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Am I the problem?

It's time to STOP blaming others and START looking at our own hearts. We have been blaming everyone else for being toxic, but what if we were the problem?

You and I have a problem.

[bctt tweet=”Admitting that we have a problem is one of the hardest things that we struggle with. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

We know it exists.

Right below the surface is all our pain, our hurts, and our issues. It is waiting for the right place and time to show it’s ugly head.

The last few articles I had focused on toxic relationships.

This got me thinking.

What if I am the toxic person? 

My definition of toxic is a person who has never dealt with their hurts, pains, and unforgiveness. Over time this lack of healing has poisoned the soul of this individual. 

[bctt tweet=”A poisoned soul hurts the person and everyone around them.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

When you think about it, we can say a great number of people could be toxic. Read my article, “Your friends could be the reason you’re not thriving.” This should give you some insight on living in proximity to toxic individuals.

Now, we have to turn our gaze to the person in the mirror

Yes, you got it.

That person in the mirror is you.

It's time to STOP blaming others and START looking at our own hearts. We have been blaming everyone else for being toxic, but what if we were the problem?

The mirror doesn’t lie. It only reflects what it sees. 

When you take a look in the mirror what do you see?

I don’t mean glance. Take a long hard look at yourself.

Go past the beautiful exterior and into the person you have hidden from the world. The person you know exists, but no one else does. 

You wish that you could let this person out. The problem is that you carry a bit of damage in your soul. You are afraid to let the real you out. Afraid that people may judge you for the you that you hide.

[bctt tweet=”It’s time to stop hiding behind the masks and start showing the world who you are. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

The you that you hide is the real you. Let them out. 

You have gone through your own hurt. There are things in your life that you wish you could forget. Pain that you wish you could erase.

That pain is a product of your past. You have gone through was horrible. Now, you are dealing with the residue of it.

That residue sucks. It’s messy.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the pain you feel.

But it is there.

We all have it.

[bctt tweet=”Toxic souls come from a lifetime of running from the pain.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Even though we have this hurt and pain it doesn’t mean that we are toxic.


What if all this running has made you toxic and you don’t even know it.

It's time to STOP blaming others and START looking at our own hearts. We have been blaming everyone else for being toxic, but what if we were the problem?

Instead of running we need to start dealing with the pain. 

[bctt tweet=”The difference between becoming toxic and becoming whole is that we deal with our issues. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Time to stop running from your issues. 

It’s time to start running towards healing and wholeness. 

Start facing your issues head on. 

Don’t let your issues conquer you. Become victorious over them.

It's time to STOP blaming others and START looking at our own hearts. We have been blaming everyone else for being toxic, but what if we were the problem?

Which brings me back to my question.

What if I am the toxic person?

It could be the reason that you have a lot more acquaintances and not enough friends. That could be the reason that you are in a constant emotional state of ups and downs. As a matter of fact, it could even be the reason that you have a hard time allowing others to share the spotlight with you.

You could be toxic and not even know it. 

A friend of mine once gave me some incredible wisdom.

1. There are things that people know and God knows and you know 

2. There are things that you know and God knows, but others don’t 

3. There are things that others know and God knows, but you don’t

The first 2 are obvious. The first one says there are things in your life that EVERONE knows. The second shows us that there are things that are SECRETS between you and God. Everyone has things in them that they don’t share. That is normal. 

For a moment, I want to focus on that last part. I call this spot the Blind Spot. The spot where everyone knows something about you. It is the post that God knows about you, but you don’t have a clue.

That is the toughest pill to swallow.

Knowing that the problem we are facing can be stemming from us.  

There are 1000s of people who are living in their blind spots. 

Now, before you get upset or offended in any way.

Realize there are things coming from our lives that we don’t have a clue that we are doing it.

For example, I didn’t know that there are times that I shut down. When I feel intimidated or very nervous I shut down. I had no clue. My best friend shared that with me once. It was life changing.


[bctt tweet=”we have to STOP judging others for their issues and START looking at our own. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Jesus said it best, 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

So let’s make an agreement. Let’s be mature in our emotions. we need to start living a life of honesty. Honesty with ourselves.


let’s stop looking at everyone else’s issues. Start looking at our own and find healing.

