Good health goes beyond nutrition and exercise. It comes from achieving balance in every area, including the emotional and social parts of our lives too.
If there’s someone or something that is draining your energy or causing you stress, you could be dealing with a toxic relationship.
What is a toxic relationship?
Personally I define them as any thoughts, habits, food, people, or objects that cost me vital energy.
They can take many forms, but they all have one theme in common: Drama.
When it comes to toxic people, they often don’t realize the disruption they cause, mainly because they are so caught up in their own reality show that they are not able to see otherwise.
To add to the equation, we feel the need to take care of them, and the thing is, they usually are pretty addictive, they make us feel “useful”, but at the same time deprived, such interactions fog our reason and what we “see” as service is a result of manipulation.
Think of it as a sugar detox, we all know refined sugar is the most addictive drug, it ain’t good for nothing! the mere decision of quitting presents tones of resistance, and when we finally do, we go through three days of total hell, withdrawal symptoms, bad breath, bad mood, no energy, and huge cravings. This is what detoxing from draining relationships feels like, and because it usually lasts longer than three days it is also what makes us believe that we are wrong (and morals come to the rescue!)
So pay attention. When you end such interactions you will surely feel:
– like crap
Toxicity can be very subtle but it always has serious consequences.
Philip Humbert believes that “Depression is actually Depletion” – as you replenish yourself by eliminating energy drainers and choosing energy gainers, you are less depleted (and less depressed). It is what he calls “Personal Ecology”
So, how do you navigate a relationship with a toxic person?
Ideally, we would cut off contact with anyone who sabotages our wellbeing. However, there are some people that we just can’t avoid, such as parents, siblings, and bosses.
Thankfully, there are middle grounds between engaging with destructive people and completely cutting them off. You can learn and practice different communication techniques, such as Nonviolent Communication or Conscious Communication.
A more quirky approach, which of course I totally abide by, is to end the soul contract you have entered with that person. In a meditation, you conclude the current terms of such relationship (the terms, not the relationship). A condition for such arrangement is to act from a place of reverence and release any resentment beforehand, otherwise the message we are intended to receive is not integrated, and we’re back to square one.
One thing I have learnt from personal experience is that once you become aware of toxicity in your life, you must do something about it, if we ignore it and neglect ourselves, the impact is even deeper.
When you set healthy boundaries the message to Self is clear: You Matter
For some people, this is the hardest lesson they ever have to learn. In order to serve others and be of service, you have to take care of your Self first, otherwise you won’t have the resources to share your time & energy with others.
If avoiding a toxic person entirely is what’s necessary, do what you need to do for your own stress levels. Stress wears upon your body, from your sleep all the way to your blood pressure.
At the same time build a list of energy gainers, as you focus on what makes you more alive, you organically “crowd out” the unnecessesary and harmful.
How have you managed to deal with toxic people/habits in your life?
What relationships stress you out most in your life?
Share your story in the comments! I’d love to hear from you
As always much love and remember…