Warning – Hazardous Material
There could be plenty of reasons why a person close to you might be behaving badly and drawing you into their toxic world, but no matter what the whys and wherefores may be, there really is no excuse for them inflicting their sullenness and negativity onto you on a continual and regular basis.
Riding the waves of somebody else’s emotional storm is not an experience anyone should have to go through, after all we have enough ups and downs of our own to deal with without having to deal with the pain somebody else is inflicting upon us.
That is not to say we can’t offer support to loves ones when they’re facing their challenges, it just means we do need to remember ourselves during the process and ensure we are protected.
However, there are levels of continued negative behaviour in relationships that are above and beyond any reasonable explanation and for which there are absolutely no excuses. The bully with the poisonous personality who seems to purposely want to manipulate and intimidate you. The aggressor who uses gratuitous emotional torture to wield power over you and who seems to enjoy inflicting abuse and misery.
These relationships are at best unhealthy and at worst, positively damaging. We’ve put together some suggestions as to how to manage the situation if you find yourself at the centre of a toxic storm;
Don’t delude yourself into thinking their behaviour is ok
A common mistake of people trapped in a toxic relationship is to convince themselves that the other persons behaviour is actually not that bad and that in fact, they themselves are probably over reacting and making a bigger deal about things than really necessary. This is a dangerous way of thinking and will only lead you down a very troublesome road. Stop the denial and start making steps to remove yourself from such a poisonous environment.
Don’t make allowances
It’s all too easy to try and come up with reasons and excuses for others bad behaviour but at the end of the day the buck stops with them. No matter what they might be going through, there is no need for them to repeatedly make you suffer. If you are supporting them through a crisis then they should be respectful and appreciative enough to realise making you a target of their negative emotions is not acceptable.
Keep a record
To be sure you haven’t just caught the person on a bad day or the negativity towards you isn’t down to a short term problem in our communications together, you should keep a log of how they make you feel each time your together. If, after a period of time it becomes apparent from your records that more often than not this person is leaving you feeling depressed/anxious/depressed/down, then you need to consider removing this relationship from your life.
Remove the poison from your life
Like ripping of a band aid, these toxic people need to be ripped from your life and the quicker the better. People who exhibit such negative behaviour are generally not the kind of people who will ever take responsibility for changing their ways.
Stand firm and speak up
Don’t let them intimidate you and beat you down. Be sure you remember your own emotional strength and capabilities. Don’t waver in your decision to not accept this negative behaviour and make sure you get yourself heard.
However difficult you might find it, once you have made the decision to cut this person and their toxic behavoiur out of your life you must stand firm and dig deep to find your inner confidence. Tell yourself regularly that relationships are supposed to make you feel better, not worse, and that the right kind of love is out there. Look at the other relationships in your life that do bring positivity and remind yourself that you don’t have to live with someone else’s negativity.
Don’t take it to heart
Don’t’ let their venom get to you. It’s not personal to you, it’s personal to THEM. It’s far too easy to take on board what toxic people tell you and actually believe their insults and put downs, but you must stay true to yourself and arm yourself with the knowledge that in fact the problem is not with you – it’s solely with them.
Surround yourself with positive people
Hang out with people that boost your self-esteem, who make you feel happy and confident and who are focused on creating a positive environment for themselves. Toxic relationships can be almost contagious and the risk for getting sucked into or stuck in a toxic relationships for people who have friends in toxic relationships is higher than 100 percent. So be smart with whom you choose to hang out.
Take time for yourself
Both in the midst and the aftermath of suffering due to another’s unreasonable behaviour be sure to give time for yourself. To remind yourself of who you really are and the great qualities you possess. Take time to heal and recover from the arduous process that is ending a damaging relationship. Enjoy some well-deserved rest, peace and solitude.