Cleaning Up Your Social Circle: Toxic Relationships Need To Go

Toxic relationships can take many forms. These relationships can be friendships, with family members, romantic relationships, and even the relationship you have with yourself. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re in one until you start to notice the strong effects it’s having in your life and on yourself. So, if you wonder whether you’re in a toxic relationship and when it’s time to cut it off, these are some red flags you need to watch out for.

 

Jealousy and Control

If you have a friend or a significant other that feels the need to know where you are at all times, who you talk to, who you go out with (obsessively and aggressively!), what your social media passwords are, and puts up a fight because X person liked your photo, Y person commented on a post, or Z person messaged you, that’s a major red flag. You need to cut off that person immediately.

Many will defend this type of behavior by saying it’s love, by saying that they’re just worried, or that they want to be with you all the time, or they’re simply overprotective… NO! We need to stop romanticizing this behavior because it’s not healthy or good or cute. Someone who wants to exercise any form of control over you is unhealthy and dangerous. It could lead to physical forms of control and further undesired actions and behavior.

 

Negativity

Have you ever noticed that in the presence of a certain person you feel like the environment is sort of gray and heavy? You feel down with lack of motivation, and your behavior and even the way you feel about yourself changes, from your worth to your abilities.

When it comes to toxic relationships, some people bring negative energies into your environment. They’re always whining and looking at the downside of things. Their tone of voice and body language are those similar to a zombie’s (dragging themselves everywhere they go). Yeezus! If the image or the name of a person comes to your head, that’s a sign that their presence in your life is not doing you any good. The longer you stay in an environment or a relationship like that, the more it’ll continue to affect your emotional and mental stability, which will lead you to assimilate. So, you-need-to-RUN like the wind.

Selfishness

Part of the reason we build relationships is that as human beings, there are needs we need to satisfy. Social, physical, psychological, and emotional needs. We feel good around others that contribute positively to our lives. However, if you feel like you’re not cared for, listened to, acknowledged, or if you feel like you can’t rely on someone because their whole world revolves around themselves, that’s a relationship you don’t want to be in. 

A healthy relationship is a two-way street. You help each other especially in the moments when you need to support the most. You encourage each other, listen, give advice, and motivate each other. You’re there for one another through thick and thin and not when it’s convenient for one of you. Therefore, if you feel you don’t get anything out of a relationship, it’s probably time you say goodbye. But also, if you’re the one too selfish to care about anyone else but you, reevaluate yourself. You certainly don’t want to be the toxic ingredient.

 

They’re Discouraging

Sometimes, people go through situations that make them be discouraging. At times, it’s intentional. They try to put you down and make you feel bad about yourself. Some people do it because they’re miserable and they don’t want to be alone in that negative state. That also gives them the chance to exercise some kind of control and power over you since they’re unable to exercise it upon themselves. Other times, it’s unintentionally because they’re going through personal things that are reflected through their behavior. Even then, there’s no excuse.

 

Regardless, try not to get involved around people who discourage, belittle, or make you feel unworthy and incapable of doing whatever you want, even if it’s unintentionally. If you carry weight over your shoulders that’s not yours to carry, it’ll get heavier because you have theirs on top of yours. It’ll cause you to fall and make it difficult for you to get back up again. So, honey, that’s one flag that’ll tell you when it’s time.

 

Betrayal

Trust is one of the biggest traits any relationship should have. A person who’s capable of constantly betray you, who’s untrustworthy, talks behind your back, cheats on you, or sabotages you because they get pleasure from seeing you fail, or make themselves be on top, is a person you need to, like NSYNC, say bye, bye, bye! Any form of constant betrayal is as unhealthy as fast foods. 

 

Peer Pressure

A number of people like to do things they know are not healthy or right like cheat, use excessive alcohol or drugs, steal, lie, skip school or make you stray away from your commitments and responsibilities because they don't want to be alone or because they don’t like doing them by themselves. They need a partner and that’s where the peer pressure comes in. They try to convince you to do certain things or vice-versa, not do others. They’re even willing to condition their friendship or threat you to do something to you (start a rumor, tell your secrets, hurt you, etc.) if you don’t do what they want or tell you. What kind of confinement is that! No person that truly cares for you would ever encourage, let alone force you to do things you don’t want to do or they know are not good for you. If they do, they don’t care about you or have your best interest at heart. Skip! 

 

You’re Not Important (Enough)

This means you’re not valued. Instead, you’re disrespected; your thoughts, feelings, needs, desires, and opinions are not considered. You’re not appreciated and are not given the same investment you’re putting into the relationship. This also means you’re replaceable and are a subject to be left hanging if a “better” offer comes along. If this is the dynamic with one of your relationships, honey, what are you doing there? You deserve more than that. So, say it loud and proud: thank you, next.

 

You’re Losing Yourself

Now, this is the worst red flag and it’s the one you should never just brush aside.  Losing yourself, in this case, means, that you’re becoming or being consumed by those toxic elements I previously mentioned. Any relationship that’s leading you to such drastic and negative change, it’s definitely a toxic relationship you need to clear from your social circle. However, don’t let it get to this point. Notice the previous flags and act upon them. 

It’s hard saying goodbye to those we’ve become close to and who we love, but if they’re bringing nothing but baggage and are making you change for the worst, those are not people worth holding on to. The truth of the matter is, it will hurt and you will miss them, but you’ll get through it and life will reward you by making you find those who make your life and yourself better. Just be patient. Like George Washington said: “It’s better to be alone than in bad company.”