What makes a person toxic? I imagine it is someone who not only says and does harmful things to themselves, but to others as well. There are tons of articles advising people to avoid toxic people, but what if the toxic person is you? The first step to becoming a more decent human being is to recognize your own toxicity.
Being a toxic person generally means being an unpleasant person. So, if you notice that people ditch plans with lame excuses, answer you with one word texts, never contact you before you contact them, exclude you from plans, and show no interest in your well-being, well, it may be time to reflect.
Now that you've recognized that you are in fact a toxic person, take a minute and think about what you could do differently. Is everything you say negative? Do you whine and complain about things you have no right to, like being tired after a Netflix binge while your friend has just spent a bajillion hours in the library writing a paper? Are you just flat out mean to others? Do you say condescending things all the time or brag about yourself? Do you only talk about yourself? Nobody's perfect, but it's also important to realize how your actions may affect others.
All of the above criteria for being a toxic person can become habits, but there's no reason that they can't be broken. If you went to kindergarten and were taught the valuable lesson to treat others the way you want to be treated, you should be golden. It's not hard to withhold insults toward people who have only been nice to you. It's more difficult to emit negativity like the sun emits energy and light than it is to simply be a decent human being to other human beings.
So how do you fix yourself? Ask yourself how much you really know about the people you consider your close friends. If you don't at least know their favorite food, you probably haven't been paying much attention. Maybe ask how the other person is doing rather than rambling about yourself. Recognize when and how much you are complaining, and try to talk about something funny or positive for a change.
What you should take away from this completely serious article is that it's easy to not be a toxic person. If you have noticed some of the above things, the prescription for such a disease is simply to change the way you act and be nice. :)