Every now and again you meet a person you think you want to get to know better. You pursue the relationship and end up involved, only to discover that the relationship only brings you negativity. This situation can happen in a close friendship or sometimes in a love relationship.
How can you tell if you are involved in a toxic relationship? If you realize that you are in a relationship that is poisoning you, and possibly your other relationships, what can you do?
First, look for some signs
1. You find that you are questioning your own feelings. You are beginning to second-guessing yourself about how you should act and what you should say.
2. You experience feelings of physical and emotional upset. When you are with this particular person, your stomach hurts or you feel anxious and jumpy.
3. You feel confused. You are feeling unsure about what is actually going on with you. You feel like you don’t know which end is up when it comes to this relationship.
4. The relationship is unpredictable in a negative way. For example, you thought your friend would be happy that you arrived early to go shopping but instead you found that they were irritated.
5. One or both of you consistently are saying hurtful things. It is an emotional roller coaster. Too many damaging, unforgettable, angry words have been said. There are plenty of ups and downs, but the downs are getting much more brutal and harder to take.
6. You have had an angry physical exchange with the person. They have literally pushed you or thrown a cell phone at you. And, maybe, you have gotten a little more physical, too.
7. When you are with this person, you engage in unhealthy behaviors. Whether it’s drinking too much, shopping and spending more than you can afford, or just not being honest with others to spend time with the person, it is pretty plain to see that you are falling into “dark side.”
If you are experiencing any of these situations, you are probably in a relationship that is having some pretty devastating effects on you and your life.
So, what can you do about it?
1. Give yourself some time away to focus. Take a few days without having any contact with the person. Examine how that makes you feel.
2. Have confidence in yourself. Remember that you have made it through some tough times before and worked through them.
3. Decide whether you still want the person to remain in your life. Have things between the two of you gone so far that they you feel they cannot be corrected?
4. Write down the top three issues that bother you about what’s going on. Doing this will help you be clear with yourself about what is making you feel so discouraged about the relationship. Getting your thoughts and ideas on paper and in order will help to lift some of the fog of confusion and bring you clarity and confidence.
5. Examine your own actions. What are you doing to help perpetuate the difficulties? Be brutally honest with yourself about what part you actually play in this worrisome relationship. Allow yourself to look deeply within and discover your own unhealthy behaviors. Promise yourself that you will work on your own issues and start to get them resolved.
6. If you believe that the relationship can change, talk directly with the other person about the issues that are upsetting you. Be specific. Use a neutral tone of voice.
Being open about your own feelings with the other person will help strengthen your convictions to do something about the issue moving forward.
7. Get some professional help. If you find that the two of you are unable to resolve the challenges on your own, you may want to call a mental health professional. They can help you both clarify your feelings and enable you to overcome the toxicity.
Even though you may find that you are currently in a toxic relationship, you can endeavor to resolve the challenges. You must first embrace responsibility for your own actions and choices in life. Discuss the matters openly and honestly. Whether you decide in the end stay together or not, following these steps will help bring things out in the open, and help you experience the more tranquil life you desire!