Although there are A LOT of ways to know that you are toxic here are

a few that stand out to me:

  1. You Say A Lot Of Passive Aggressive Things.

  2. You Are Jealous Of Everyone.

  3. Blame Other People For Your Problems.

  4. You Talk About People Instead of Talking With Them.

  5. You Continue To Rehearse Conversations in Your Head.

Granted these are but a few of the many ways toxicity shows up. I had to look at my own life and realize that many of these were in my life. The list above is not exhaustive.

But the more of the above that you see in your life the greater the chance that you are toxic.

Let’s get real for a moment:

That relationship that failed may not have been your partner’s fault. It may have been yours.


I know it takes two to have a problem. I understand that the other person plays a big part in the problem.


what can you take responsibility for? 

If you said nothing then chances are you could be the problem. 

[bctt tweet=”Toxic people do not take responsibility for their part of the problem. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

What about the people at work that you claim hate you? You swear up and down that they cannot stand you.

Instead of trying to make it right you become passive aggressive. You have hundreds of conversations in your head.  Talking about them has become a hobby. There is a continued bent towards getting revenge.


You swear that it is all their fault. Everyone is out to get you. They don’t like you. Yet, you didn’t admit that you were very short with them when you first met.

Stories can go on and on about ways we can be toxic. 

So let’s say we discovered that we are toxic, now what?

How to Change it

1. Recognize that you are not perfect

I know this is hard for many of you to read. Sadly, I wish we could all be perfect. The truth is that there was only 1 perfect person and we are not Him.

With that said: 

[bctt tweet=”The quicker you recognize that you are not perfect the better you will be. ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

2. Allow someone “you trust” to speak into your life

This one was huge for me.

There are so many people out there wanting to give you advice. They may or may not know you, but they want to teach you.

You do not need another person to give you “Advice” 

[bctt tweet=”What you and I need is someone to call out our junk.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

They don’t have to sugar coat it. There doesn’t need to be any permission given to speak.

They are good hearted people who have your best interest at heart and are not afraid to tell you what the problem is.

Those are the type of people who you surround yourselves with.

I mentioned TRUST as a part of that.

Trust is the things that help us swallow a hard pill. 

When I know that someone, who I trust, is telling me that I am jacked up in an area of my life: I believe them. 

In a sea of unsolicited advice, you have to find the diamond in the rough. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you like it is.

They help guard your heart by making you aware of your blind spots.

3. Set up a plan to start working on your junk

 G.I. Joe (Yes the cartoon) use to do a PSA (Public service announcement) after each episode.

The person who learned something use to say

“Now we know!”

Then one of the G.I. Joe’s would follow up with:

“And knowing is half the battle.”

What an incredible statement. Knowing IS only half the battle.

The question is:

What will you do with what you know?

Here is where it gets practical.

When I realize that I am not perfect and I have someone who speaks truth into my life I will know what I need to deal with.


When I know what I need to deal with I can put a plan in motion to find healing in that area of my life.

I will:

  1. Research my problem via google. You can find ANYTHING on google.

  2.  I find books that speak to my problem.  There isn’t a problem out that that hasn’t had a book written about it. Find it and read it.

  3. Then I reach out to people who I know have found victory in the area of my problem. I ask them to coach me.

[bctt tweet=”You make progress through mentors or mistakes.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

I will choose the mentor route. It’s less painful.

Then when I have my information, my books, and a list of potential coaches I get to work and make a plan.

My plan: Creating logical NEXT STEPS that will lead me towards healing.

This was a longer post, but I think it is full of value for you.

Join the conversation:

How have you overcome problems and issues in your life? What is a practical step that you can share that would help others?

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About the Author Jim

  • Donna says:

    Wow this really moved me today! So deep and powerful and such great advice. Thanks so much

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for taking the time to check the post out! I pray it helps you. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

  • Tasha says:

    Lately I’ve been doing just this! Taking a step back and trying to figure out if perhaps I’m the issue. Is it me? What do I need to do and fix myself so that I dot continue to lose out on amazing opportunities, relationships and friendships. I’m hoping I can have this figured out by the end of this year.

