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#12 - Toxic behavior as a woman

Toxic behavior can also differ between the sexes. For example, it is more common for female patterns to be subliminal, perfidious and toxic in a softer way, whereas the male side tends to be dominant, aggressive and loud. An extreme manifestation of toxic behavior is narcissism, which often expresses itself feminine rather through inferiority, depression and helplessness. In other words, it functions more through over-adaptation, performance and co-dependence in the sense of empathy, self-sacrifice and idealism than through grandiosity, coldness, aggression and fighting.

For this reason, it is also important to look at the differences between the genders, which exist regardless of position or constellation within relationships.

Which harmful, restrictive and destructive behaviors tend to be rooted in female social and cultural norms?

These behaviors can occur in all genders and in different social and cultural contexts. It's more about both and. Because there are some norms and expectations that are more associated with femininity in some cultures and societies and can have potentially harmful effects, such as

1. Perfectionism: Women are often under pressure to be perfect in all areas of their lives - be it attractiveness, career, family or social relationships. This pressure can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and a constant feeling of inadequacy and inferiority.

2. Selflessness: Women are often raised and encouraged to put the needs of others above their own. This leads to women neglecting their own needs and overly caring for others, which can lead to overwork, burnout and loss of self-connectedness.

3. Limiting career ambitions: In some cultures, women are encouraged to focus on traditional roles such as housework and child rearing rather than pursuing career ambitions. This can lead to a sense of dissatisfaction and lack of self-fulfillment and self-worth.

4. Body image and beauty standards: Women are often confronted with unrealistic ideals of beauty and definitions of attractiveness, which can lead to disturbed body image and body image, eating disorders and low self-esteem.

5. Suppression of emotions: Women are sometimes expected to suppress their emotions and constantly display a "strong" and "controlled" demeanor. This can lead to women not allowing themselves to express their true feelings, which can lead to inner dissatisfaction and psychological problems. Especially in relation to female anger, this power is often suppressed by a "don't be such a bitch" attitude.

It is interesting and necessary to recognize and work on these norms in order to create a healthier and fairer society for all genders. Of course, these lists are neither complete nor exhaustive. Rather, it is essential to recognize where the behavior can be rather perfidious and subliminal, yet still show up everywhere.

A distinction can also be made between women who are hurt and women who act in a more masculine way. For example, wounded women often show the following characteristics when dealing with others: people pleasing, manipulative, manipulative, insecure, ignores their own intuition, lives in a victim attitude, shows low self-esteem, is easily clingy and is afraid to share their own opinion.

Women who behave more masculine, on the other hand, show the following characteristics, among others: acts from a defensive posture, appears cold and suspicious, is self-centered, more giving than receiving, always takes the lead, shows hunting behavior, hides her feelings, feels pursued but also likes to pursue, is always in competition with others.

What is the difference to toxic behavior that is more male-dominated?

The difference often lies in the specific social and cultural contexts and the underlying expectations and norms associated with male or female identity. Here are some differences that may exist between masculine toxic behaviors and the feminine behaviors mentioned above:

Because women are often encouraged to suppress their emotions and give in, to keep their knowledge to themselves and simply "obey", toxic behavior in women can be more subtle and manifest itself in passive-aggressive behavior, social exclusion or manipulation. They are more likely to attempt to exert control over others in manipulative or indirect ways.

Women may tend to exhibit subtle forms of competition in social situations, such as exclusion from social groups. They are more likely to emphasize their weaknesses or use them as a means of manipulation.

In women, toxic behavior can be associated with expectations of femininity, such as being extra caring, supportive and emotional.

When individuals try to live up to these expectations and harm themselves and others in the process, violent reactions can occur over a period of time because at some point the barrel of conformity is full.

It is important to emphasize that these differences do not apply in every case and that toxic behavior is individual and situation-dependent. In addition, cultural differences and personal circumstances can play a role in how toxic behavior is manifested in different individuals. It is important to recognize that toxic behaviors are harmful in both genders and that eliminating gender stereotypes and promoting healthy behaviors is critical for all genders.

How do I deal with this phenomenon?

Dealing with toxic behavior generally requires empathy, communication and the ability to set healthy boundaries. Here are some steps that can help you deal with female toxic behavior:

1. Recognize and name it: Identify the toxic behavior and name it without judging or blaming. Try to separate the behavior from the person and focus on the actions or words that are problematic.

2. Set clear boundaries: It is important to set clear boundaries and communicate them clearly to the person with toxic behavior. Be firm and consistent, but remain respectful and empathetic in your manner.

3. Communication: Try to speak in a calm and respectful tone about how the behavior is affecting you and what changes you would like to see. Avoid accusations and try to ask open questions to promote mutual understanding.

4. Self-care: Put yourself first and take time for self-care. Toxic behavior can be distressing, so it's important to take care of your own needs and seek support if necessary.

5. Remain steadfast: If the toxic behavior does not change or even escalates, it is important to remain steadfast and, if necessary, seek professional help or support from outside.

6. Reflect on your own reactions: Take the time to reflect on your own reactions to the toxic behavior. Avoid lowering yourself to the level of the person with toxic behavior and try to find constructive ways to deal with the situation.

It should be noted that dealing with toxic behavior is often a complex and challenging task. It can be helpful to seek professional support from coaches, counselors or other professionals to help you develop healthy coping strategies and maintain your boundaries.

Be courageous, stay true to yourself and try new ways to clarify the overall issue for yourself and find a good way of dealing with it. Always remember that you can always decide differently, act differently, grow and try something new.


Coaching offers ideal support here to either take the first steps in conflict management and analysing one's own reaction structures or to directly implement new skills that enable and empower all those involved to learn to deal well and confidently with corresponding situations in relationships. Another option is to act as a mediator or observer and outline a neutral picture of the prevailing relationship patterns in the department or company and use this to provide insights and recommendations for action to the decision-makers.

Trusting that the best possible solution will be allowed to develop and be implemented.


Coaching can provide you with targeted support in overcoming upcoming challenges at every stage - internally in the team or as a leader in the company. Let's work out together how I can provide you in your individual situation with optimal support and customised assistance.

Contact me to take your next steps

Nicole Dildei Coaching

+49 157 58 267 427

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