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TheKSChronicles: I’m Addicted To You. Don’t You Know That You’re Toxic?

by: - June 6, 2017
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By: Kerdisha St.Louis
CEO, TheKSChronicles

I was recently having a conversation with some friends about how the people around you affect you. Specifically, the effects of toxic people and toxic relationships by extension.

By definition, a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner. While a healthy relationship contributes to our self-esteem and emotional energy, a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy.

A healthy relationship is one that involves mutual caring, respect, compassion and a shared desire for each other’s happiness. A healthy relationship is a safe relationship where one can be one’s self without fear, a place where we feel comfortable and secure.

A toxic relationship, on the other hand, is not a safe place. A toxic relationship is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, control. A toxic individual behaves the way he or she does essentially for one main reason: he or she must be in complete control and must have all the power in his or her relationship. What many people do not realize is that one can risk their very being by staying in such a relationship.

To say a toxic relationship is dysfunctional is, at best, an understatement. But if that is so, why do so many of us condone toxic relationships? Keep in mind, like any relationship, it takes two individuals to have a toxic relationship.

I think that part of the problem is that many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture especially within the Caribbean. We worship romantic love (the excessively dramatic type where dinner plates are broken and makeups are fiery and passionate) and sometimes feel a sense of obligation to stay in the relationship, even when it is not romantic, as a result of the toxic individual being a person who we preserve is worth the sacrifice.

I can admit that it is hard to see what’s best for yourself when you’re invested in a relationship. With few exceptions, human beings want to be emotionally and physically close to each other. Life seems better shared. It’s not always easy to remember who you are and what you want. You can start to lose yourself and forget to make yourself and your happiness a priority. There is a lot we put up with because the pain certain relationships bring us is less intimidating than the pain of letting go of the person you love.

Now don’t get me wrong, even a good relationship may have brief periods of behaviors we could label toxic on the part of one or both partners. Human beings, after all, are not perfect. But when it reaches the point where the relationship can no longer be salvaged – let it go.

There’s nothing wrong with admitting a relationship has run its course. Even if you can’t conceptualize your life without that person, with time and distance, you’ll be able to see the relationship for what it was: toxic as hell.

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