Destructive relationships are something people who pursue personal development can find themselves dealing with.
In life we naturally surround ourselves with people who are on the same wavelength as us.
Our friends and romantic partners meet us on the same level.
A problem can occur when you break your own shackles and start ascending to undiscovered heights in your personal growth.
The people you have relationships with are going to get left behind. Suddenly they are no longer on the same wavelength as you and you are attracting new people into your life that are.
This can be a tough process to navigate. You don't want to cut yourself off from your friends but at the same time you need to be able to let go of friendships or relationships that are no longer working as you grow into new ones.
People are always growing in different directions. No one ever stays static. Friends often grow apart with little fuss. Relationships often end amicably when both partners realize they are going in different directions. This is all perfectly natural.
Destructive relationships occur when the person you are growing apart from cannot let you go, and you do not have the balls or the heart to completely cut them off. You get bogged down in a situation where you are trying to grow and they are holding you back. It creates resentment from both parties. This is particularly the case in long term romantic relationships when it is not as flexible, informal and fluid to move on as it is with friendships.
In fact the less flexible the relationship is and the harder it is to gently go your separate ways the more scope there is for toxicity to develop. Consider your parents for example. You cannot change the fact that your parents are your parents. You can walk away from the relationship but this would be a drastic step. Therefore if you are not getting along then things can easily become toxic. Marriage is a similar thing. While you can walk away divorce is a big step. Friendships are easier to deal with but even so it takes a lot of courage to walk away from a long term friendship even if it has become toxic.
Characteristics of Destructive Relationships
See if you recognize any of these symptoms in your own relationships. This will let you know whether or not any of them are destructive.
They Drain Your Energy
Relationships should be uplifting. While there will be bad times the overall nature of the relationship should be positive and not draining.
There Is All Take And No Give
A healthy relationship balances give and take. A toxic one has all the take concentrated in one party.
They Hurt You
If a relationship constantly makes you feel abused, traumatised, guilty, ashamed or unloved then it has become toxic.
Dealing With Destructive Relationships
If you want to continue your personal growth then you have to cut away destructive relationships. These people will hinder your growth and negatively impact on your happiness. There are several ways to deal with this.
This is the simple one. You pluck up the courage and end the relationship. If it is not a close relationship then this should be easy and not very dramatic. If it is a long friendship then you may need to sit the person down and let them know how you feel. If it is a romantic relationship then you will have to explain that you are growing in different directions and you now feel that you are incompatible.
If it is just an acquaintance that is toxic you might as well walk away. But if it is a close relative then walking away may be impossible. In this case you need to minimize the amount of time you see the person so they cannot perform their energy vampire soul sucking on you.
Confront And Deal With The Toxicity
In some cases you can reform a destructive relationship and make it healthy again. This is not easy and should not be lightly attempted. You cannot change someone. People can only change themselves. But occasionally the toxic nature of the relationship may be a cry for help. In that case you may find some success in gently guided this person to a better path where your relationship can continue.
However this is fraught with danger, remember you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. In fact in many cases if you try and change someone they will rebel and fight against it. This will only work if the person is open to helping themselves.
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