Got Toxic Relationships?!!

Got Toxic Relationships?!!

Are you or someone you know in a toxic relationship, marriage, friendship or working relationship? Did you grow up in a toxic family environment? Is your family currently dysfunctional and toxic? Have you or someone else suffered emotional, verbal or physical abuse as a result of these relationships? Well, I want to help guide you and help you overcome God’s way. This is not an end all be all for toxic relationships, but it’s a start to help you get to the right direction. Before I begin, if you are in a harmful or unsafe environment, find safety and get help NOW. There’s plenty of shelters and crisis hotlines that you can call to assist you with getting to a safe place. For the rest of you, thanks for tuning in. If you tapped on it, you tapped on this link for a reason and I know you’re going to be blessed by it. So, kudos to you for trying to be truthful with yourself. There’s a part of me that knows how difficult this can be. Let’s chat shall we?

Definition of Toxic

Before we tell you how to get out of a toxic relationship, it’s best we start with defining what a toxic relationship is. Because the fact of the matter is that some people have operated in dysfunction so long that they don’t even know their situation is toxic. They wouldn’t even know how to identify the toxicity in their environment if they tried. So, to help, we’ll start out with the definition and signs of a toxic relationship. Then, we’ll identify where toxicity might take place. At some point, we will talk about how to overcome toxic relationships safely, efficiently and effectively.

Miriam Websters Dictionary defines Toxic as extremely harsh, malicious or harmful. Do you have any relationships that fit this bill? Do you have any relationships that make you cry more than you laugh? Do you have any relationships that demean you and make you feel bad about yourself? Do you have any relationships that are emotionally and physically harmful or damaging? Are you afraid to speak up for yourself for fear of how you will be treated after you speak how you feel? Are you or someone else afraid to confront those who have done you wrong for fear of how they will turn the situation around and blame you for their wrongdoing? Do you have any relationships with anyone who reminds you that they are better than you are, thus making you feel as if you are not enough? Do you have any relationships that don’t allow you to do what you want to do, thus controlling your the way you think by steering you away from what you love to do and who God has called you to be? If so, you just might be in a toxic relationship.

20 Signs of a Toxic or Controlling Relationship

  • Intentionally refusing to respond to messages or calls (*does not apply to someone trying to escape from an abusive person/situation, in this case, all contact should cease for safety purposes)
  • Never does anything for you but you always do things for them
  • Intentionally hurting you when their feelings are hurt by you
  • Isolates you from family or friends
  • Doesn’t let you do things you want to do because of how THEY feel
  • Unreasonable jealousy
  • Ignoring/excluding you
  • Gaslighting/manipulation
  • Constant Put-Downs
  • Humiliates/Embarasses You
  • Saying “I love you” – BUT
  • Using threats/intimidation
  • Blames you for their failure
  • Compulsive lying
  • Name-calling
  • Uses force or money to control you
  • Regularly criticizes you
  • Threatens violence/suicide
  • Tells you that you can’t leave
  • Gives you silent treatment

Toxicity in The Family

If your relationships resemble any of the aforementioned characteristics, you might be in a toxic relationship. If any of these things are happening, there are some red flags here. While we would like to say that these flags only occur in friendships, marriages or working relationships, they also happen in the familiar circle- The Family. Mothers and fathers can be very toxic with their children, placing unrealistic expectations on them by expecting them to be perfect and walk a straighter line than they did. Mothers and fathers can also be toxic with their children by trying to make them become who they want their children to become rather than allowing them to explore their gifts and become what God created them to be. It is these toxic measures that have caused many adults mid-life crisis as they realize that who they are is never who they wanted to be, thus causing them to start over and create their own path in the middle of their lifespan. It is possible, but it requires much work and undoing what’s always been done. Not only can mothers and fathers be toxic, but sisters and brothers can be toxic as well. We’ve seen this time and time again where one puts the other down or one feels superior to the other because they have money or because they got a certain level of a college degree.

Toxicity in The Marriage

Keep in mind, marriage is supposed to be a display of the covenant of Christ’s love for His Bride (the Church). If your marriage doesn’t put Christ’s love on display, there’s a problem somewhere. If you didn’t know, one of the most common places for toxicity to take place is the marriage. If you are married and think you might be in a toxic marriage, there are several things that you can do to try to resolve these issues. One of the first things you can do is pray. Prayer should always be the first thing you do before you do or say anything. After prayer, another thing you can do is communicate with your spouse. The problem here is that most toxic spouses don’t want to communicate. But, I leave that on the table to ensure that you know that is an option. The next thing you can do if communication doesn’t work is try counseling. I personally recommend Biblical counseling because Biblical counseling is centered and based on Biblical principles. If you can find a Biblical marriage counselor, great. If not, there are other options available to you. Should counseling not be effective, the next thing you can do is go to your church or speak with the Pastor. If you are under good Pastoral care, they should make time to get you on their calendar for a conversation with both you and your spouse. When trying to achieve marriage counseling, I highly recommend that you attend the counseling with your spouse so that you get the best results from your care seeking. If you go by yourself, it only gives the counselor or Pastor a one sided view and perspective. So, if you’re going to put in the work and your spouse has agreed, go together! Also, don’t let anyone shame you for going to go get help and going to get counseling. Counseling is Biblical and a great tool to help you sharpen your perspective. Many people who go to church are often told not to seek counseling and this is a very unhealthy mindset. As a matter of fact, the very people who tell you not to go to counseling are the very people who probably need to go themselves. So, bottom line, ignore it and go get the help you need. That’s what counseling is for. Counseling is for you, not them.

Toxicity in The Work Place

If you have a toxic work environment, this is simple. You need a new job! Start over. That is all. There’s no amount of money that should keep you in a toxic and unhealthy work environment. Step out and trust God to place you where you need to be. All work environments aren’t toxic and you most certainly don’t have to stay in one that is.

Overcoming Toxicity

While it might be easy for someone to tell you to just get over it, overcoming toxicity can be very difficult. Especially depending on how long you or someone you know has been in that dysfunctional relationship, marriage or working relationship. However, where the problem lies is in the fact that toxicity can be a gift that keeps on giving. When someone has been in a toxic relationship or working environment, they too tend to pick up those same traits and treat other people in the same manner. It is not because they try, it is simply because hurting people hurt people. But, the best two things that can truly help a person overcome the experience of toxicity in their relationship or work environment is prayer and reading the Bible. There are few things that can outdo these things. It may take some time to overcome, whether it’s distancing yourself from the toxic person for a time or just walking away altogether, but with diligence, toxic relationships can be overcome. You may have to walk away from an emotionally abusive marriage for a period of time and possibly indefinitely. You may have to walk away from a physically abusive relationship. Or, you may even have to walk away from a job or organization. One thing is sure, the battle can be won with intentionality.

Well, if you got to the bottom of this blog, it means that you really needed it. If this blessed you in any type of way, I ask that you please share it to help someone else. Also, I’d love to connect with you on social media. We can get social at the link below- just tap it! You can follow all the accounts to receive more encouragement and updates on blogs and any new 411. Thank you for spending time with me. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Be sure to subscribe at the link below to get an update when a new blog is posted. Also, if this was helpful, be sure to like and share it so you can help someone else #GetPhreedUp.

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