On 19th May 2019, the world watched as Megan Markle married Prince Harry. There a lot of reasons why this occasion was a beautiful spectacle, among them, is that Megan (now Duchess of Sussex) is older than Prince Harry (Duke of Sussex) and also the fact that she was previously married to a different man. What is more important is what we can learn about relationships from this union. As much as she is divorced-which can be a very sad life moment-she still found her prince! (Literally). This should teach you that you should be brave enough to leave toxic relationships. Always know that better relationships will come by!
Recognizing the signs of toxic relationships
As soon as most people hear the word relationship, they assume that it refers to only romantic relationships. This is wrong as relationships can be between any two people whether they are co-workers, siblings, friends or neighbors. This means that when we talk about toxic relationships, it can apply in any of the relationships that you have. You should be very observant and deliberate if you want to recognize the existence of toxic relationships in your life. Doing this is important as it will prevent future heartbreaks and frustrations that eventually come from such relationships. There are several ways to tell if the people you relate with are toxic or not. This can also be helpful to you as a way to countercheck if you are a pleasant person or not.
How important are you in your relationship?
Think of a time that you were going through a difficult situation in your life. Does the person you’re in a relationship with go out of their way to make you feel better? Did they make your grief worse? Did you feel that you have somebody that you can rely on? If you do not feel wanted, loved, or that you have a support system during the toughest times in your life, then you are probably in a toxic relationship.
How does the person treat other people?
This is a particularly important question when it comes to how the person treats poor people or people from a lower social class. When the two of you are in a restaurant, does the person insult or demean the waiters? Is the person always speaking ill of their parents, siblings or co-workers? If the person never gets along with anyone and you are always used as the emotional punching bag through complaining, then you are dealing with a toxic person. It would be good if you talked to the person about it at first. Break away from the relationship if they are unwilling to change.
Does the person walk away from conflict?
Hiding your head in the sand like an ostrich when you’re faced with problems is a sign of immaturity. Does this remind you of any of the relationships that you are in? Do you know of anyone who will do anything to avoid addressing the issues in your relationship? Do you have a person in your life who constantly avoids difficult conversations? Conflict is normal and the only way to grow your relationship is by addressing it. If a person constantly avoids dealing with conflict, then they are toxic to you because such situations lead to stress which is bad for your mental health. A person who truly cares for you will always want to address the cause of conflict.
How do you feel about yourself when you are together?
Do you have friends whose constant word in every sentence is ‘Me?’ Always talking about themselves and making themselves the center of every conversation? When you think of spending time with such people, you always feel burdened as opposed to excitement. Spending too much time with such people also affects your self-esteem. In some cases, you feel like you’re walking on eggshells as upsetting this person will lead to more toxic words from them. Break away from such relationships. There are always more pleasant people out there who will make you feel like you’re the center of their world.
How does this person act when they are in the wrong?
Toxic people don’t apologize. They will either avoid you for some days hoping that you will forget the wrong they did, or they will manipulate the situation to suit them. You always end up apologizing for something you are absolutely sure you did not do. These types of people are manipulative and you should consider ending such relationships as they add sadness in your life.
Does the person truly listen when you have a concern?
You have been told many times that communication is a key element of any relationship. For a healthy relationship, you should be able to speak up when you have a concern. Toxic people do not even pay attention to you when you’re sad let alone listen to you. A person who cares about you deeply will know when you’re sad and they will listen to you keenly and offer help. If you are in a relationship with anyone who does not give you the time and space to talk about what bothers you, they are toxic and you should look for healthier relationships.
Has the person ever abused you?
Abuse comes in many forms such as beating, sexual abuse, mental abuse or using foul language. Nobody deserves any form of abuse. This form of treatment is the kind that will stay with you long after the relationship is over as it torments you. You do not want to give somebody a chance to torment you long after they are gone. In this case, seek help through talking to your parents, siblings, closest friends or even the police. Abuse of any kind only thrives in silence. As much as it seems hard at first, talk about it and walk away from such treatment.
You have to pay attention to how you feel about the people in your life. People you consider friends and acquaintances should be the reason why you laugh louder, appreciate yourself more, get better at your job, dream bigger and inspire you to be a better person. Use the above seven questions to determine who in your life is draining your energy as opposed to contributing to your laughter.