Being constantly surrounded by unhealthy people and involved in toxic relationships impairs your ability to decipher what is acceptable and what is not. The worst part about being in an unhealthy relationship is not realizing you are in one. When your “norm” is toxic, even the most intolerable behavior becomes acceptable, and worse, expected.
Relationships can either enhance us or drain us. Here are five tell-sale signs that you are in a relationship you need to walk away from.
1. Agony:You dread spending time with this person.
2. Boundaries: This person invades your psychological space and makes grand attempts to control you through manipulation, threats, or guilt.
3. Communication: You are unable to get your point across without stirring up conflict and are unable resolve differences without belittlement or blame. Sometimes in the midst of a toxic relationship, there is no communication whatsoever; you fear their reaction or response to such a degree that you choose to suppress or silence your inner-self.
4. Disrespect: Mutual respect is not evident. When someone fails to respect you as a human being, you begin to lose respect for that person in return.
5. Emotion: This person stirs up strong emotions In you like irritability or anger.
If you are, in fact, in an unhealthy relationship, the next step is to identify whether or not this is a relationship you have the power to leave.
Some relationships are static; relationships we are born into — relationships with our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Other relationships are selected; friends, partners, spouses — those in which we can select to either maintain or abandon.
If you are “stuck” in an unhealthy relationship, for lack of a better word, you will need to learn how to cope with the dysfunction and can do so by following these five steps.
1. Use your voice: Say what you need to say without fear of their response or reaction.
2. Demand your boundaries are respected: Put your foot down and walk away from the situation. Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words.
3. Have a strong sense of who you are: Do not let their “you are” become your “I am”.
4. Set limits: Determine where, when, and for how long you will spend time with this person.
5. Take time for yourself: If you need to take a break, take one. Remove yourself, gather your thoughts, and come back when you are ready and calm.