What To Do In A Toxic Relationship? Set Boundaries!
Facing The Doom Around Us
The world can be a frustrating place to navigate on a daily basis. For many of us, the frustration is heightened by the draining effects that you may experience after a long day. It might be the case that as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, you immediately have a feeling of doom. Are you worried about the inevitable reality of who and what you will have to encounter just to get through your day? What does peace mean for you, and how is it being threatened?
Whether it is home, school, or work, we have to encounter people who carry with them a variety of “vibes”. Saying vibes here is simplifying a bit, but bear with me. I think you’ll get what I’m talking about soon.
These people (or things) that we have to interact with, one way or another, are basically the conduits of their own unique set of vibes. These vibes are like little tendrils that snake towards you, crawling on your skin, tightening their grip on you, leaving you feeling defenseless. Sometimes, this manifests itself in feeling significant to overwhelm that is powered by anger, anxiety, sadness, or a combination of all of the above.
A bit dramatic? Maybe.
A semi-accurate description? I think so.
Often, we encounter these energy-draining sources that leave us feeling depleted, but we hesitate to directly confront the situation. If we don’t think about it too much, it couldn’t possibly hurt us. Right?
How To Know If You Are In A Toxic Relationship?
Confronting toxic relationship can be done in any number of ways. It also depends on your level of comfort with confrontation, as well as your personal reflections on possible outcomes. The key thing to remember is that you are inherently worthy of a peaceful life, and your overall wellness is a priority.
One of the key factors holding us back from directly confronting this situation is the feeling that we are stuck. We feel stuck and unable to remove ourselves from toxic interactions with people who leave us feeling like we are on empty, even when we just filled up at the gas station.
The most difficult things to come face to face with are the ones that are rooted in family ties or similar obligatory relationships. Family obligations, workplace relations, "Day One" friendships, and long-term relationships, are common sources of a toxic relationship. Trust me, the statistical evidence was quite significant. I did the research, conducted the interviews, and fiddled with SPSS myself. It's all accredited, I promise.
What can you do when you feel that you have no choice but to remain in these situations, expecting nothing other than a frustrating empty tank on a regular basis? It really doesn’t have to be that way. If you never realized this before: you are worth the effort to ensure you are happy, healthy, and at peace. It really doesn’t matter who or what is the source of your feelings of drained emptiness. You can make a change to how you experience, interact, and react to these toxic drainers.
Your Peace Is Important
First, make the decision to protect your peace. According to the lovely people over at the Cambridge Dictionary, the word ‘peace’ has multiple definitions. The most relevant for your psychological wellness is:
There is nothing that can be changed about how you exist within yourself and within the world, without deciding that change needs to happen in the first place. Not only does a change need to happen, but you need to become convinced that you are worthy of living a peaceful life. The main mental barrier that you may be faced with is fear. This fear may look like worrying about not being liked. While it will take some repeated reminders to yourself, you will soon come to the understanding that there is more than enough room in the world for you to put your wellbeing first, while also remaining true to yourself.
Self-reflection is the cornerstone of any efficient life change, and to make the best use of it, you need to actually reflect on the Who and What is a threat to your peace. This is the best way to better position yourself to tackle it. An effective, and simple, tool that anyone can utilize for this is a journal. It does not need to be fancy, so a notebook will be just fine. You can start by asking yourself these questions: How much is it costing you to be unhappy, anxious, and frustrated daily? How much is it costing you in the long term?
Make the decision to protect your peace. There is nothing in this world that is worth more than your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Set Boundaries In A Toxic Relationship
Secondly, do the work. Safe spaces are important to me, and it should be for you too. Where can you turn when you are feeling backed against a wall, or just unsure of your next best step? That's your safe space. A safe space is typically defined as:
Having a safe space to decompress after a hard week, or to feel comfortable engaging in deep self-reflection, gives you the opportunity to buffer yourself from negative mental health and emotional experiences. Being too cluttered, physically or emotionally, blurs the boundaries that are necessary to separate the What and the Who that you do not want to engage with, for your own wellbeing. Safe spaces allow you to create this necessary distance you need to protect yourself from threats to your overall wellbeing.
Who, or What, is costing you your peace?
How can you begin de-cluttering to make more space for YOU?
I want to hear from you: What would your safe space look like? Where would it be and how would it make you feel?
Comment below and let's chat about it!
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