    • Jim says:

      I love the self-reflective perspective you have! I am not sure that there will ever be an arrival point. There will a lifelong journey that will allow you to live a life of emotional and mental health! I am super encouraged that you are pressing forward in your health! Let me know how I can be of assistance. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • ANOSA says:

    This is such a mind-opener and self-realization post. Thank you for sharing your insights. I have learned to live positively and not to care more about toxic people. Just keep the positive vibes so law of attraction can give us positivity in return.

  • Joyce Odette says:

    Very insightful! Usually I’m the optimist/idealist of the club, but lately I can see how I’ve been different due to extreme stress. Your post really helped me reflect on this and see the way out of that type of mentality. Thanks for the insight!

    • Jim says:

      Your words are super encouraging! Thank you for taking the time to check out the post. I am so blessed that you were helped by it. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you on your journey towards health.

  • Lynnette says:

    I actually know someone who a lot of these things would apply to. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for taking the time to check out the post! 🙂 As you share this post with your friend I suggest you do a self evaluation as well. I have to do one daily. It keeps me healthy and on the right path!

  • Hope says:

    Hi Jim.

    I must say that your post caused me take a pause. I can definitely admit that I was a toxic person. That fact alone caused me to stop hanging around certain people as I felt a lot of times they caused me to be that way. What was important for me was to recognize what I was doing and then owning it. This is something so difficult to own as that will mean we would have to admit that we have a problem. Today I am soooooo much better than I used to be and I’m a lot faster at cutting toxic people out of my life. It’s still a struggle, but I do it. Thank you for being so transparent in your post. I appreciate that.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your comment. It blessed me to read that you not only recognized your toxicity, but you were able to change it! That is a huge step in the healing process. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sheri says:

    Wow! Saving. You’ve hit on the internal conflict that drives characters in stories to act or stay withdrawn. Nice. I found myself asking, “Are we our own worst enemies?” and then answering, “We are our own worst enemies.” Facing who we really are is the first step to self-acceptance, and once that is achieved, the healing can begin. Thanks.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! That internal conflict can be so devastating. It can cause us to be stalled in moving forward towards our healing. However, as you mentioned, self-acceptance is KEY to grabbing hold of the things we hope for.

  • Sandy KS says:

    I think part of the problem is me but not sure how to fix it. I am intorvert in real life. On Faxcebook I can be opinionated buty try to do it with an open mind.

    • Jim says:

      I would love to help you through it! shoot me a message (Check the contact me section of the http://www.jimburgoon.org). You have already taken the first step which is admitting that you could be part of the problem. Taking responsibility is key!

  • I like those three points that your friend made. I know that I was the toxic one in some relationships. It isn’t an easy thing to know.

    • Jim says:

      It is never easy when we discover that we are the toxic one. Even though it is a hard pill to swallow there is some great news. When I accept the fact that I may be the toxic one I will be able to work towards healing. Things must be revealed to us before we can find healing. Thank you for joining the conversation!

  • April says:

    I’m not sure I agree with all of it- but this was quite thought-provoking and well-written. You’ve given me plenty to think about.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for the kind words! I would love to hear that you may not have agreed with. I think that iron sharpens iron and that it is in our disagreement were we can learn the most. Besides, I think if we always agreed then there wouldn’t be any oportunity for open discussion. 🙂

  • Stacey Stegg says:

    Great post. A lot of things that make you think. A lot of people like to point fingers.

    • Jim says:

      Yes! So many people point out the mistakes of others while excusing our own. I heard it said, “We will crucify others for the issues that we are most convicted about.” It is an interesting thought. I do think that it is time to turn the finger from pointing at others and start to point at ourselves! Thank you for joining the converstion.

  • MishyV says:

    I soo need this! I know that I’m the only enemy I have and I need to change that!

  • What a useful and deep post! Great work!

  • Jiselle says:

    Very insightful and true post in so many ways especially looking within instead of out to find the answers and in dealing with issues looking at the man in the mirror is always the answer!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I so agree! The man in the mirror is almost always at the core of the issue. What I tell people is this, “If you are having the same situation everywhere you go the problem is everyone else.” It is something I hold close to me as I reflect on situations and issues.

  • aziel morte says:

    What a powerful post, I’m suffering on depression right now and I feel toxic people around me, Glad you share this post

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I am praying for you during this difficult time. I suggest you check through the last 5 posts. They all deal with the toxic people.

  • Whitney Ford says:

    this is a very great post! very needed and helpful! thank you!

