How many of you all have been involved in a toxic relationship? Raise your hand. Come on. Don't be shy. I promise not to count hands or give away your secrets. Toxic relationships aren't just romantic ones. They may be with family members, friends, or coworkers. Anyone that you have a sustained relationship with.
I think it would be safe to say that we have all encountered toxic people in our lives. They are the people that just suck the life right out of you. They make you feel angry, depressed, and just plain tired.
I have certainly had my share of toxic relationships (maybe more than my share) and I am here to say enough is enough. So how do we recognize a toxic person, how do we avoid them, and how do we extricate ourselves if we haven't accomplished the first two things.
Toxic people are like most abusive people. They may be negative, leeches, and in most cases they turn things around so that the blame is on you. They just love to take all of your good cheer and make you feel bad.
It is impossible to completely avoid toxic people. There are a whole lot of them out there. However, if you learn to recognize the traits of toxic people you can cut them off at the pass, so to speak, before they become entrenched in your life.
It isn't always easy to get rid of toxic people once they have become a part of your life, but if you can it is always the healthiest thing for you to do. You may have to gradually withdraw from the relationship if it isn't possible to cut them out quickly. Of course this may be more difficult with family members, but if they are causing you real problems and you are unable to talk to them about it then you may have to avoid being with them as much as possible. If you can't sever the relationship, then I always say go back to cognitive therapy 101. Change the way you respond to them. If their behavior always makes you angry then try responding in a new way. It may throw them off so much they will try to find someone else to feed off of and you may find yourself feeling better.
So do you recognize any toxic people in your life?
I hope you will join in on the conversation. Kick back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and lets chat.