Have you ever felt an energy shift with a friend, or maybe a partner, colleague, or even a family member? Chances are that the weird energy you’re feeling was actually always there, but you just started to notice it. Trust me, I know it doesn’t feel great.
The scenario is all too similar—you know you’re being mistreated, but have no idea why this is happening or why it’s suddenly happening now. Having someone show toxic behavior and tendencies towards you doesn’t mean that person themselves are toxic, it just means that a relationship or friendship can be. None of us need to deal with a relationship that has gotten to a point where it’s unhealthy—none of us. In these situations, it’s important to acknowledge how it’s making you feel, and start creating boundaries for yourself. When it’s a family member, it’s a lot harder because you obviously love them, but thankfully there are ways to lovingly disconnect, as I like to call it.
It’s more about you not being affected by that other person, not trying to change who they are or how they’re acting. We can’t change people, but we can change how we interact with them. In these situations what you have to start doing is choosing you! Put yourself first in these uncomfortable situations. Toxic relationships only bring negativity, strain, sadness, and unfortunately some self-doubt. I thought I’d share a personal experience with you involving a toxic relationship of my own. I told you, we’re getting real here at Frenshe.
A couple of years ago, I had someone who became a really good friend of mine after working with them a lot—before you start guessing it was no one famous nor an actor/actress. Let’s just make that clear, right now. At first, the friendship was great and we loved hanging out with each other. Listen, I know that having friends you work with can get tricky. Throughout trying to maintain a professional relationship, you want to act like friends! In general, I’d say I’m someone who loves making new friends.
Anyway, over the course of time working together I began to notice that this person was very insecure. Look, I know we all have insecurities, but at this time I had learned to accept mine and not project them onto other people. Low and behold, they started to project their insecurities onto me, sometimes involving little personal digs at me. This involved saying things to me that weren’t making me feel great, and I started to question some of the negative things they would say. Now I’m all for healthy communication and when I started to recognize these things I had a conversation with them.
Unfortunately, the conversation involved a lot of resentment on their side and hurt that I wasn’t aware of. I took it upon myself that I did something wrong, but when I took the time to think about it. I truly couldn’t figure out what I did (if anything). No matter what happened between us, it was clear that our relationship had headed to a toxic place. That person wasn’t good for me, but I also wasn’t good for them. There was clear pain on both sides. There was never a clear dissolution of the friendship, but I acknowledged my feelings and took a step back both professionally and personally. The step back is what pretty much ended the friendship.
I’ve always felt relationships come into our lives to teach us lessons, and if some people aren’t present in our lives anymore, that’s okay. It could just be for a season, and maybe they end up in our lives years later. In my experience, it’s usually a healthier friendship later on, because you’ve both grown individually and boundaries are there naturally. It’s hard though. Having someone you used to hang with and talk to frequently, not in your life, is never easy. You feel like you’ve lost someone. It’s important in those moments to remember the drama and negativity that relationship brought in the first place, how it took a toll on your life, and how their absence is actually a blessing. We all deserve to be happy and free in our lives, and that doesn’t mean that every relationship/friendship will be perfect, it just means the good should always outweigh the bad! Below I’m sharing a list of signs that point to a toxic friendship or relationship.
- There’s constant drama.
- Everything is about them, and never about you.
- They constantly put you down.
- They compete with you.
- They imitate you.
- They push your boundaries.
- They’re incredibly needy.
- They’re jealous of your other friends.
I know that dealing with toxic people in your life is so hard, but I hope this helps shed a light on a situation that you’ve been looking to get out of. We all go through this, so don’t be hard on yourself and remember sometimes it’s a blessing that people are no longer in our lives.