Freedom from Toxic Relationships
Scienceclarified.com defines a parasite as “An organism that depends on other organisms, known as a host, for food and shelter….a parasite usually gains all the benefits of this relationship. In contrast, the host may suffer from various diseases, infections and discomforts as a result from the parasitic attack.”
This description may seem a bit harsh, though truth be told, does this describe any relationship in which you currently find yourself? If so, you are not alone.
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Jim Kohn ~ Self-made millionaire and successful author
I know…I know…we were raised to be kind, loving and giving…and we should be! We should generously give of ourselves, time and resources without the expectation of receiving anything in return from those we serve. That is a basic tenant of humanity and one of the purposes as to why we were placed on this planet. Unfortunately, many women have taken this as ‘I need to give without limit, even to the point where I am sick or drained….if I don’t, I am not a good enough person.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. Your emotional and even physical health could hang in the balance.
“Surround yourself with only people who are able to lift you higher.”
How do you know you have a toxic relationship on your hands? Here are the top 10 signs for which to be on the lookout:
- You feel obligated with time, money or both with this person.
- They only call you when they need something.
- Appear narcissistic and always complaining.
- They are continually the topic of the conversation.
- They leave you feeling drained or tired after your interactions with them.
- The relationship doesn’t feel even - like a win-win for both of you.
- They seek your pity and thrive off your energy.
- They are jealous of your successes instead of supportive.
- Often appear lethargic or unhappy.
- Gossip and often find ways to put others down.
In her book Dodging Energy Vampires, Christiane Northrup shares that the stress of having to deal with the constant disappointments, negativity, time trying to “fix” someone, deception and all the other energy-stealing activities that go hand-in-hand with relationships she calls “Energy Vampires” eventually take a toll on us…the “host” if you will. She states, “People that are exposed to chronic social conflict experience dysregulation of the immune system, thereby increasing their susceptibility to all kinds of infectious diseases including so called auto-immune disorders.” She goes on to state, “The vampire causes you to live in perpetual stress that not only increases cellular inflammation on its own, but also encourages you to indulge in behaviors and dietary choices that increase cellular inflammation on its own right.” I don’t know about you, but I think I will pass on that when seeking out friendships!
Christiane also explains that since you may be a compassionate and caring person, you therefore are easy prey for a toxic relationship. You give freely of your wisdom, time and resources because that is your nature, even though the other party rarely takes our advice. It is a one-way street of friendship…and one it does not benefit you to travel!
Co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, Jack Canfield, states the following about avoiding toxic people in his book The Success Principles: