All failed relationships hurt, but letting go of a toxic relationship is actually a gain, not a loss.
As youngsters we learn about sex education in grade school, the legality of marriage in our late teens, and perhaps some social psychology in college. But when it comes down to actually handling the intricacies of real-world relationships, we’re given very little formal guidance… or worse, we’re given advice columns in online beauty magazines.
Yes, relationships are trial-and-error from the get-go. And if you’re like most of us, you’ve experienced plenty of error along the way.
A big part of the problem is that many toxic relationship behaviors are baked right into our culture. We worship the idea of carefree romantic love – you know, where two people ride off into the sunset happily ever after before they even truly know each other. And we are raised to objectify our relationships and guard them like personal property. Thus, our friends and lovers are often treated as assets rather than human beings of free will with whom to share true love and emotional support.
Fortunately, there’s been a lot of scientific research into healthy and happy relationships over the past few decades that have allowed people in the know to build their mental strength against toxic relationships and toxic relationship behaviors. And that’s exactly what I want to share with you today – ten common types of toxic relationships mentally strong people learn to avoid:
1. Relationships run by one person.
A relationship is toxic when one person is running it. Period.
When you feel out of control or a little lost it can be tempting to look for someone willing to take charge of your life for you, just to alleviate the pressure. But before you do consider this: If you put a collar around your own neck and hand the leash to someone else, you’ll have no say about where they lead you in life.
We should never feel powerless or trapped in a relationship. In fact, if either person feels powerless or trapped, the relationship doesn’t really exist. Because that’s what relationships are all about: freedom. [Read more…]