Toxic relationships are everywhere.
The likelihood that you are involved in one is extremely high. And no, I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. It could be with a friend or even a coworker. If you are constantly fatigued, unhappy or self critical, you may need to evaluate all the people close to you to rule out toxic relationships.
They usually start off either very early in life or as a young adult, before you’ve had the chance to truly get to know yourself. They drain you, make you question yourself and leave you feeling anxious and/or upset. Most of the time, you don’t even realize this is happening. You may start off happy and next thing you know, your mood has completely shifted, and you have no idea why.
How do I identify these toxic relationships?
Sometimes, the toxicity is immediate and you get the “off” vibes right off the bat. Other times, the toxicity is subtle and disguised as a friendly voice, which may confuse you at first. Here are some examples:
- If, after spending time with a certain person, you feel exhausted rather than invigorated and question why you’re even friends in the first place, then that may be a toxic relationship.
- If, whenever you are excited about something and tell this person, they always seem to be apathetic to your good news, then that may be a toxic relationship.
- When someone only checks in with you because they need something, it may be a toxic relationship.
- If you talk about something that’s upsetting to you and instead of comfort, you get subtle comments in agreement with how you definitely messed up, you may be in a toxic relationship.
- When they’re glued to their phone as you’re trying to have a conversation, it’s most likely a toxic relationship.
I’m no expert, but all these things are clues and should not be overlooked. I always encourage people to listen to their gut instincts because they are real and useful. We are all born with an innate sense of the energy around us and shouldn’t take that lightly!
You may be questioning whether YOU are the toxic person in the relationship. If some of these things apply to you, sit with yourself and ask yourself why. Most likely, if you’ve found yourself reading this article, then you either are not toxic or you want to change. You could be jealous, angry or just scared. It’s important to heal and accept yourself before you can have great relationships. Meditation is a wonderful tool to access your true self.
What should I do if I’m in a toxic relationship?
Well, the answer to this question depends on how important it is to keep them in your life…and how much work you’re willing to put in.
I’m not going to say you should completely give up and get out. If that were the case, no one would be around me (hence this journey, y’all)! First, you should evaluate the relationship and make a decision: whether or not there’s value in the relationship and it’s something you want to continue.
Usually, people don’t realize what they’re doing is toxic. They just go through life with this guilt/anger/fear/jealousy without trying to find the root cause of it. Make them aware of the situation and give them a chance to control it. Give them some time, help them work through their demons and if that doesn’t work, you may consider ending it.
If you’re dealing with a full on narcissist, then they know what they’re doing and don’t really care. With those relationships, you should exit IMMEDIATELY.
What if my toxic relationship is with a family member?
Yikes. This one here is tricky and sad. I would try to bring it to their attention. Talk to them about how what they say and do affects you negatively. They must be open to listening to make it work.
Having had experience with this and being unsuccessful, sometimes you have to disengage. If they are close family, you will probably never have them completely out of your life. But, you must set boundaries. You must be confident in yourself to be able to be around them. Do the work! If you do not, you will always be sucked into their drama and negativity.
Also, limit the time spent with them. It’s not fair to you to be subject to a toxic relationship on a regular basis.
Hopefully, I’ve helped you decipher the code of toxicity. Let me know what you think in the comments below!