  • We overcome problems with laughter whenever we can. Like the “We’ll laugh about this someday.” cliche. We try to laugh about it when its happening. We got this advice years ago and it really helps dealing with problems. It doesn’t solve them. It just defuses a lot of self-centered wallowing. And theres’ always something to laugh about. Like the hilarious photo of the box man in this post.

  • Yes! Whenever I have a problem in my life and start to get angry I always stop and ask “Is this my fault?” or “What part did I play?” It is absolutely necessary to evaluate yourself if you want to grow.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    • Jim says:

      I love your questions. They are powerful. Part of the healing process is taking responsibility for what I can and letting go of the rest! Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • This is a very good read. Lots of good information and tips. Very well written.

  • Michelle says:

    So, I don’t know how to find someone I can trust. I mean, I have tried and it went horribly wrong. So I must be really bad at that. Advice?

    • Jim says:

      What a great question! I think the first question I would ask in response would be: How do you approach your relationships? Do you approach new relationships from a place of trust or a place of distrust? What I find is that the deeper we have been hurt the harder it is for us to trust. Especially when we meet someone new. We will treat them according to the pain of our previous relationships. It is a painful truth, but we often set the new person up for failure. Why? Because we have never dealt with our pain. We must remember that trust isn’t found it’s built. It will take a little time to build a deep trust. With that being said, we must enter new relationships giving the person a clean slate. They are not your previous relationship and thus must be given the benefit of the doubt. My advice? Work through the pain of your previous relationships. Learn to forgive yourself for “allowing” yourself to get into the situation you are holding onto. Give yourself permission to live again. When you get into another relationship, learn to live in the moment. We have a tendency to visualize all that could go wrong in the current relationship. That will drive you crazy. It will also make you feel very insecure and unloved. Finally, allow someone to love you again. Could you get hurt again? Yes, but that is all part of living. Take the chains off past pain and live in today. Enjoy your life. I hope that gives a little direction. Let me know if you need me to clarify anything 🙂 …. Blessings!!!

  • Thank you for this eye opener. In my case, I have it the other way around because there are times when I blame myself for everything, even if I know its not my fault. When I get frustrated, I find a quite place in the house where I can be alone and start telling myself, “Its your fault. Everything is your fault!” I think I should start building my self esteem.

    • Jim says:

      Oh yes! Have self-reflection is NOT the same thing as self-abasement. We can accept responsibility for our actions without beating ourselves up about it. Let me know if there is anything I can to help!

  • Love this article. You do a great job!

  • Amber Myers says:

    This is a great post. Sometimes you have to fix yourself in order to truly get all the toxicity from you life.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I agree with you to the point that we have to work on ourselves. Noone will help us get healthy. That is our job. Thank you for joining in on the conversation.

  • Leslie K. says:

    Very insightful article! It has given me food for thought.

    I’m not sure I understand your 5th way to know if you are toxic. I talk to myself all the time (not in public). Is that different from rehearsing conversations in your head? I would love to hear more from you on this.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! The 5th point isn’t about talking to self. I talk to myself all the time. Heck, I even answer myself a lot. 🙂 Rehearsing conversations is about avoiding conflict. We have a propensity to avoid the very things we need. What I have noticed, and have seen in my life, is when there is a problem I have the full conversations with the person in my head. The problem is that I never tell them. All I am doing is rehearsing what I would say, but I never actually say it. I knew an individual like this. They were very toxic. They once told me that they had dozens of conversation with me in their head about things they disagreed with me about. However, they never told me. To this day I know the conversations exist, but I have no idea what I did wrong. What I find is that the greater amount of these conversations I have in my head the greater amount of potential toxicity I have. Why? Because I never actually confront an issue. I hope that is a better explanation. I hope we can continue this conversation further!

  • Elizabeth O. says:

    This is why it’s important to analyze yourself and take a look at how you react and interact with people. It might be that you’re being toxic to friends or family. It’s good that you ask questions and check yourself from time to time, because sometimes, the reason might really be you and not the people around you.

    • Jim says:

      I love this statement, “analyze yourself and take a look at how you react and interact with people.” This is a very powerful thought. I wish more people were self-reflective. I believe that the greater our self-reflection is the more likely we will be able to find healing. Thank you for your awesome thoughts and for joining the conversation!

