If you are like many people I know, you are the optimal friend, family member, employee, and employer. You will “go to the wall” and further for those people and/or projects you care about. You are committed and willing to protect those you care about, to share information that helps others, to overlook mild infractions because, after all, “We are all human!”. Then you begin to observe the signs. You notice that reciprocity is not part of the relationship, whatever it is. You find that you are uncomfortable as your needs, feelings, and input are ignored or belittled and…clarification of these is not able to be explored. You may find yourself taken for granted, the “butt” of needless jokes, not appreciated or belittled for your contributions, placed in untenable situations, confronted by the judgments of others on your actions without clarity of expectations(the “gotcha” approach)“, etc. The relationship or situation, whatever it is, has become toxic.
The truth is that your comfort in any relationship is your responsibility. When the situation goes awry, it’s up to you to determine if and how you might try to resolve it. It is not in your best interest to play the victim. Needless to say, exploring any role you played (including accepting negative situations for too long or not accepting the fact that sometimes situations will not change even in the face of mounting evidence that change is needed) is a necessary step toward your resolving the situation or “saving” yourself. What is also true is that the impact of toxicity in your life is damaging. It affects your mindset, your overall energy, and your health. Often, fear of losing the relationship keeps you from taking the actions you need to take to protect yourself and to be more productive for you!
- Have you noticed changes in your relationships that make them toxic?
- Do you find yourself losing energy or passion in certain situations?
- Do you play the victim when things are not going well?
- Do you know when to say, “Enough is enough.”?
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Until next time…