What can you do when you become attached to someone who repeatedly hurts and mistreats you? Our relationships with others can sometimes feel messy. However, I do believe that we intuitively know it when we are in a relationship that isn't healthy. Karen Valencic, founder of Spiral Impact and an expert in conflict-resolution, says you have to consider one crucial point in determining the toxicity of the relationship: "Am I being honored and am I honoring the person? Conflict happens when a person is not feeling honored in a relationship.”
Regardless if the relationship is platonic, romantic or professional, it is confusing and very painful to care for someone who will continuously hurt you intentionally and viciously. Quite often we will enter therapy to cope with other people who should be in therapy! We want to work on and change the significant people in our life. Most of us have had moments where we wished that we could crawl into the mind of those closest to us in order to rewire the way they think. We falsely believe we can change others. Additionally, at times we assume too much responsibility for the behavior of our loved ones. I'm a believer that YOU are the common denominator in all of your relationships. It's worth examining who you attract in your life and why you are drawn to the people you most intimately bond with. It may feel frustrating but, I believe that we can only truly change ourselves. Putting your energy into better understanding the choices you make and the people you are drawn to is the best investment you will ever make.
I'm a believer that YOU are the common denominator in all of your relationships.
If you are heartbroken over the way you are being treated in a relationship, my heart goes out to you. Many have been there before and working with the right clinician can help you gain awareness and develop new patterns. Below please find 5 signs of toxic relationships. Can you relate to any of these signs? If you are stuck please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call. We are all worthy of respectful and honorable relationships.
Top 5 Signs of Toxic Relationships:
1. You get punished for saying ‘No.’ When you are in a dynamic with someone who you are afraid to set limits with, you may end up saying ‘Yes’ to activities, events and ideas that you later regret or resent. You ALWAYS have a right to say no to ANYTHING that doesn't work for you. Saying no isn’t easy. Letting people down can make us feel awkward, anxious or guilty. I promise that it gets easier over time! You are worthy of having a fulfilling life and it's important to honor yourself- even if it means setting limits with others. I also recommend that you should reconsider having a relationship with anyone who punishes you for making healthy choices for yourself.
2. Your needs don't exist or aren't valued. You know those ‘friends’ who only call you when they need something from you? They don't care if the time is at 3:00 am or if you are going through your own challenges. It can feel intimidating to say no to takers. You deserve to have people in your life who genuinely care for you and aren't looking to exploit, take advantage or use you for their own personal gain. My favorite self-care tip is to be mindful of who you surround yourself with. Honor yourself by only investing in others who value and respect you!
3. You are gossiped about or are intentionally humiliated in public. It is never ok to pick at, verbally attack or tarnish someone's reputation through sharing gossip. When you trust someone with the personal details of your life, that is a huge honor and privilege. Anyone who devalues you by intentionally embarrassing you or hurting you through gossip, is showing you that they aren't trustworthy or have your best interest at heart.
4. It's always your fault. We all know someone who is never wrong and will always blame everyone else. When we are shouldered with 100% of the responsibility, quite often the blamer is lashing out in order to protect their ego from feeling responsible from all of the things that went wrong. Blaming is an ineffective form of problem solving and is a very destructive. Fault finding doesn't protect self-esteem, solve problems, or improve relationships.
5. Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is really confusing to care about someone who has such intense mood swings. One moment they are loving, introspective and gentle and the next they turn into someone punishing, hurtful and cold. Sometimes they could be set off from a misunderstanding, other times the change in persona comes out of nowhere! All of us fragment ourselves to some degree. Depending on the situation we can be the child, the parent, the partner, the friend, the employer, the employee, etc. We are allowed to be in a bad mood. However, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will be full of inconsistencies and mixed messages. Regardless of our age, we feel safest with boundaries. It's impossible to feel safe in a relationship with someone who is consistently inconsistent and will lash out in very hurtful ways.
Can you relate to this post? If yes, please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call.
Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.