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Toxic behaviors that push customers away: How to recognize and change them?

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When the way you behave scares and hurts your customers and forces them to distance themselves from you, then you have a toxic behavior. It is called a toxic behavior because it is bad and unhealthy for you, your relationship with others, and your business at large. It is called a toxic behavior because it is capable of destroying whatever beautiful relationship you have with people. People who exhibits toxic behaviors are sure to push everyone that care about them away, and if you have a business, your toxic behavior will destroy your relationship with customers. In this article, we are going to identify some toxic behaviors that can push your customers away, then list ways you can discover if you have toxic behaviors, and importantly how you change those toxic behaviors to healthy ones.

Toxic behaviors that push customers away


One of the most common toxic behavior is pride. In this context, it means having the feeling that you are everything or you have everything when compared to others. This feeling would make you esteem yourself higher than those around you, and when customers notice this about you, they will begin to feel bad and hurt. If you persist in behaving that way, they will continue feeling hurt when around you and this would cause them to give you and your business some gap. At some point you will notice that your customers  have distanced themselves from your business, people that used to patronize you have stopped, and you may be wondering why, but not realizing that your toxic behavior has destroyed your customers relationship and business.

Ingratitude and Grumbling

Furthermore, another toxic behavior people exhibit is ingratitude and grumbling. This means you are not grateful when you receive patronage from customers, and this may be because you don’t value the patronage you have received, or you are just being ungrateful by your choice. Whatever may be your reason, when customers patronize you but sense your ingratitude, they are not encouraged to come back and they may even feel uncomfortable around you and your business. Also, when you complain about everything and see faults in everything, customers will surely get pissed off hearing your complains over and over again. Hence, they move away from your business, not able to tolerate your toxic behavior.

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Lack of Empathy

Lack of empathy for customers  is a toxic behavior. Empathy means having a form of sympathy for someone by placing yourself in the person’s position and trying to understand how they feel, then using your judgement to relate with them. If you lack empathy, you would do things without taking into consideration the thoughts and feelings of your customers. Your lack of empathy would cause you to take business decisions for selfish reason, regardless of the thoughts and feelings of customers, even if your actions may hurt them.

Negativity and Self Pity

Another toxic behavior people exhibit is negativity and self pity. By negativity I mean when you constantly feel that things will go wrong with yourself or others. This behavior makes you look ill-minded, because you have nothing good to say or contribute. Negativity would make you feel discouraged if you want to take business decisions, and also make you discourage others from accepting change.

Self pity is toxic because you are constantly feeling sorry for yourself and acting like you are experiencing all the problems of the world, or as if everything is going wrong around you, or worst still, that everyone is against you. Self pity makes you only think about yourself and would cause you to neglect customers. In the long run, your negativity and self pity would make customers unsure of their relationship with you and unsure of patronizing you, and in the long run, they begin to keep you at arms length.


This means that, you are constantly envious of others and their business, and you want to own whatever it is they have that you fancy. Jealousy is very toxic because it can cause you to engage in dangerous acts just to cause people’s downfall and uplift your status; it can cause you to backstab your best customers just to gratify your jealousy. This toxic behavior can destroy not just friendship and business but family as well. It can destroy anything it comes in contact with.

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Apportioning Blame

You exhibit a toxic behavior when you blame customers for your own poor choices and refuse to take responsibility for your actions. When you blame customers for your poor choices, you are only pushing them away.

These and many other behaviors are toxic and unhealthy for your business and customer relationship.

How to identify toxic behaviors?

You can discover this by asking yourself these questions-

1. Do I brag about myself too much around my friends and clients? And do I praise the strengths I exhibit?
2. Do I consider the feelings of those around me when making decisions or taking actions, and consider my customers when making business decisions?
3. Do I take responsibility for my choices, or do I blame others for my mistakes?
4. Do I constantly complain about everything?
5. Do I have a negatively fixed mindset?
6. Am I envious of the lives and accomplishment of others?
7. Am I ungrateful?
8. Do I behave as if it’s all about me and my feelings, and don’t pay attention to the lives and feelings of the people around me?

By honestly giving answers to those questions, you will discover if you exhibit these toxic behaviors or not.

How can I change these toxic behaviors into healthy behaviors?

• Practice empathy by considering the feelings of those around you when taking actions and making decisions.
• Consciously praise the strengths you notice in people and applaud their accomplishments.
• If you like something about someone or a company, strive to develop yourself to attain it rather than being envious and wishing it was you and not them.
• Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. In order to do this, you need to consciously make these decisions, in that way you cannot blame others for your actions.
• Learn to say thank you and express gratitude when you receive help from people. Also, learn to appreciate your customer’s patronage.
• Avoid complaining about everything by trying to see the good in things and appreciating them.
• Develop a positive attitude. You can do this by being open minded and hope for your positive expectations to manifest.
• Understand that everyone you see have lives of their own, alongside emotions and responsibilities. Understanding this will help you reduce your attitude of everything is about me, and start getting involved in other people’s lives.

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By doing this, you are sure to change those toxic behaviors you exhibit into healthy ones.

Thanks for reading!