By Ekaterina Morrissey
If there is someone in your life who criticizes you on a regular basis, always puts you down and basically drains all the joy out of your life? Then you are more than likely involved in a relationship that is toxic. These types of relationships are detrimental to your mental state and your physical health.
If this person is a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is easier to walk away, and remove these individuals from your life. But what if this person is a family member?
Unfortunately, we cannot chose our families and have been enough brain washed on the topic to believe we have to put up with anything that comes from them. That’s just bunch of crap. We don’t have to. As a holistic health coach, I integrate all areas of life when working with clients, and I strongly advise you to shake off any type of poisonous relationship you are dealing with. This is not the norm nor is okay and if it’s there, you need to let them go and focus on you and your life.
Why other people behave the way they do is their problem, not yours, therefore they need to take responsibility for their actions, not you.
The hardest part, I believe, is the actual victims blame themselves or fill guilty to ditch the abusive family member, because they think of leaving as cruel act, and they give various excuses to not do it, such as: he is my younger brother, or my sister doesn’t have anybody, or my father always has had a temper, etc. Again, why other people act the way they do is their decision and not your responsibility.
A high percentage of people are emotional eaters because of toxic family relationships…which leads to obesity and disease.
Unacceptable treatment from a “toxic” individual includes: feelings of guilt, manipulation, abandonment, rejection, belittlement, and neglect (just to name a few of the techniques that toxic people use to control another person).
When exposed to this type of treatment on a long term basis, it can leave a person feeling insecure, unsure of themselves, and unable to stand up for themselves. They become doubtful, skeptical and fearful in all they do and say. Unless identified and treated in a positive manner, these negative experiences can leave a person with a host of medical ailments, including weight gain and the feeling of being mentally paralyzed or depressed.
Consult the list below, to confirm if you are victim of a toxic relationship:
- Your mental and physical health is compromised.
- You feel spiritually, emotionally and physically injured.
- Emotional and possible physical abuse is evident.
- Substance abuse is prevalent.
- There is a constant struggle for power within the relationship.
- There is disrespect and unwarranted distrust.
There are ways to get out of a toxic relationship, even if they are family members. Some effective suggestions include:
- Get professional help. Attend a counseling session alone, and/or with the other person, if possible.
- Relocate to a nurturing environment, and limit the time you spend with a toxic relative.
- Accept the limitations of the toxic individual, and know that you do not have to fuel their needs.
- Set and stick to healthy boundaries. You can love someone from a distance, and not get sucked into their drama.
- It is okay to get angry at a situation, but use that energy for something productive, like exercising or a creative outlet (like writing or painting). The important point is to not hold onto negative emotions.
- Daily meditation is a great way to keep your body healthy, and focus on positive aspects of your life.
- Restructure a compulsive lifestyle, and make taking care of yourself a priority. Eat well, exercise, meditate, and surround yourself with positive influences that will help your self-esteem grow and blossom.
- If and when you find yourself in the presence of a toxic person, be aware of your reaction. This is an important step in breaking ongoing negative patterns.
Remind yourself that you are not the problem, or the punching bag of a toxic individual. They have problem that only they can deal with and fix. Love (or not) toxic family members from a distance, and wish that they will find their way to a happy lifestyle. In the meantime, only you can take care of yourself. And remember, this your life not a life rehearsal – live it toxic people FREE.