What can you do to change things for the better?
What constitutes a toxic relationship? Most of us could easily define it. Are you in one? Probably more difficult to ascertain for certain.
Why? Toxic relationships usually start off fine as all of us are able to generate a good first impression. Most toxic people are unidentifiable at first. However, as time goes on, you begin to notice that something isn’t quite right. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may be engaged in a toxic relationship:
Are you emotionally drained after having a conversation with them? Toxic people will drain your energy whether you are engaged in a conversation, disagreement, or anything in between.
Does everything they say sound like a compliment wrapped in a criticism? Or maybe something you did displeased them and they are silently letting you know about it. This person may be a passive agressive, and their tactics are meant to control you.
Are they overly critical? It may start off as just comments about other people. Then it may move on to “helpful suggestions” about you. Gradually these “helpful suggestions” escallate, and become more intense. You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship, and it can even exist between friends.
Do you argue without communicating? Maybe there is just negative tension in the air everytime you are around this person. In these types of relationships nothing gets resolved, but there is a great deal of tension. A relationship filled with stress and anxiety needs to be re-evaluated.
If you can’t be yourself around this person, then it may be a toxic relationship. The people around you should change you for the better-not the worse. If you find this happening, you may want to reconsider the friendship.
Additionally, if your friend cannot support growth and change in a possitive light, or if they take this as an opportunity to attack you, the relationship may be toxic. If you can’t seem to ever please them, it may be toxic as well.
With toxic people, there is always an undercurrent of negativity. They generally are controlling and manipulative to some degree whether it is subtle or overt. They affect your joy and can drain you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Our next issue discusses how to deal with these types of relationship in marriage, family, friendships, and in the workforce. We will delve deeper into the issue, discuss further how to identify whether your relationship could be toxic or not, and whether you should move on (as in the case of work or friends), or how to change the dynamics of the relationship. We will also show what a godly relationship looks like, and the benefits of surrounding yourself with these types of people.
Our next issue comes out January 26, 2017!