Don't you hate those people who f**k up a perfectly good relationship?
Whenever there's mention of a toxic situation, we all know someone who springs to mind. You know the types; from the jealous and controlling to the self-centred and insecure. Like a soap opera, they fuel conversation when gossiping about others or when we are genuinely concerned.
Toxicity can be defined as 'the degree to which any substance can damage a relationship.' Media depictions, raise our awareness of these poisonous circumstances even further. At first, it's ominously hidden before an aggressive, manipulative and/or abusive partner suddenly appears restricting the civil liberties of an innocent individual. However, this is not the entire truth, of course.
Some toxicity hides its face expertly. Deep-rooted and insidious; derailing everything. It twists the individual from the inside out. However, that toxic individual just might happen to be you! It's easy to blame somebody else. However, the poison killing the relationship may require a closer look in the mirror at our own personal fears!
Fear reaches parts deep within us that a bullet would struggle to hit. As a result, many relationships are toxic from day one. I've seen cases where an individual purposely crashed their car just to get attention from their partner. Despite the veil of happiness the person often projected; there's a strong possibility this toxic potential was present, (although well hidden), from the relationship's onset. What were they afraid of?
Fear poisons your thoughts, permeates your language and dirties your behaviour - sometimes without you even realising. Your loved ones may detect it, yet they too are conflicted. Torn between what they can see happening and the right way to intervene... if indeed it is even their place to do so.
Fear takes multiple forms. The fear of change; knowledge; loss and 'what if', to name a few. It can lead you to fear your partner; run from the spectre of your past or cower at the thought of being alone. The inability to trust adults; misguided friendships, the allure of lust and the misplacing of love can all create psychological barriers that will never be ripped down unless you decide to address them. Too many people are in a toxic relationship with themselves. Signs may include:
• Failing to love your true self; you know which one I mean.
• Automatically poisoning your own thoughts and subsequent behaviours with negativity
• Resorting to dysfunctional behaviour to make yourself feel better
• Regularly lying to yourself to avoid facing difficult truths
• A crippling fear of being alone with yourself
• Waiting for somebody to make you happy or 'complete' you
Love yourself first
The most toxic thing in a close relationship is not loving yourself.
Believing - even for one moment - that you are not good enough can be lethal. If this sounds familiar, you must address this before entering or continuing with an emotional connection with another person. You may be afraid, but, despite your best intentions, the difficult truth may be that you're just not ready for a relationship yet - no matter how badly your heart and mind craves it.
Of course, the right relationship enhances happiness like nothing else in this world, however being alone for a time is not a bad thing either. However, it is what many fear most. Spielman et al (2013) found that nearly 20% of people would rather settle for less than be single. Fear of being single is even strongly associated with mental health difficulties such as depression and loneliness. So, unhappy people setting sail, into the unchartered oceans of a new relationship or remaining in a turbulent one is not a surprise; fear can be a potent adversary.
We all feel fear. However, relationships don't simply wash away the fear within us, no matter how many illusions we conjure to deceive ourselves. Fear doesn't die quietly. If it isn't eradicated completely, it simply prevents you from taking your real journey towards self-acceptance without judgement or ridicule.
Many hope, (usually in vain), that somebody else will make you happy. However, fulfilling relationships need you to be happy with yourself in the first place. It is the pre-requisite before you enter a relationship. Just because we express emotion does not mean we are expressing love. When you love yourself appropriately, you're less likely to fall into a toxic relationship; facilitate one or pass on your toxicity to others (i.e. friends, partners or children).
This is a difficult topic to discuss, but you must be tired of these toxic relationships by now. Unfortunately, too many of us - afraid of the reality - lie to ourselves far too often. Desperately wanting out of the never-ending cycle of poisonous personal relationships but unable to locate the key...unfortunately, you cannot find one that doesn't exist.
Learning how to love yourself, is the key!