29 Manipulative, Toxic Behaviors That Are Disguised As ‘Caring’

29 Manipulative, Toxic Behaviors That Are Disguised As ‘Caring’

You should watch out for these toxic ‘nice’ behaviors mentioned on Ask Reddit.

1. Overprotectiveness. Not the general caring/protecting someone, but a lot of people seem to think it’s so adorable when someone is super overprotective over someone else.

2. Persistence in relationships. It’s always sold in romcoms and in relationships. But usually your persistence is a complete lack of respect for other people’s boundaries or holding onto things that aren’t working out.

3. People saying they did stuff that directly affects us without our permission because they were ‘looking after your best interests.’

4. Self-sacrifice.

Sometimes sacrificing some of your time and energy is important, but you’ve got to remember that if someone or something is important to you, it doesn’t mean you should cut pieces of yourself or burn yourself out for it. It goes double if you’re caring for someone — if that something or someone is that important to you, you need to make sure that the support you’re giving remains consistent and sustainable, and doesn’t take you out.

We often forget that in many cases, when you’re caring for someone, that that person’s well-being is also tied to your well-being, and if your well-being suffers, that person you’re caring for will suffer, too. And if they’re worth caring for, they’ll notice that you’re suffering, and that won’t be great for them, too.

5. People that do good deeds so they can brag about it or use it to their own advantage.

“Look at me, I’m such a good person! I do all these nice things, not because I wanted to be a good person or anything, nope! Just so I could tell everyone about all the good things I do! Repeatedly. Like all the time. Because I’m a good person, remember? Hey by the way, could you do me a fav-.”

6. Toxic positivity, ie: people who try to find the good in everything. There’s a lot to be said for having a positive outlook but it quickly becomes toxic when you start defending abusers (I’m sure your parents still loved you in their own way) or trivializing people’s sadness (so you got fired – it just means you get to pursue a new opportunity!). Sometimes the appropriate answer to a situation is to just acknowledge that things suck.

7. People that say they’re always 100% honest and aren’t afraid to speak their mind. It’s definitely useful when needed, but most of the time it just makes the person seem insufferable and rude.

8. Ensuring success. Don’t tell your kids that they will do great things, don’t say that you will kill it, give people reasonable expectations and realize they are human.

9. Supporting a person to a fault. In other words, being an enabler.

10. Grand “romantic” gestures. I teach high school and it’s crazy how many times you see a kid basically bully their crush into being with them. They make this huge public display and the kid is too shy to say no in front of everyone. It’s embarrassing and distressing for that poor kid.

11. “Family comes first.” I grew up thinking that I had a very close extended family until I realized just how shitty and miserable most of them were. I have cut them out and feel so much better about it.

12. When people get involved in and regulate other people’s relationships. They try to act like they’re helping but they always make it worse.

13. Being the “supportive” friend/significant other who will never say no even if it’s a really bad idea.

14. Constant self-diminishing and downplaying of your abilities as “humility.” Just accept and recognize that you’re pretty skilled / have a lot of experience in something, instead of saying that it’s easy, that anyone could do the same, and the list goes on.

15. Whataboutism. It’s a pitiful attempt to deflect or excuse your own toxic behavior on the basis that it’s either justified by someone else’s behavior, or, because of a hypothetical situation that doesn’t exist.

16. Excessive stoicism. Not sharing opinions and emotions for fear of weakness harms your relationships with others.

17. Aggressive self-care — sometimes people use this as a hard stop to get out of things that they do not want to do because you can’t argue with someone saying that they need self-care. But there’s a line between doing what you need to in order to bolster emotional and mental health and being lazy/taking advantage of people who want to support self-care more.

18. Putting people down because you feel like your chastity makes you better than them. Ex: when someone accuses a sexually active person of being trashy while their pure holy virgin ass claims that they’re a priceless treasure to the desired gender.

19. While doing gestures for significant other and ruling it as ‘I like treating others like how I would like to get treated’ and secretly hoping they would reciprocate with the same or similar gestures. Also toxic is bringing up these gestures during arguments and holding it against them.

20. Sweeping issues under the rug for the sake of “peace.” In other words, “being the bigger person.”

21. People say they care about you so then they divulge everyone else’s information and private gossip to “protect you.”

22. “Putting people in their place.” I have only ever seen insufferable drama queens and bullies use this term when referring to themselves.

23. Telling kids that they are so different than everyone else while implying that they are somehow better. The actual healthy thing to do is to stress that everyone is unique, and the kid’s natural gifts make them who you are just like other kids’ gifts make them unique.

24. The workaholic. It’s fine to work hard at something you love, but not at the expense of everything else.

25. Not being honest with people solely to make them feel good. It’s kinda 50/50 with this one, if they need the boost then maybe but overall it’s generally a bad move.

26. Being offended on behalf of another person without knowing or wanting to know their opinion.

27. Unwavering loyalty. No, sometimes people don’t deserve it, and you shouldn’t be ashamed to let them go.

28. When you tell people about how you’re feeling (to vent or when they ask how you’re doing in general) and they one-up you to make you feel like you don’t get to feel tired or sad or stressed etc. cause they’re clearly having it harder than you are.

29. People who say, ” This is just the way I am; If you can’t handle that, oh well.” Like… No. You’re wrong. I understand to an extent that if people don’t like you for being yourself, they can go fuck themselves; BUT, if you are a person who seriously does not know how to speak to people or are just rude in general and claim “that’s just how I am,” you’re wrong. People need to know it is not okay to be rude or obnoxious and that you should be able to know the difference of being yourself and just being a DICK. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.