Toxic relationships. You know the kind. People who are fun enough or nice enough some of the time which convinces you that that part of their being is their true being and the part that barbs at you or puts you down or is negative is, well, accidental- just a sometimes affair.
I can tell when a relationship is toxic for me by how it makes my stomach feel. If my stomach bubbles with trouble when I am with a person, it is not the right relationship for me. And I can also tell when a relationship is toxic for me if I find myself making choices to act contrary to my true essence (for example, let’s say I am with someone who is being negative and I find myself being that way, too (something along the lines of ‘oh yes, I see what you are saying.’). When I do this, I have figured out, it is because I am secretly hoping to hurry up and draw that particular conversation to a close but even that desire to end the negativity doesn’t excuse my strategy. Let’s be real here: if I said, “I just don’t see it that way at all”, I am sure the conversation would end quite quickly. I am trying to make nice while making myself more and more uncomfortable and less and less authentic).
I’ve been thinking about the question of healthy relationships for the last few days because I had the honor of being part of a Twitter chat last week and one question we asked was “in what ways do you still need support for your journey this year?” In the follow-up conversation of that question, we had a great conversation about how we sometimes need to let go of relationships that are toxic for us.
That observation has had me thinking about past relationships that I’ve had to let go for that very reason and how choosing who we surround ourselves with can be really affirming and empowering (or, sometimes, disempowering). Years ago, I realized how significantly I was affected by negativity and started shifting how I formed my relationships so that I wasn’t in toxic environments. Last week’s chat reminded me of that effort to shift the energy in my life and also has reminded me how fortunate I am to have the friends that I have and to work with the Circle de Luz board. I am blessed to be in a pretty, positive, life giving environment, and it adds to my overall sense of wellbeing. I can especially appreciate that because I haven’t always be in such an environment, and it’s gratifying to see what deliberately assessing a life and then creating what you need and want can yield.
Have you ever had to end a relationship because of the toxicity in the environment? How did you handle it? What environment are you in now? Are you happy in it? Does it fulfill you? What insight do you have on creating relationships that most nurture you?