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I have made it a fundamental principle in my life to be surrounded by people who uplift me, replenish my spirits, and cultivate an atmosphere of positivity and joy. This newfound mantra stems from enduring numerous years in the midst of individuals who did the opposite.
Toxic relationships, particularly those within the circle of friends and family, are incredibly challenging to recognize and even harder to terminate. This is primarily because they are imbued with elements of time and loyalty, which enable them to persist despite their detrimental impact.
Yet, there is a moment when we recognize that these relationships no longer contribute positively to our lives. Ideally, this realization occurs sooner rather than later. However, for many, myself included, it took years to understand that I was sustaining friendships and other personal relationships that should have ended shortly after they began.
What are the signs?!?
There were warning signs, some of which I chose to overlook because each issue, on its own, didn’t seem significant enough to warrant ending the relationship. However, when viewed collectively, these incidents formed a troubling pattern of behavior. No healthy relationship can thrive on such a foundation.
If you find yourself wondering whether you’re in a similar situation, let me shed some light on this subject and explore it in depth so you can gain a comprehensive understanding. When we hear the term “toxic,” we often picture a skull and crossbones, symbolizing an unknown poison that, if ingested, will undoubtedly prove fatal.
However, a toxic relationship doesn’t always have to be so extreme. It can manifest as something that gradually erodes your well-being, subtly chipping away at you over time to the point where you might not even realize the extent of its impact until a significant period has passed.
To identify these toxic relationships, the first step I took was introspection. If you find yourself questioning the value of a relationship, that’s often the initial indication that something might be amiss. I started by evaluating my feelings after our interactions. If I was left feeling drained, uneasy, or upset, these emotions served as clear indicators that the relationship was not balanced.
Next, I considered the effort and input from both sides. More often than not, I found myself being the one consistently bringing positive energy into the relationship. I was punctual, never asked for more than I gave, and made sure not to contribute negativity. This discrepancy in the energy and effort invested on both ends further highlighted the imbalance in the relationship. The writing is all over the walls, and you are only left with one thing to so and that means you need to end the relationship.
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I often avoid difficult conversations like the plague, so the idea of making a grand announcement to end the relationship felt incredibly undesirable. Instead, I chose a more conscientious approach. I began to gradually distance myself from the person: making fewer plans, reducing our interactions until the connection naturally fizzled out. I acknowledge that this might not be the ideal method, but it was what I needed to do to preserve my mental health. Sometimes, self-preservation takes precedence over a confrontation that might cause more harm than good.
How to continue without them
While this decision has been beneficial, I am now facing the challenge of some of these individuals trying to re-enter my life. They may send a casual text, claiming they are hoping I am doing well (blah blah blah), but it all feels insincere and unnecessary.
In my opinion, when you make the decision to cut someone out of your life, it’s important to stick to that decision. One might argue that these individuals deserve a second chance, but in my experience, it’s often not worth the risk of inviting toxicity back into my life.
While people are certainly capable of making mistakes, it’s crucial to remember that our interactions with others can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. If someone’s behavior has led you to no longer want to associate with them, it’s essential to take that feeling seriously and trust your instincts. As Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Now, Go Be Great!