Toxic Relationships – Getting Rid of Them
By Steve Wickham
Have you ever been trapped in a toxic, dysfunctional relationship? If you have, you’ll know where I’m coming from here. I mean trapped by the sense that at some given moment your awareness has been piqued and you knew the relationship was beginning to cause problems.
It’s a scary time for anyone, female or male. This has relevance not only for romantic relationships, but also occasionally within the family, and it is particularly relevant to friendships, and frighteningly so for many young people’s friendships. Toxic relationships are no good to you, and will eventually bring you harm if you don’t do something to fix it or extract yourself from it. Relationships are designed to operate basically equally; there should be some note of fairness that resonates through the relationship, for both parties.
Apply this fairness test, and if it comes up short, challenge the other party in a respectful adult way. This is done by expressing your needs of them and requesting their feedback. “I need you to…” is how the expression should go.
Many times, if the relationship is toxic, i.e. it is no good to you, and will eventually bring you harm — the other party simply won’t listen and won’t hear what you’re telling them — that is alarm bell number 2. You then have a choice. Seek further help if the relationship means that much to you, or bail out. If you’re a good person generally you deserve to relate with good people who will be considerate of you, who’ll care for you, and who’ll love you back.
The toxic partner, friend or acquaintance is someone who’ll leave you ‘high-and-dry’ in the consideration stakes. They won’t be faithful; they won’t last the distance. In these situations wisely protect yourself from the coming hurt. You should always be on the lookout for signs when you suspect you’ve got a toxic relationship like this. Get enough evidence and then challenge them with courage staying in control of your emotions.
There are a lot of people out there who will be willing to be a better friend or partner to someone who knows what they want. If you want relationships that speak of care, consideration, and love and you’re prepared to do your 50 percent in the relationship, then there’s someone else out there who’s also willing; someone who’s not ‘damaged-goods,’ someone who will reciprocate. Wait for this person. You’ve got a clearer chance at happiness with such a person as this.
Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham. Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve’s key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.