Have you ever experienced feeling drained or depleted after speaking to someone? Do you find yourself dreading or avoiding seeing the person because each encounter left you feeling bad?
Toxic relationships can happen in different areas of life (romantic, professional, social) and in different context (conversation, texting, other virtual platforms/social media). You feel you are losing confidence because your ideas get dismissed or disregarded. You are left feeling guilty if the other person is unhappy or dissatisfied with something you have or haven’t done. You notice the focus is never on you or that the other person’s needs always seem more important than yours.
7 ways you feel when you are in a toxic relationship
Relationships requires effort so it’s important to know if your are investing your time, money and energy into something worthwhile.
A few things to notice:
1. I feel guilty. - Do you feel like you always have to go along with the other person or else they will be upset?
2. I feel like I’m not good enough. - Do you feel like the other person is always putting you down?
3. The focus is never on me. - Is the attention always placed on the other person?
4. There is always drama. - Is the topic of conversation always on something negative about the other person’s life?
5. I can’t be who I am. - Do you compromise who you are because you feel the other person wouldn’t like the real you?
6. I’m not having fun. - Do you not look forward to seeing the person because it’s unpleasant or unenjoyable?
7. Does the other person have your best interest at heart? - Do you feel the other person considers you or your feelings first?
What can I do about it?
Define the relationship.
I was talking to a client recently who was dissatisfied with a relationship they had with a group of old friends. Originally, the group got together for mutual support and common interests but over time, the type of support each person needed differed and their individual circumstances also changed. By understanding their own expectation at present, the client was able to recognize where their negative feelings came from.
Evaluate your wants and needs.
Ask yourself, am I getting what I want out of the relationship? Do I still have anything in common with the person? Is my life enriched or depleted by the experience? Am I getting as much out of it as I am putting into it? Is this something I still want?
The next step.
Change can be difficult but it is an opportunity to live a more enjoyable life. Through this introspection, you are empowered to advocate for what you want or don’t want and find the ways to get you there.