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We are created for relationships. We long for connection, and often this longing can lead us to settle for less than healthy relationships. Even worse, we may be so hungry to belong, or desperate to connect that we continue in toxic relationships when they are actually ruining our lives and happiness.
Toxic means poisonous, damaging or deadly. A toxic relationship drains the life from you, damages your self-esteem, or kills your dreams. While this sounds deadly, toxic relationships can be subtle and do vast harm before we realize it.
I have the scars of being in toxic relationships and for a long time I believed if I just tried harder, I could “get it right.” Boy was I wrong! I didn’t realize how these toxic relationships were ruining my life, until I got away from them and I was stunned by their wake of damage. See if you can relate to any of these examples.
- Your bags are packed for the never ending “guilt trip” and blame game foisted on you each time your friend or family member is disappointed.
- You brace yourself for the self-help friend who is always trying “fix you,” by making subtle, disparaging comments about your personality quirks or ways you are different from them.
- You leave your needs, emotions, and personal stories at home because your relationship is always about the other person and their wants, needs, and feelings.
If a relationship leaves you feeling degraded or criticized, “less than,” and like you can never get it right or if you hide your authentic self and consistently scramble to please the other person, then the relationship is toxic. And toxic relationships ruin your life in these 5 ways.