Humans are, by and large, social creatures. Our lives tend to revolve around the interpersonal relationships we develop and maintain over time, wherein we place great value on the individuals we hold dear to us. We draw love, support, and understanding from those close to us – however, it goes without saying that often times, certain relationships can bring unwanted negativity into our lives.
The emotional investment involved in friendships, romantic relationships, and familial bonds are not always fruitful. Toxic characteristics and harmful dynamics can end up causing much suffering in many relationships. People can be as much be a source of emotional discomfort, pain, and exhaustion.
It’s natural to have arguments and get into small fights from time to time; we are all only human after all. But a toxic person or relationship is likely to follow certain patterns, and by keeping an eye out for telling behaviors, you can help improve the quality of your relationships and the people you keep close to you.
Identifying Toxic Traits and Relationships
When it comes to helping yourself acknowledge the toxic people in your life, it can be a tricky path to navigate. Toxicity is not necessarily a lack of love on the part of the person in question; it is no secret that most times, it is the people who love you that can be the ones who take the most from you but you have to acknowledge if it’s getting too much and you need to step back.
A truly toxic individual will exhibit certain characteristics and behaviors that you may well have previously brushed off as inconsequential. Sure, we’re all a little selfish and dishonest now and then, but a toxic relationship will drain you mentally and emotionally, taking much more of you than it should.
A common trait of toxic people is that of dishonesty. This isn’t just about a simple white lie – an individual like this will never be upfront about their intentions, and will often disguise the truth behind bold-faced lies.
Such people tend to often be narcissistic, and are also very well-versed in manipulation. They control you with their lies and half-truths, often portraying themselves as the victim to gain attention, sympathy, and sometimes even your forgiveness. There is a distinct lack of accountability for their actions, and you’ll often find that when things go awry, the blame falls on you. Sound familiar yet?
When you love a person who is toxic to those around them, you give and give, without getting much in return. It is an unending cycle, and there is always some rationalization or justification in mind to absolve them of their blatant disregard for your feelings and needs. But a little word of advice would be to always empathize but know when to walk away for your own mental sanity.
The main thing to realize is that you don’t deserve to be put down every step of the way by someone who claims to care about you, be it a family member, friend, or significant other.
Eliminating Toxicity from Your Life Does Wonders
Once you start seeing the damaging patterns and feeling the weight of how much of yourself you’ve given to a toxic dynamic, the answer to the question of why you need to take a step back from such relationships is really a no-brainer.
In every relationship, there is a give and take. Compassion, empathy, support; these are things that should be there without expectation and ulterior motives. If someone you love constantly puts you down in little and big ways, disrespects your boundaries, and is overall emotionally manipulative or abusive – it’s time to let go of them.
The presence of such negativity in your life can take an immense toll, not just on your emotional well-being, but on your overall health and wellness too.
Take the First Step Towards Healthier Relationships
As the saying goes, the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem, and in this case, the problem is people bringing unneeded negativity into your life. Acknowledge the relationships that you find bring you down and sap your positivity, and start setting up that much-needed boundary wall.
The best case scenario is to actively work to disengage yourself from such individuals. Stop giving them your precious time and attention, and focus on those who lift you up and encourage you to grow, rather than those who hold you back. Make a swift exit from the romance that’s tearing you down, or take a break from an unhealthy friendship that’s only sucking your energy.
Of course, things aren’t always as simple as cutting out the people you feel are toxic to you. The person in question may be a close family member or a co-worker that’s impossible to avoid. In such scenarios, establish and uphold clear-cut boundaries, and don’t be afraid to assert yourself to get the point across.
Opening yourself up to love is never easy, and difficult relationships don’t make it any easier. Cutting out toxic relationships and feelings is only the tip of the iceberg. Your emotional health needs to come first; let your healing take it’s time and run the full course to bring you closer to a happier and healthier outlook on life, love, and relationships.
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