Toxicity in Relationships [3 Behaviors to Stop]
|By Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®|
Toxicity in relationships and reevaluating who is in your life shouldn't be overlooked. Nearly everyone has, at one point, known someone in their life who I like to call an "abundance buster." These are the people who would prefer it if you didn't win or succeed, have an overall negative attitude, and are toxic to the point of always dragging others down around them.
Life may happen to them and they feel powerless in making any sort of change in their lives … you know the type, nothing is ever their fault, and they are blameless in their failures or loss. They bring their problems and bad energy to you, and drag you down with drama until you are emotionally exhausted.
The fear of loss is one of the greatest human behavior influencers, and this fear is often the main driver in why abundance busters act the way they do. They are caught in a zero-sum game (nothing is ever good enough) and thrive off the feeling that tearing others down gives them.
Making you feel bad makes them feel better about their own low self-esteem. Like a poison, the negativity they ooze can often spread to their fellow coworkers, family and friends.
These are all toxic friendship signs, and sometimes you don't have a choice but to learn to deal with an abundance buster when they come into your life. You can, however, come up with a strategy to be able to deal with this person to keep your interactions short and sweet, and not derail you from your mission and your joy.
If you have an abundance buster in your life, then you know that those types of people cannot be happy for you. So how do you recognize toxicity in relationships and learn to multiply your joy and prioritize yourself?
- STOP: trying to please the abundance busters in your life, and learn to prioritize yourself first. We all need to be valued, respected and appreciated, but sometimes the best way to respect yourself can mean keeping your interaction time with these types of people short. Be positive, cordial and brief, and then walk away.
START: choosing who you share your dreams and confidences with more carefully. Don't give the abundance buster information that is sensitive to you and could be misused in a hurtful way.
- STOP: playing the negativity game. It's easy to get sucked into drama and gossip, but this is just a drain on your energy resources. Don't let negativity influence your mindset in this way.
START: choosing to be a multiplier. Multipliers are people who choose to believe in the best in others, and look for the win-win options in every situation. Abundance busters are dividers: they lack the ability to create their own happiness, so they are constantly looking to take from others.
- STOP: using your finances as an excuse to not be happy. Abundance busters can be financially related, too – anything that sabotages our future, such as too much personal debt. If you have a financial issue that's sucking away your happiness, take a step back and make a systematic plan to dig yourself out of the hole you are in.
START: setting healthy boundaries. Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with an abundance buster if they are a member of your family. If this is the case, make clear boundaries and maintain a healthy space around them, both physically and mentally.
How and who you choose to spend your time with is incredibly important to your mental health and overall wellbeing. Although at times, it can seem like the world is full of doom and gloom, you can choose to see the light over the darkness by recognizing toxic friendship signs.
Research shows that healthy and strong social interactions are vital for our long term health, mentally and physically. But remember, that is for healthy relationships and avoiding toxicity in relationships. Haters are going to hate. You can choose not to play in their game and practice self-love.
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