We have all experienced times when being around someone, or a group of people leaves us feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted in the end. Sometimes you have felt a loss of self-esteem or self worth, or perhaps you have been made to believe that your opinions do not matter and are unimportant. Have you ever compromised your own wants, needs, goals for someone else, but in the end, you do not feel like not everything you did was valued.
What keeps you in these relationships? Sometimes we feel like we do not want to quit, because we want to believe that the situation we are in is only temporary and the person will change. There is a definition of a toxic relationship can be found on Wikipedia. It is only one definition out of countless others.
Toxic relationships, just as abusive relationships know no boundaries. There is no typical stereotype that can be associated with a toxic or abusive relationship. Rich, middle-class or poor, between family members, people we think are friends, or romantic relationships. Toxicity penetrates them all.
Some questions to ask yourself…
• Is the person always reminding you of something you have done wrong in the past, whether real or imagined? In other words, they try to blame you for something that is not true. For example, my ex would always talk about how much he put into our relationship and how I was the one who was “quitting” on us. He would neglect the fact that while he was saying that to me, he was usually yelling at the top of his lungs.
• Jealousy is not fun, it is not cute, and it is not healthy. Jealousy as in other toxic relationships knows no boundaries and can develop in all relationships including professionally, romantically and in friendships. Sometimes we think jealousy is fun or cute and maybe it is once, but if it is ongoing and continual, it is not good. Someone we think is a friend is jealous that we are spending time with another friend. Alternatively, a Co-Worker, or fellow volunteer is jealous because you are getting attention for something that you have done and they want attention, but have not done anything to deserve it. Relationships are difficult, someone who is jealous will manipulate you to the point where they isolate you from friends and family and maybe even your job. That is what toxic people do.
• They have had a bad day and somehow it is your fault. We all have days where some are better than others; however, we choose how to react to the things that come our way. For someone to have a bad day and expect you to know this as if you are some kind of mind reader or telepath is completely unreasonable. To blame you because you did not know they had something on their mind is just selfish and wrong and it is not behavior that anyone deserves or should accept. You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness; it is not your job to MAKE someone happy.
• Passive-Aggressive behavior is enormously toxic to any relationship. One person has something to say to you, or something that they want you to do, but do not know how to communicate that to you. Therefore, they drop hints about what they want or they will push your buttons, until you get into an argument about something out and then they will bring up whatever topic is really on their agenda.
• Giving gifts to cover up problems. You argue, you fight, you have an incident and the other person always ends it with gifts, flowers, chocolates, jewelry. However, does the behavior ever change? Do you spend a few hours or a day being abused, emotionally held hostage and in the end, after that has past, you find yourself being given a gift? Yet, they never say they are sorry, because of course, in their mind, they did not do anything wrong. The gifts and such as just their way of replacing the need to communicate and right a wrong.
So after you have read this, do you find a bit of yourself in any of these examples? This is just a small list of toxic relationships, there are many, many more. Keep in mind that if your gut feels that it is wrong, then it most likely is wrong. Follow you guy, follow your instincts. See the red flags and don’t put rose-colored glasses on to ignore them.
Get yourself out, find a support system and find a Life Coach or if you need more, then a therapist or psychologist.
The best thing you can do for yourself is remember that you are not to blame for anyone else’s behavior. You are not to blame for anyone else’s bad day at work, bad drive home and you are worthy of and deserve to be treated better. Rid yourself of the toxic people in your life and their baggage that they bring to a relationship. Be cautious to leave your baggage from the past at the door too.
As a Life Coach, I help people answer the questions of how they got to the place that they are in, where they want to go in the future and make a plan and steps to get to that place. I offer a 1 hour free consultation and several different packages to suit the needs of most. Let’s work together to break those ties; stop repeating the same patterns and move forward to the future of your dreams.