Most of us have experienced one or more toxic relationships. (you could be in one right now) We question how they can be avoided and maybe even if we are the toxic person. We ask ourselves why, after experiencing past toxic relationships, we continue to have them? Why are we vulnerable to the toxic relationship lure? Do we possess some magnetic force that pulls us toward toxic people?
Toxic relationships pop up in our personal and professional lives. The one major thing to note about a toxic relationship is that you are consistently being brought down and feel used by this person. You feel taken advantage of and angry not only at them but at yourself.
WHY DO WE SEEK THEM OUT?
The tendency to unconsciously seek out toxic relationships usually starts with past negative experiences when we are children and might carry on throughout our lives. They can be become so deeply ingrained in the way we think and feel that we do not realize we are steeped in toxicity.
In a toxic relationship you do not bring up how you feel; maybe you do not want the person to be angry because they hold some sort of power over you, or you are holding on to the dream that one day they will wake up, realize their transgressions and make good. That most likely will never happen unless they come to some sort of realization that they are toxic. An important note to make is not to sink down to some sort of passive-aggressive level with them. If you cannot find a proper way to communicate with them…ask yourself…”how is this relationship benefiting me?”
Does this person constantly put you down? Make you feel like you are not good enough? Do they mock your personality? Do you feel ashamed most of the time? Do you only feel accepted when you take on the traits of the person doing the condemning or judging?
EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THEM AND NEVER ABOUT YOU
You have feelings too, but the other person will not hear them. You are unable to have a two-sided conversation where your opinion is heard, considered and respected. Instead of acknowledging your feelings, they battle with you until they get the last word.
YOU FIND YOURSELF UNABLE TO ENJOY GOOD MOMENTS WITH THIS PERSON
Every day brings another challenge. It seems as though they are always raising gripes about you. Their attempt to control your behavior is an attempt to control your happiness.
YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE BEING YOURSELF AROUND THAT PERSON
You do not feel free to speak your mind. You have to put on a different face just to be accepted by that person. You realize you do not even recognize yourself anymore.
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GROW AND CHANGE
Whenever you aim to grow and improve yourself, the other person responds with mockery and disbelief. There is no encouragement or support for your efforts. Instead, they keep you stuck in old judgments insisting that you will never be any different than you are now.
If you are experiencing even just one of these signs, check in with yourself to see if the relationship is doing more damage than good. Take the Quiz