How to weed out toxicity in life

Weeding Out Toxicity in Your Life

pexels alex green 5700191 scaledWhile some of us are fortunate enough and are not enmeshed in a toxic workplace (link to previous article), there may be other sources of acridity in our social circle. These red flags can arise from friends, romantic partners, family members and even parents. 


A toxic relationship can be defined as one that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned or attacked. Sounds familiar? These relationships exist and are more prevalent than most people would like to admit. While many tolerate being in such relationships, those who struggle with mental problems are particularly susceptible because of their sensitivity to negative emotions. 


Telltale signs of toxic relationships


They are agents of manipulation and control

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Toxic people are capable of sending you into a mental whirl of doubt, confusion, anxiety and worry with the things they say or do. Many a times you end up wondering what you did wrong and how to please them. They have the ability to make you feel that you owe them something and no matter what you do, they will never be pleased. This takes a toll on your self-esteem and because you often give more than you are getting, you will feel under-valued and depleted.


The relationship feels imbalanced

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You cannot rely on them and they may not be there when you need them. However, they can guilt trip you to think that you are in their debt. They don’t provide support or comfort and situations have to work to their benefit. Eventually you will feel disrespected and your needs are left unmet. 


Absence of apology

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Toxic people refuse to say sorry. This word ‘sorry’ is an abomination and it doesn’t slip out of their lips. Their self-centeredness blinds them from seeing their own faults and failures, and they will resort to twisting the situation, resulting in your self-doubt. You are always in the wrong instead. In situations like these, you will feel depressed, angry and exhausted. 


Everything is on their terms

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Sometimes you are waiting to hear from them, but they won’t reply. They are quick to be absent and their personal space means more than anything. Furthermore, they will use you to get what they want, through cunning ways or coercing. The consequences or repercussions in that process may affect you, but they will not think twice about it. 


You are constantly trying to prove yourself

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Your successes are diminished or unrecognised, and someone else’s effort is always better. Yours are inconsequential and your hard work hardly counts. Their lofty standards put you in a state of trying to impress them but you will never hit the bar. This can be exasperating and frustrating, and the lack of recognition and reward feed into your low self-esteem. 


They project their feelings on you

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They may act as though their feelings are yours. They can be angry but won’t take responsibility and accuse you of being angry with them. What lies behind that façade is an undecipherable code – they won’t admit to what they are really feeling. Their manipulative prowess make you believe what they want you to think and when they project their feelings on you, you are left defending or justifying yourself. 


Drowning in toxicity


Nothing about the word toxic implies that it could be fine to dwell in it, especially for extended periods of time. The damage is akin to consuming chemicals bad for your body – it makes your sick immediately, and the effects damages your system after ingesting it repeatedly. Here are some very convincing reasons to why you will need to weed toxicity out as soon as you can. 


You may experience low self-esteem

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When you are constantly being put down, your feelings unvalidated, you will start to doubt and question your own abilities. Your lack of confidence will lead to depravity in self-belief and even self-love. 


Negativity will consume you 

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Toxicity spirals you down into negativity and the negative energy saps you and the people around you. The broken lens which you now see the world through exposes you to consistent negative headspace trauma. 


You are at risk of anxiety and stress disorders

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All these toxicity and negativity cause mental strain and stress. You could even plunge into depression or have your depressive state of mind worsened. 


You get isolated from healthier relationships

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It’s natural for you to build a wall between you and everyone else when you are constantly in a negative environment. Otherwise, you might be so enraptured in the toxic relationship you are too preoccupied to spend time with others who could be healthier for you. This disconnect restricts you from reaching out to more empowering or supportive relationships. 


Your health suffers

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Mental stress leads to an increased risk of developing heart problems, higher blood pressure, weakened immune system. You may also experience low energy and fatigue.


You neglect self-care

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You might eventually stop taking proper care of yourself because of your mental state and negative emotions. Your sleep routine suffers, workout schedule gets disrupted and even your personal hygiene may deteriorate. 


Coping Strategies

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Recognising that you are dealing with a toxic person is the first step. The next is to want to make change. 


Voice out

The benefit of the doubt is that the person is not fully aware of the impact of their actions. Speak about your concerns using ‘I feel’ when describing your feelings. Speak your truth is a composed and calm manner, and detail the instances or behaviours that are hurting you. Don’t hurl the other person with insults or launch an attack. You are trying to improve the situation, not get into a fight. 


Be Firm

Once you are able to identify their manipulative tactics, do not allow them to happen. Stand your ground and refuse to let them have their way. Be assertive and be upfront about your choices and decisions. 


Draw lines clearly

Setting boundaries will be an important step if you wish to cut out a toxic person in your life. Eliminate your communication channels to prevent either parties from reaching out to each other. Block or delete them and stop seeing them on social media. If you don’t wish to cut this person out completely, limit the time you might spend together. 


Look for support

Frequently it is not easy to cut the person out, especially if it’s a parent or family member. It is then especially important to seek out a support network and surround yourself with people who can boost you up. Reach out to people who are willing to listen and validate your emotions. Speak to a professional, such as a private therapist or counsellor who is able to teach you coping strategies when you start feeling overwhelmed or helpless. 



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