  • We should know by ourselves if we are the one who got a problem. We should have a deep analyzation of the things that is happening around us and be able to accept our fault, our past, let it end, let it go. If we can’t do it by yourself, better ask other’s idea and rely on their thoughts and advice.

    • Jim says:

      So true! What I find is that many of us do not know the problem we have. I think it is a result of a lifetime of running from our problem. This lends to the reality we have shaped to believe that everyone else is the problem. Self-focus and reflection is the only way we are going to start the healing process. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • This is such a great post! I love the way you wrote it, it is all very true!

  • Joely Smith says:

    This is such a powerful article. GREAT job on writing it, but more so being able to. To have found clarity to really lay it all out. I love the way it is written, the breaks in between sentences, the short sentences in places they should be. So well written and well said!
    I believe we can ALL be that negative person, that toxic person at times, to ourselves and to others.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I agree with you, we can ALL be that negative person. It is a tough pill to swallow. However, when we begin to swallow the pill of truth and start to focus on the real problem (our pain and damage) then healing can begin to happen.

  • Anne Yedlin says:

    This post really hits home with me. I currently go to counseling because I have dealt with a lot of emotional trauma in my life. You are absolutely right that when we haven’t faced our own demons that we can ultimately hurt those we love the most. Toxicity in ourselves resonates to those around us and makes our personal relationships toxic. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your words! I am praying for your journey towards health! If there is anything I can do to assist you please let me know!

  • tara pittman says:

    I felt like the mean toxic person last night. So today I am working on changing me.

    • Jim says:

      That is the best statement I have read to date! When we make the decision to work on me everything else will start to fall into place. The reality of the situation is that I cannot help anyone else be healthy if I am not healthy. Thank you for joining the conversation!

  • Aija says:

    This is a great post and love the resources for doing the work.

  • Eliza says:

    Very well-written article and just on time. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Crystal Gard says:

    The quote you shared about admitting that we have a problem is the hardest thing is so true. Sometimes it’s so easy to point out the problems with others but we neglect to look at ourselves to determine if in fact we are the ones with a problem.

    • Jim says:

      I think it is so true in all of our lives. We find it easier to point fingers. The harder thing is to turn the finger to the person in the mirror. However, when we are able to point the finger at ourselves beautiful things begin to happen. We start finding the pathway towards healing. Thank you for joining the conversation!

  • Neha kumari says:

    Great post. Some self thinking needs to be done.

  • Iona says:

    Ok Jim, this has been by far my favorite blog of yours. Nothing but truth spoken here. I thought you weee talking about my ex husband for a second. Lol… great read and thanks once again for sharing!

  • Ali Chovanec says:

    The moment I started reading this post I thought, “Boy, I sure know a few people I would like to have read this article!” Ha! Then it hit me . . . I might be that person from other peoples’ perspective. Oops! Dose of humble pie, anyone? I will take a double helping!

    • Jim says:

      I love the realness of your response. I am so guilty of similar things. I starting thinking of all the people that need this or that. Then I realize the one that really needs it is me. Ouch! Even though we don’t like to admit it we need more of things like this. I believe that if we would focus on our own emotional health than the rest of our lives would fall into place. Thank you for your realness and for joining the conversation!

  • Thank you so much! This is a powerful post!

  • Emily says:

    Wow – all very true. Some things to think about.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kindness and for joining the conversation!!! I pray your thinking becomes very fruitful! Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

  • I really, really loved reading this. I feel like you were speaking directly to me, and I needed to hear it all. I’ve been struggling lately, and haven’t put two and two together that I might be the problem. But I see that, and I accept that, and I’m changing that now. Thank you for writing this and giving me the virtual push I needed.

    • Jim says:

      I am so blessed to hear that this post helped you! I would love to hear your progress as you fight for your healing. Let me know how I can be of assistance. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • sonja says:

    What a useful and deep post! Great work!

  • Milton Goh says:

    Wow what a deep and powerful post. You must have taken quite a while to type this out.
    There are so many quote-worthy lines in this post.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and it has given me many useful insights for self-reflection.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I pray that it helps you in your journey. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the points please feel free to reach out to me through my contact page and/or social media! I would love to further the conversation.

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