We have been looking over the last few weeks at the impact people have on us and how different people can badly hinder our ability to be the best version of ourselves, simply by the toxicity of the connections we have with them. We can often be afraid to speak up and confront those who produce toxic vibes, and this can then keep us in a toxic relationship, friendship, or even jobs and we can get trapped in the cycles it brings. The more we get upset and put down by these types of relationships the more our inner confidence and self-esteem can be negatively affected by this. Some people are great at holding the illusion of being lovely, kind and all round nice and friendly but on the inside, they are very different. These types of toxic relationships, can be more subtle than the Mood Hoovers and Debbie Downers we have looked at already, but can still have a massive impact on us. It’s good to just notice how we feel with the people in our lives and if they are impacting us it’s time to look at who they are and of course how we are behaving too.
Critical people can always seem to find someone or something to moan or criticise about, it’s good to understand that criticism is different to advice. A critical person may say things like: are you really going to wear that? What is wrong with you? Can’t you get anything right? If a friend is going out with you for the day and they see you in massive high heels and they know that you will struggle walking, the critical person would be what are you thinking wearing those? And the person giving advice might say I chose the flat shoes for me today, last time I went there my feet killed me. Of course, we could still wear the high shoes, but that is your choice, but if your feet did kill you at the end of the day then we may reflect back to what our friend had said and learn from it. The critic is not often blatantly rude by calling you horrible names, but more often they may constantly insult your beliefs, appearance, and thoughts, often because they have low self-esteem and want to be in control. Instead of trying to make suggestions to improve your bad habits, they find every excuse to berate these habits and hinder your growth as a person.
Passive aggression is the passive expression of anger, again this can be quite subtle and sometimes not initially easy to notice this, but being around these types of people over time, you will notice the patterns to this behaviour. Common examples include repeatedly keeping you waiting and making you late for an appointment and also you often never know what messages these people are trying to convey. You can feel that you are always walking on eggshells when you’re around a passive aggressive people and with their denial of feelings, sarcasm, and backhanded compliments are a sure way to tell that someone is passive aggressive. Imagine you did something to upset your friend, but you’re unsure exactly what it was. You ask why he or she is angry so you can prevent upsetting your friend in the future. However, your friend won’t tell you why they are mad and instead replies, I am fine, no of course I am not mad, even though you might notice that they are withdrawing from you. This can make you spin out, your brain running in circles, trying to figure out what this person is thinking, have you done something wrong, what do they really mean or feel. If we spend lots of time with a person like this it can lead us to, start doing our own heads in, and we can literally spend hours trying to read the person’s mind. We start over thinking everything that we have said or what’s happened between us, constantly backtracking over your every move or word. If a person cannot communicate in a straightforward manner, uses sarcasm as a defence mechanism, sends mixed messages, or acts like nothing is wrong, regardless of exhibiting angry emotions—you might be dealing with a passive aggressor.
Another type of toxic behaviour is stonewalling, this is when someone is very evasive and will often refuse to communicate how they feel and will do anything to evade the issue. Many people may have heard of a stonewaller, a person who refuses to engage in conversations or share feelings when important issues come up, it’s as if, at that moment they just close down and put a wall up. This can make us feel insignificant and unworthy of honest communication, making us feel that we not that close to them or they would of course let us in. The stonewaller may come off as cold and refuse to admit there is a problem, but refusing to communicate creates negative feelings and barriers that make it difficult to further a successful relationship. This can be an issue in all types of relationships and can often really grate on us, over time we can then start holding feelings of resentment and guilt. If the stonewaller refuses to respond to your questions, their non-communication can make you frustrated and angry, because they just won’t engage with you. If this is at work then it can be hard to work as a team and can cause you to look bad if your reactions to this behaviour aren’t great. If this is the case you need to look at just letting this situation go and work to find your own solutions without this person’s input. If you are trying to communicate with a person you know well and they refuse to be honest and open with you, you may want to reconsider why you are in that relationship with them in the first place. As relationships are all about being able to connect with someone, have easy and open communications and over time our relationships should grow. Of course, some people take longer to open up in that initial stage of getting to know someone, but if the connection isn’t growing its worth taking the time to step back and re-evaluate this.
All relationships can be hard, but we have to not allow them to not negatively affect us otherwise we can come over just as bad as the other person, it’s time now to take stock of who you are and what relationships you have in your life. Life is precious and we need to grab it with both hands, I am not saying lose all your friends or resign from work but it’s time to reflect on what makes you a better person. It’s a bit like our eating habits too much or too little of anything isn’t great for us and we really need to find that balance, see your relationships in the same way and look to find that healthy balance in them.
Thanks for dropping by.