Intoxicating or TOXIC?
By definition, a toxic relationship is where one or more people exhibit unhealthy behavior and lack mutual respect for each other. Extreme toxic relationships can be mentally, emotionally, and physically harmful, but not all toxic relationships are abusive.
And on the flipside, there are healthy relationships tethered to love. Now, love comes in all forms and means something different to each and every one of us. However, it is HOW we LOVE and ALLOW OURSELVES to be LOVED that are the key differentiators between a toxic relationship and a healthy one.
For example, what we think may be EXCITING (intoxicating) in a relationship may actually be an extremely detrimental dynamic that is perpetuating our toxic love orbit.
We form so many different layers of connections and commitments in one lifetime – from lovers – to friendships, and with family members and co-workers.
For this specific article, I will focus on the relationship you have with your romantic partner (but, not the extreme of physical abuse in regard to toxic relationships). If you are in the midst of a physically abusive relationship, please seek professional help or contact your local authorities.
OK, let’s dive in!
Is Your Soul Tank on Empty?
What happens when you realize the love you once thought was fueling your soul tank, is actually holding you back or worse yet – detrimental to your self-esteem, success, daily happiness, and overall well-being?
Don’t give up—instead, change your mindset and pivot!
In this article, I will help you identify which direction your very own love orbit is floating and how to realign with your greater good. You will also gain simple strategies on how to move out of the “toxic zone” and into the kind of relationship that serves your higher good – instead of crushing your soul!
Let’s Start with Relationship Red Flags.
First, I’d like to call out some positive attributes in a relationship that include excitement (butterflies), curiosity, inspiration, and motivation. These can all be amazing experiences in any relationship – FOR SURE!
BUT, what happens when these feelings are offset by stomach pangs, jealousy, insecurity and downright spinning anxiety keeping you up at night? You know, that burning sensation in your solar plexus when you hear that person’s ringtone or text coming in—UGH!
These are the pesky “Red Flags” that we often ignore because we have the aforementioned positive experiences. And quite frankly— we may have blinders on!
Sometimes love is in fact blind. But, I believe that it’s not always the love for the other person that this saying is about.
Instead, what if the blinders are actually our own walls preventing us from SEEING OURSELVES— truly, madly, deeply— to delve into:
- Who we really are?
- What we ultimately want?
- What we truly deserve?
With that said, occasionally we can even hide out in certain relationships and it feels safe under all of this drama.
Can you relate to any of this?
Sometimes it’s easier to feel these other emotions (that end up distracting us from dealing with our own stuff). But, in the end, this will be the demise of the very relationship that is shielding us from ourselves.
Or even worse, make us feel trapped in something that we are not completely fulfilled in.
So, please do not— I repeat, don’t ignore these Red Flags, as these are the bane of a very unhealthy relationship – one that is inhibiting you from connecting to your true self and aligning with your soul’s purpose to learn and grow.
So, how do you really know if you’re in a toxic relationship?
Here are 20 signs to help you gauge your relationship toxicity-level.
- Negative Energy
- Consistent Hurt
- Feeling Rejected (emotionally, physically or both)
- Lack of Communication
- Playing the Blame Game Often
- Feeling Bad About Yourself
- Infidelity (either side or both)
- Control Issues
- Empty Promises
- Feeling Undervalued and Underappreciated
- Daily Fear
- Feeling Unsafe
- Lying about your relationship to others
- Feeling Stuck
- Passive Aggressive Behavior
- Self Esteem depleted
- Feel like the parent in the relationship
- Avoiding Each Other (includes physically or verbally)
Please note that you may have just a few of these experiences in your relationship, but it is truly up to you on what your absolute “deal breakers” are, based on the frequency and level of unhealthy behaviors.
However, if you experience a majority of the above, you may want to reevaluate your relationship. And, ultimately decide if you are ready to move on so you can create “space” for a more satisfying and healthy partnership.
Either way, the ONE KEY COMPONENT to understand in any relationship is that you cannot change the other person.
So, what can you do?
Well, you can (and must) take control over your own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Which leads us to my top suggestions on how you can start changing your relationship script!
Change Your Relationship Script
6 Steps to Happy & Healthy
Practice Awareness & Take Responsibility
Start right now! Awareness of self and what’s really going on in the relationship is paramount. Please always remember that you are in the driver’s seat and have the CHOICE each and every day to move out of victim mode and into big and beautiful empowerment!
Drop the Codependency & Fix the Fixer in You!
This is referring to the “need to be needed” trap – aka codependency created in a relationship. This also includes the wounded-bird syndrome, and going after the “emotionally unavailable” person – all of which are the perfect formula for a toxic relationship!
Practice Self-Love & Up-Level Your Self-Value
You must tend to your own roots before you can merge with someone else’s life. Please remember that you were born into this world from love & light. Don’t lose sight of that fundamental truth. No matter what is happening in the relationship, you set your own value. Your partner does not define you-you define you.
Learn & From Each Other
The cornerstone of any healthy relationship is to learn, laugh, love and grow together. In a relationship, you choose to merge your lives together. With that, please remember the importance of encouraging, supporting and bringing out the best in each other (not changing each other). And, navigate life’s challenges as a team – united.
Learn to Say No & Set Healthy Boundaries
This concept is so important when creating and maintaining a non-toxic relationship. Now, it’s not the same as issuing threats or ultimatums. Healthy boundaries are any limits that need to be set and honored so that you can love without resentment and with integrity. Push through the fear of rejection or judgment and find your voice!
Relationships most certainly require hard work, passion, compromise, and dedication to sustain and flourish. However, the backbone to any relationship is open, honest, empathic and respectful communication. Don’t expect the other person to be a mind reader – speak your truth.
Transform Toxic into Intoxicating!
Please know that you have the power to transform a soul-crushing, toxic relationship into whatever your heart (and soul) desires. Realize that everything in life is a reflection of the perspective you hold about it, so if you see the glass as half empty – Change It Up and Reclaim Your Life!
Remember that YOU ARE MORE – more than you think. Once you identify what is broken in your relationship, you have the choice to change your situation. You can shift your mindset —peel back the layers and identify your relationship “deal breakers ”. Then, go deep within and find your courage, confidence, and clarity on your next steps.
Once you clear out the toxicity, you will allow space for a healthy and kick-ass relationship (either with this person or someone else). Either way, please stay true to yourself and trust the process on your journey!