Are you in Toxic Relationship?
Relationships define how you relate with others and how others make you feel. When you are in a good relationship, you feel treasured, happy, and confident. However, once in awhile, you may find yourself in a toxic relationship, a relationship that makes you feel frustrated, unhappy, and stifled.
It may be a romantic relationship or a relationship with a family member. Such a relationship may undermine your joy and self-esteem. Fortunately, you can take charge of your life upon establishing that you are in this unenviable position.
Telltale Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Toxic relationships portray this pattern:
- The person maintains an attitude of indifference or neglect towards your feelings, thoughts, and needs.
- There is over-dependence on you to meet their needs and to implement their decisions.
- There is abuse: emotional, sexual, physical or verbal.
- Deception through lying, pretending, hiding, and misrepresenting information.
- The toxic person is possessive, overbearing, overprotective, manipulative and controlling towards you.
- There is frequent or continuous blame and emotional attack.
A Toxic Family – Is There Such a Thing?
Letting go of a toxic boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend might be easy, but what happens when it’s a family member? We all expect love, respect, and unfailing loyalty from our family; however, most family relationships are not matches made in heaven. Every family has its own kind of toxic relationship. These relationships are characterized by drama, jealousy, manipulation, criticism, lying, neediness, and other undesirable traits.
As a victim, you may have to give up your life goals to fulfill the wishes of a domineering or manipulative family member. Interacting with them may leave you feeble in many ways – depending on what you have to give up for the sake of peace. You may fail to develop socially, economically, spiritually, or psychologically.
Such sacrifices, while appropriate for a loved one, may eventually hinder your personal growth and obstruct other important social bonds in your life, especially those outside the relationship.
With the battering your self-confidence takes, your self-worth gradually drops to zero as you wallow in insecurity, anxiety, and self-judgement. You may even end up believing that you deserve such treatment from toxic family members because something is wrong with you.
The Toxic Family Quiz: How to Tell If You’re Surrounded by Toxic People
Do you dread family reunions? Do you keep making excuses not to see your parents or siblings? Answer these questions to know if you have a toxic family.
- In their opinion, there is nothing you can do right.
- You cringe at the thought of spending time with them. Whenever you meet, you can’t wait to leave.
- Your feelings don’t count. Whenever you talk, they must always have the final word.
- You can’t be yourself around them. They make you uncomfortable and uneasy.
- They discourage any of your efforts to grow and improve yourself.
- They control the family resources without consulting you.
- They yell at you, use abusive or derogatory language, or attack you emotionally or physically when angry or frustrated.
- They withdraw or sulk for extended periods when upset with you.
- They make fun of or question your beliefs and things that are important to you.
What Can Turn You Into a Toxic Person?
At times, the people around you may not be toxic, you may be the toxic person. While it’s not easy to criticize yourself, there’s no way you can change if you don’t deal with the source of your problems. You may not have become a toxic person overnight. It may be a result of great emotional pain, a toxic family, or toxic friends.
You may have had your heart broken in a relationship or may have been affected by toxic people. In a subconscious effort to avoid the possibility of more pain, you may lash out and sabotage relationships that make you feel vulnerable.
If you’re selfish, always have to be right, you lie, you’re always surrounded by drama, never have a kind word to say about others, and you are always the victim, you are a toxic person. Sometimes we become this way without even realizing it. We become passive-aggressive, overly critical and overall negative about and with the other person.
Consciously we feel justified and unconsciously we have deeper issues of not feeling loved and unworthy of having someone be aligned to our values, joy and experiences.
Take a step back, scrutinize yourself, and determine whether you’re the one causing toxicity in your life. Don’t wait till it’s too late, when everyone has left and you have no one to turn to.
When to Leave Toxic People
When you genuinely care for and love a person unconditionally, separation is a painful process. However, it’s the right thing to do if it’s obvious that your relationship is not healthy.
Even if the good outweighs the bad in the relationship, you need to consider the following to decide whether to quit, keep your distance, or hang in there:
- Is the person a bad choice for you or is your perception of their behaviour a result of prejudices stemming from your past, your fears, and limitations?
- Does the person have other positive characteristics and ideals that you value which can make you overlook the complications in your relationship?
- Is the person willing to seek professional help to overcome their weaknesses?
- Is your role in the relationship contributing to your being abused?
- Is it time for you to consider a coach or some support to look more clearly at your own issues or toxic behavior?
Staying in a toxic relationship is not advisable. You make the toxic person or toxic family members believe that you don’t mind being emotionally harassed and humiliated.
Additionally, staying in the relationship shows you have no backbone to stand up for yourself and feel inadequate without the company of another person no matter how detrimental the relationship is for you or for both of you. Love yourself; if you don’t, who will?
Say Goodbye to Toxic People
The world is full of toxic people. You’ll find them at work, on the highway, and even at the gym. If you have a toxic person in your life, distance yourself from them temporarily or permanently. Take time to analyze the situation from a different perspective. If the person is not willing to change, say goodbye; if they are, try to help them change for the better. No one is perfect, but you don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship because of love or pity. In the end, you’re the one who will suffer.
Some things that you can consider before just exiting the relationship is to have a conversation with them. Explain how you feel always staying with yourself (I) and giving up the word you. In other words, stick with what you feel and do not say anything like, “You make me feel….” Be aware that you choose all of your thoughts and perceptions. No One can make you feel any particular way.
Ask them what they think would bring the relationship to one of peace and ease. Ask yourself. “What would it take for me to see this person from a different perception?”
Work internally at finding a greater sense of appreciation for the great things that each person has (even if they are not showing it to you.)
Invite their feedback and make an agreement there will be no blame or attack.
If these few things are not successful it may be time to literally distance yourself from the person or people and simultaneously ask what you can learn from the relationship so you do not repeat it again.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.