Do any of the following situations sound familiar to you?
Your friend, colleague or partner uses threats of violence to manipulate your behavior.
Your friend, coworker, or partner constantly believes in you and your choice, insisting that your decisions are wrong, or using other emotional tactics to influence your actions.
You have a friend who constantly receives him, who makes all the decisions, and refuses to participate if his demands are not met.
Invites someone only when he needs something: favors, money, etc. No matter how many times you help her or what you have given her, she never gives.
You want to react to the demands by tricking yourself into passive-aggressive behavior, not going so far with the other person, because it’s easier than a confrontation that would ensure that if you stood up for yourself .
Dealing with this person makes you feel physically and emotionally drained, and doubts your self-worth.
If you identify with any of the scenarios listed above, you may be part of a toxic relationship.
Is your relationship toxic?
A toxic relationship is one in which one partner controls the other through physical, mental, or emotional manipulation. Instead of demonstrating equality, caring, and mutual self-esteem of a healthy relationship, these dysfunctional relationships are characterized by an imbalance of power in which a partner uses a variety of methods to ensure that his or her needs are always met, Often at fault of another.
When one talks of abusive relationships, many immediately think of romantic partnerships. While this is certainly a problem in modern society, toxic relationships are not limited to only those who are romantically trapped. They also include friendship and working relationships. Any situation in which a person abuses bonds with others has the potential to be toxic.
As is evident from the situations listed above, a toxic relationship has many characteristics. While not all of these symptoms need to be present, many will.
A partner is in control of the relationship. She decides where they will go, when they arrive there, and what they will do when they arrive.
This person ensures that his demands are met using a variety of techniques ranging from physical abuse and threat of physical abuse to verbal bullying, mental and emotional manipulation.
A person who is not in control feels powerless to confront or contradict power. She will be familiar with her friend’s demands, despite her lack of interest in the proposed activity.
The relationship is a “one way street”, in which the person in control receives all the benefits of the relationship.
A powerless person may find himself acting in unnatural ways as a result of powerlessness and lack of control. She can at least participate in activities, perform poorly because her heart is not in it. She may agree to the activities, but then complain together in an attempt to make him unconscious to shorten the activity. He may engage in passive-aggressive behavior in an attempt to make the person uncomfortable.
Such involvement often leaves the powerless partner to feel emotionally and physically drained. There may be a component of fear during the activity as it tries to avoid keeping the person under control. The fear of reprisal, once it has spread, ceases.
Toxic Friends – Identifying Bullying
The most obvious type of bullying, the one most recognizable, is the one that carries with it the inherent or greater danger of physical violence. It has become a well-recognized subject, often associated with romantic relationships as well as other interactions. Physical bullying, however, is not limited to these areas. There are many examples of friendship that threatens violence.
However, it is important to note that there are other, more subtle, types of bullying. These may be more prevalent in friendships that meet the definition of a toxic relationship. As with romantic relationships, bullying in a toxic friendship can, and often does, involve an element of emotional manipulation. Techniques of mental and emotional manipulation can vary widely.
He is the friend who convinces someone, constantly pointing out his flaws and shortcomings, whether they are physical, emotional or lacking other peers. This person makes his friends feel that he is taking their side by participating in activities with them. Without being bullied, they insist, you will have none. “Your choice is to live with me or be alone.”
There is a friend who blames others for being with him and doing what he wants to do. She can emphasize that “we always do what you want to do.” Even if it is not correct, it means a take and take that does not exist. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking “If we want to do that this time, we want to do something next time.” Unfortunately, there is no “next time” that fulfills this desire.
There is a friend who can accept the wishes of another, only to make his life miserable. She can allow anyone else to choose the restaurant, but will complain about service, food, atmosphere, parking, other dinners and anything else that comes to mind. A person quickly learns that there is no point in trying to do something other than what he wants to do. Anything else would simply be an unhappy experience.
Why are they the way toxic people are? Why are they self-centered, unreliable and manipulative? It is no surprise that there are many answers to this question. Keep in mind that the following descriptions do not excuse toxic behavior, just explain it.
