It’s happened again. You’ve watched another relationship end badly, another job not work out or found yourself reverting to old habits involving too much alcohol.
And the common thread in all of this?
It’s everyone and everything else that’s to blame. Your partner was a leech, a liar or a lousy lay. Your boss was a bumbling buffoon and your best friend keeps begging you to party. Your life is toxic and it’s not your fault.
Or is it?
A toxic life cycle happens when life has no clear path and destination from a negative to a positive place. Without the emotional strength and life skills in place to create a confident life, we too often fall back on toxic habits and relationships because they provide an outlet for blame and remove personal responsibility.
Who’s the toxic one?
You’re 100% invested in your partner
Sounds like an excellent way to live, but it’s unhealthy; when you look at your significant relationship as everything, it leaves you no personal life of your own. You don’t grow and thrive as an individual when you constantly live in someone’s back pocket. Recognize that “you” time is essential; time away from your partner is vital to your relationship.
You lash out quickly when you’re angry or denied your way
Your first reaction to a perceived insult is anger and hurtful words. Or you cry and run from a room or a relationship when you don’t get what you want. Words are a weapon, and once unleashed, never forgotten — tears and tantrums lower other’s confidence in your adult ability to solve problems. An angry moment is a signal to take a deep breath, think before you speak and address the situation like a grown up, not a spoiled child.
Jealousy brings out the worst in you
Whether it’s your significant other speaking to an old friend, a “suspicious” text on their phone or your mother taking your sister (but not you) to lunch, jealousy incites dark behavior and acts of revenge ranging from childish to downright chilling. Respect your investment in your relationships; confidence in the fidelity of others eliminates jealousy.
Love (and life) mean saying you’re sorry
Toxic people lack the kindness, courage and humility to say the words “I’m sorry” and the inability to admit wrongdoing is a big relationship killer. Go beyond those two words: take real responsibility for your actions, bring the emotional tools needed to mend the broken fences caused by things you’ve said and done.
You seek attention constantly and don’t understand the power of silence
You crave the spot at the center of everyone’s universe and announce yourself with nonstop talking. You talk when no one is listening and no one wants to listen. Anyone else with an opinion is faced with talking over you, demanding you cease your chatter or just giving up. It’s tongue-biting time; the temptation to speak immediately is met with forcing your lips and teeth together soundlessly for at least one minute until someone else has their say.
There’s no middle ground
Toxic people swing between egotistically believing they are the best and genuinely thinking they are the worst compared to others. Get off the opposite ends of the emotional seesaw by seeking the center. Accept your weaknesses and rely on your strengths to bring balance to your life.