Toxic Relationships

Every person reading this is either in, has been in, or knows someone who has been in, a toxic relationship. The term is self-descriptive, the relationship is poisonous, and it is deadly. Remaining in this type of relationship may or may not lead to physical death but its emotional toll is no less devastating.

At the risk of over-simplifying what is, in my opinion, a pandemic problem in our culture, ask yourself this basic question:  Is the relationship with my (substitute the descriptive term of any close person) making regular deposits to my positive energy account or regular withdrawals? Really ask yourself this question. Only you know who that/those person(s) are.

Every human being has a reservoir of positive energy and, hopefully, someone adding to it regularly. It’s that special someone that makes you smile, laugh, feel passionate, tickles your fancy, multiplies your dopamine output, etc. Conversely, everyone has a negative energy pool. You know all about this one. “You’re ugly, you’re fat, you’re stupid, you’re lazy, you’ll never amount to anything, or (worst of all) why are you drawing breath-you don’t even matter!”

When you are all alone with only your thoughts and your heart as company, sit down and make a list. Make two columns with the headings Positive Energy and Negative Energy. Down the side of your list name the most significant people in your world. For each name, identify the regular deposits they make in your positive energy reservoir. Put a star or some other mark by the most important contributions.  You know, the ones that make you warm just thinking about them. When you are done with the positive list, consider sending them a card, calling, or if close enough, giving them a hug to say “thank you” for loving and caring for you.

Now, do the same for the negative side.  When you complete this side, notice the people that show up regularly here, but rarely in the positive column.  Then do yourself – your mental, emotional, and physical self – a huge favor: Hit the delete button and get them the heck out of your life! Poison is for rats and other vermin, NOT for people with hearts and souls worth celebrating.



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