Avoiding Toxic Relationships
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the topic of toxic relationships. I think it’s something that is important to address but can also be a touchy subject. It isn’t always comfortable to talk about and can actually be quite difficult to bring up and process. This article is geared toward relationships in general. It’s whatever fits for you. Whether that’s a parental relationship, romantic relationship, familial relationship, or a friendship. Knowing when you’re in a toxic relationship can initially be difficult to detect. You might notice some things but then they’re quickly contradicted by something else. So you brush them off as being “normal.” But it isn’t until you surround yourself with healthy people that you are able to see just how toxic another one is. The more healthy people you surround yourself with, the easier it is to point out and recognize a toxic person.
Letting go of toxic relationships can be difficult because a person might not be toxic 24/7. You know that you have fun or good conversations with them at times, so you continue to have this hope that it’ll stay like that. But when you continue to notice the same things that are unhealthy in the relationship over and over, it can get discouraging. What we allow will continue, so being able to openly communicate is the most important first step. Many might say sorry and for you that gives you hope that maybe things will change. But I’ve learned that “changed behavior is the best apology.” If someone is unwilling to hear you out and make changes to actions that are destructive or disrespectful towards you then it’s time to walk away from the relationship. At that point you’re continuing to cause emotional harm to yourself.
Of course walking away from some relationships aren’t as easy as others. For example, walking away from your parents when you’re still a minor or are financially dependent can be difficult and not feasible. It’s those times that you need to make sure you have a strong support system of healthy people whom you can spend time with. Having people that can continuously lift us up and make us feel good about ourselves and who we genuinely enjoy being around can be our saving grace at the end of the day. Personally, if I notice I’m surrounded by toxic people, then I know I can rely on the relationship I have with my girlfriend, my family, and my two best friends as forms of healthy and supportive relationships. Although you might not be able to walk away from every toxic relationship in your life, you can walk TOWARDS relationships that are healing, fulfilling, and with others who help you grow as a person. Let those relationships overpower the unhealthy ones.
Remember to have compassion towards yourself, do not beat yourself up, and do not blame yourself for someone else’s behavior. The only person you can control is you. You might initially feel guilt or sadness over losing a relationship with someone, continue to show yourself love, do self-care, and surround yourself with healthy people. Over time you will realize that letting go of those toxic relationships was the best decision for you. Things in life will feel lighter; you’ll begin to see the true value of healthy relationships in your life and continue to seek out those kinds of relationships with others.
Love & light,
About the Author:
Meg is a 25 year old East Coaster. She is currently studying Human Development and Psychology at a New York State University. Her ultimate goal is to become a Sports Psychologist and work in a college setting. In her spare time, Meg loves to travel and has been to over half of the United States so far; her favorite places being Rockland, Maine and Portland, Oregon! She also loves spending time with her girlfriend, friends, and family, hiking in the mountains, playing guitar, and yoga.
You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @meggmott