#TBT: 30 Signs That You're In a Toxic Relationship
I AM SLOWLY BUT SURELY RELEASING MYSELF FROM ANY/ALL TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.
I know i am almost there, because i legit can breathe easier these days. but it wasn't always this way, so let's backtrack a bit to the days when my heavy heart weighed me down and complications clouded my judgment.
first and foremost, anything less than positive in my life was rooted in an unhealthy relationship I had with myself (that's always the case with unhealthy relationships with others, after all). understand that When I talk about relationships, all things go: relationships to people, to faith, to ourselves, to things, ideas, etc. For the purposes of this post, I am going to include lessons I've learned from any of the above relationships I've had to people and things. to give you an idea, i had unhealthy relationships to people - romantically, professionally, familially (yeah i made that up) and otherwise, to food, to the gym, to religion and god, to my future goals, to the mirror, you name it.
my toxic relationship to myself and my identity was quickly poisoning my interactions with pretty much all things/people around me. I NEEDED TO GET "me" together before i could move forward towards love, light and positivity.
my father passing away a year ago was the best-worst thing that could have happened to me. this tragedy immediately forced me to prioritize myself. it became immediately clear that i needed to get rid of all negativity, or else i was surely bound to drown. it was then when i realized that the relationships in my life took on three very clear categories:
positive relationships are ones that nurture and facilitate your growth. they align with your goals. they bring you closer to god. they bring you closer to yourself. they challenge you. they hold you accountable. they hold a mirror to you and force you to see the good, bad and ugly. they love all of you, even the parts you are trying to change. they support you in that change. they let you feel what you are supposed to feel. they humble you. you get the picture. even when these relationships show us things we don't WANT TO SEE, they are obviously the [ONLY] ones we want to keep and prioritize.
negative relationships are ones that hinder your growth. they are clearly misaligned with your goals. they pull you away from god and away from yourself. they do not hold you accountable and often encourage your self-harm. they encourage you to keep parts of you that you should be changing. if you dare try to grow or change those things, they do not support that change and may guilt you for it. SURE, they love you in pieces: the pieces that serve them. they don't let you feel what you're supposed to feel. these relationships very clearly need to go. you need to get rid of these relationships now, because negative relationships force you to choose them over yourself 100% of the time - there is no in between.
3- IT'S COMPLICATED
It's complicated relationships are ones that are just there. i used to refer to these as "neutral" relationships, but boy was this TITLE deceiving. THESE RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT NEUTRAL. these relationships are taking up space and time and energy. THEY ARE NEGATIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT POSITIVE - PERIOD. they aren't doing anything seemingly negative, so we keep them around. they seem harmless. they seem innocent, and they often do not have bad intentions for you. they don't do all of the positive above, and the positive that they do is outweighed by the inconsequential space and time they require. and of the negative they do, they don't intend to do so, so we keep them around. i'm sure you can catch a drift of where i'm about to go with thiS: REGARDLESS HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM, THEY GOTS TO GO.
THE REASON IT'S often hard to let go of SOME OF OUR toxic relationships IS because they fall under the "it's complicated" category. IT WOULD BE EASY TO LET GO OF SOMETHING THAT WAS TRYING TO HURT YOU, BUT OFTENTIMES WE GET SO CAUGHT UP IN INTENTIONS THAT WE FORGET ABOUT THE IMPACT IT IS HAVING ON US. this was the story of my life. i loved and valued myself enough to not initiate any negative relationships, and to cut any relationships off as soon as they became negative, but it was the "complications" that were bringing me down. this may be the case for you, too.
the signs below stand for it's complicated relationships just as much as they do for negative ones, and we need them out of our lives just as urgently as we need negative ones outside of our lives. the difference is that the complications don't intend to hurt you, and this is precisely why we should love them through the release process. they aren't out to get us, but they are still getting us, so as lovingly as we can without hurting ourselves, we need to rid ourselves from them. YESTERDAY.
HERE ARE 30 SIGNS THAT YOU ARE IN AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU SHOULD LET GO OF ASAP:
1- Ashanti's "Foolish" or "Unfoolish" relate to your relationship (dead serious! this song used to always come on my pandora and i'm convinced it was to make me realize how bad my situation really was - if it relates to you, RUN)
2- You dim your light often so the other person in the relationship doesn't feel "less than" or insecure
3- You feel unworthy or undeserving of being in this relationship
4- Your identity and happiness are dependent on the opinion/s of the person/s in this relationship
5- You are constantly making excuses for that relationship's existence in your life
6- You dislike being alone with your thoughts
7- The relationship is an escape from reality
8- The relationship was founded on a shared desire to escape together
9- This relationship requires you to be stagnant
10- This relationship seeks to control you
11- happy and lighthearted moments in this relationship are hard to come by
12- Your pride and ego inform many of your interactions in this relationship
13- You constantly schedule your entire day based on that relationship, afraid to lose an opportunity to see them/be with them because they'll lose interest
14- That relationship requires that you avoid or get rid of positive relationships in your life
15- you feel compelled to change things about your appearance solely based on this person's preference
16- you compete with them or anyone else for this relationship
17- you feel jealous of them or of anyone else because of this relationship
18- you cannot be yourself, like actually yourself
19- you don't feel energized by this relationship
20- you are constantly having to be the "strong" one and the relationship depends solely on your strength
21- the other person is emotionally dependent on you, so much that it has become a source of stress/pressure for you
22- the relationship lacks necessary communication AND RECIPROCITY
23- you are often nervous or timid in this relationship
24- the relationship is not adding anything substantial or positive to your life
25- you have a chip on your shoulder in this relationship and are constantly trying to prove yourself
26- you are lying to the people you love most about the nature of this relationship
27- you stop expressing your most honest or raw emotions through personal outlets (like journal writing, praying, meditating, etc.)
28- you feel guilty because of this relationship
29- you are in this relationship because you feel bad for the person or are scared of what will happen if you leave them
30- you clicked on this post desperately trying to gain clarity on how to release yourself from the toxicity you know is there
DON'T KID YOURSELF - you know what to do.
just like i did. you know that there is toxicity in your life, and chances are, you know exactly what the sources are. from personal experience, the problem was not in identifying these sources, the problem was in loving myself enough to release myself from anyone and anything that was not serving me. after i chose to have a healthy relationship with myself, all other decisions became immediately clear.
that doesn't mean it will be easy my love. but i promise you, when you act from a place of love (towards yourself and towards the very sources you are releasing), each step will feel lighter. people have been confused and upset with me, not understanding why i grew so distant, why i chose to escape to myself. in the beginning, i was confused too. i didn't understand how it could be so easy to release ties from people i still love so deeply, but god sent me sign after sign that i was doing the right thing - for me and for them. i am practically levitating now and i breathe so much lighter these days. releasing myself from any and all negativity has been the best thing i could have ever done for myself.
LOVE AND VALUE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO CHOOSE LOVE OVER COMPLICATION, AND I PROMISE IT WILL ALL UNFOLD GRACEFULLY FOR YOU.