Toxic relationships are a lot of talking with very little or no reward for you.
As much as some people think it’s dark that we leverage people, there really is no point in holding on to someone that doesn’t help you. There can be a lot of damage both mentally and physically when one stays in for long periods of time.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there are ways of handling this. But each case is different as each relationship that you have is different.
It makes sense that depending on the relationship, there’s different ways to handle it.
Friends, Acquaintances and Romantic Partners
“Bad company corrupts good character.” Anonymous
We’re going to start with the easy ones first. Even though these types of relationships can certainly be heart-wrenching, the methods used are pretty basic.
These bonds are formed mainly because you can leverage something from the other person, both physically and/or mentally.
With romantic relationships, we’re looking to feel loved, needed, or appreciated on top of that too.
When those conditions aren’t meant, there puts a strain on the relationship. Eventually arguments start happening and it can be challenging to deal with them.
This is where you want to come to an agreement where both parties benefit.
Sure the argument could be about something else, but every source of an argument actually stems from something that’s been building up over time.
So you want to fix the problem and that means communicating what you want out of the relationship. If you can’t agree on something, then it might be better to move on. This only lowers their influence on you.
Remember, influence is built over time when you spend more time with the other person.
You can lower that influence by spending less time with them.
Fans and Followers
“Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.” Anonymous
The second one are people that follow behind you or that you associate loosely with. Friends of friends and the like.
Although for many people living in the spotlight they’ve gotten over the potential toxicity, others haven’t.
We know the people who don’t act on their own as “people pleasers”.
Those who would do anything to get approval.
We see this a lot on social media where people will be driven into depression if they don’t hit a certain amount of likes or receive warm comments. It’s gotten to the point that people are incredibly sensitive about that.
In those kind of relationships, there isn’t one person who has direct influence over them, it’s a collective group.
But as large as they can be in numbers, the truth is, not many know what’s going on in your life.
They’re generally out of the loop.
This is how you can move on.
You’re not necessarily burning a bridge and cutting ties. You are reducing those peoples influences by not letting all their words get to you.
By all means, if you have people giving you advice and don’t know the whole situation, take some to heart. But determine if it’s relevant and aligns with your goals.
Constructive criticism can still be baseless criticism if it has nothing to do with you or it’s out of your own control.
Furthermore be respectful with the advice given. To repeat, these people don’t know everything about you and only see what you want them to see. So don’t shoot them down entirely and take some time to explain a little.
“Show me your friends and I would tell you who you are.” Vanilla Ice
The family is by far the toughest as these are people that both generally know who you are, and you can’t simply burn that bridge.
No matter what, even if the person is a giant asshole, they are still family.
But even in toxic relationships with family, you can still manage them. Here’s how.
It all comes back to the prominent theme of lowering influence.
This can be not heeding the person's advice, disagreeing with them, and more.
The whole idea is to make clear that you are your own self and you won’t be acting based solely on another person's word.
This is the same theme that has popped up throughout this post.
By drawing that line, you can start to push a person away based off of that. At least in terms of influence.
To understand yourself truly, you need to first learn to stand on your own two feet and start to move away from people that don’t help you at all.
But that’s only the start of all this as there are many other kinds of obstacles you may be faced with that you’ll need to overcome.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 35 of 91 of this series.
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