Some individuals are reacting to stresses in their lives. When one feels out of control in one aspect of life, other relationships, occupational demands, poor physical health, or any of several other reasons, one may want to gain control in another aspect of their life. This can be a temporary solution to the personal feeling of the powerless and can be easily overcome.
Others may show lack of empathy and awareness of others which are symptoms of true sociopathy. There is no change in these individuals. In fact, any attempt to do so can result in toxic behavior.
Finally, there are those who engage in bullying, manipulation, and other negative behaviors, for the simple reason that they have learned that these actions are rewarding. If they emphasize enough, they will get what they want. When a person can act in such a way that they bother entering a reciprocal exchange to achieve their goals without giving anything away?
Does it take two to tango?
Those who are at the end of such toxic behavior can end each conversation with their bullying friend with the same question: Why should I hook up with it?
Low self-esteem may be part of the answer. If someone is told throughout his life that he does not deserve good things, it is natural that he will come to fulfill the idea. Poisonous threats reinforce this self-image with every conversation. The first thing you should realize is that no one is entitled to treat the poor.
In a sense, it is really easy to be part of a toxic relationship. There is no need to plan for yourself when you know that someone else is going to tell you what to do. The rules of the relationship are stated quite clearly. You do what the other person says and you avoid negative consequences.
what else is there? If one has been constantly manipulated, whether physically or emotionally, one questions the reality of any other type of relationship. If you convince yourself that there is some aspect of hooliganism and cunning in every relationship, then it becomes easy to convince yourself that there is no reason to see a different friendship. You are already familiar with the devil you know, after all.
turn off the music
If you found yourself shaken while reading the previous section, there are some important things you should know. First of all, any of the negative things that you have made permanent are your fault. Blame for bullying, not you. Secondly, there are different types of friendship. Bonding with people is possible due to mutual interests. There are people who will engage in mutually beneficial relationships. There are people who want to be with you because of who you are, not because of what you can do for them. Finally, and most importantly, you deserve better treatment. This may mean facing the other half of your current toxic friendship or looking for new relationships.
There are many different strategies for dealing with bullying behavior and changing toxic relationships in healthy people. Before we address those people, we should consolidate two ideas.
Know that you deserve better. This is the key to any possible change. The information given below is based on the knowledge that you deserve, what you are getting.
Bullying, physical abuse, emotional manipulation and other aspects of toxic relationships are unacceptable behavior. These are the things that the bully does and they are not okay.
If you are ready for a better relationship, there are a few things you want to try:
The simplest answer but potentially the most difficult is to end the relationship altogether. This means not receiving phone calls, not answering texts, ignoring any manipulative behavior that will resume the cycle of toxicity. This seems like an easy fix, but when someone has invested time and energy into a friendship, even one that is not beneficial to one’s well-being can be difficult to eliminate. This is even more difficult if there is an element of physical abuse in the relationship. If this is the case, make sure that you are safe and physical performance is unlikely. This may include outside help from family, other friends, or officers. There are many programs and shelters that can also provide assistance. Above all, be careful and act this way to protect yourself.
If you do not wish to end the relationship, it will be necessary to address the bully. Indicate behaviors that are unacceptable. Again, if there is any aspect of physical abuse, take extreme care while doing so. It is likely that the other person will become agitated, angry or upset during this conversation. Be firm in your stand that toxic behavior will not be tolerated. It is also important to remain calm during this discussion. The conversation can grow into an argument. Do not invite the bully into name calling, bullying or similar behavior. Just repeat what needs to be changed and why.
It is very important not to back-slide. If, after a few weeks of better behavior, the old methods of manipulation start creeping up again, point them out in a calm, non-invasive way. Rest assured that these are works which will not be tolerated.
Regardless of how you choose to deal with the toxic person in your life, it is beneficial to find other friends with whom you can relate. Not only will these people provide the partner should the toxic friend get out of the picture, they will also provide examples of how the friendship should work. In addition, they will reinforce the idea that you can be part of a healthy relationship and deserve to make good friends.