, Bárbara Castro, Adriana Selaya. (2020). Victimización de violencia entre novios, gravedad percibida en las conductas de violencia entre novios, mitos del amor romántico, y dependencia emocional entre chicos y chicas adolescentes. Revista iberoamericana de psicología y salud, ISSN 2171-2069, Vol. 11, Nº. 2, 2020, págs. 132-145.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.