If you’re reading this, chances are you’re reluctantly searching for that dreaded “oh no, it’s true”, or a sigh-worthy “nope, not a problem of mine” moment so that you can continue about your day. It’s possible you’re passing by in curiosity, with a troubled relationship tucked in the back of your mind.
You may have already combed the internet relentlessly for answers about your relationship. Many things may be unclear at this time, and so we kindly offer one thing we know to be universally true about relationships: the innate human requirement for interconnectedness in relationships is complicated.
A variety of environmental, psychological, behavioral, and emotional factors can drive us and the ones we love to resort to toxic behaviors and strategies in an attempt to meet this need. Other times, we are looking to meet needs belonging to others.
Even with the best of intentions, it is possible for efforts to become toxic to the very people we wish to share unshakable bonds with, as well as the very people we need to: ourselves.
Wait a Minute! Are WE Toxic?
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? To think of yourself or someone you love as toxic is often difficult to accept and can provoke feelings and actions of denial. In some cases, denial is the starting line to a long and traumatic grief process that must occur to detach from relationships that are mostly toxic.
We can soften the blow of this thought by remembering that not all toxic relationships are completely toxic, and not all healthy relationships are totally healthy. It all comes down to the individuals involved, how they feel, trust, repair trauma, and ability to unlearn toxic behaviors.
The mere confusion that the rush of emotions this question may bring can cloud one’s ability to decide or observe with clarity that a relationship is toxic.
In some cases, we may be completely aware that a relationship is toxic, but are doing everything in our power to control or change the situation.
Whatever your experience, know that toxicity in relationships is not always rooted in bad intentions. It is not always the absence of love but at times the presence of inappropriate thoughts and emotional patterns that tip the scale of is it or isn’t it toxic?
Please reflect on the following questions for insight on what side of the scale your relationship is tipping.