I was having a chat with a lovely friend of mine yesterday, and the topic moved into relationships of the harmful variety, and she made a valid and obvious point. There’s never just one toxic relationship in our lives, and what they all have in common is us. So, to an extent then, it means that it really isn’t them, and it really is us.
Now, before you shout at me, hear me out. I am not saying it was all your fault. But this is something that I know to be true about myself and my relationships; I was complicit in allowing the bad stuff to happen, and because it was happening in the biggest relationship in my life, I allowed it to stray into others.
Think about your life. That relationship with your toxic partner coloured your life, and I’m guessing that you wanted a quiet life (or at least, to be allowed to live the way you wanted to). Because it coloured your perceptions, your actions changed around them. So your boss started to act unreasonably, or a family member started putting on you… do you see the pattern?
We get what we allow people to give. Some people do not like us and never will, and some people are of the opinion of “I like me, who do you like?”. The people who fall into these categories will either go out of their way to annoy and upset you, or will not care if their actions in their quest for world domination upset you. But the common denominator all the way through is you.
As you are the common denominator, what do you do about it?
The answer is simple. Don’t give them the opportunity to spread their particular toxicity around your life. You can deal with this in lots of ways. Be nice as pie to them, or cut them out of your life. It’s your choice. But when you think about your toxic relationships and realise that you always attract the bastards into your life, it’s partly because you’re giving them permission.
Remove the permission and remove the pain.
The freedom of this is immense. I know that a toxic relationship wears down our confidence and we condition the responses of other people to us by our actions and beliefs as to what we might feel we deserve, depending on our low our self-esteem might be. It just makes us an easy target for bad treatment. If we don’t tell the people in our lives who hurt us that it’s exactly what they’re doing, how will they know to stop?
Be the common denominator of the good stuff and precious friendships in your life.
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