I have been toxic in my past relationships and I have been with individuals who were toxic towards me, however you put it being in a toxic relationship never carries a good outcome. These traits can be demonstrated in intimate relationships, social relationships and even family relationships. As individuals, we all come from different upbringings, different cultures, different trauma’s, and different experiences all of which shapes the choices we make. Believe it or not, the relationships you’ve watched or built throughout your childhood impacts your adulthood and your decision-making skills. The definition of toxic comes from a negative cognition and seen as poisonous or unhealthy. What if I flipped that & told you it should be seen from a level of empathy? Changes the perspective, right?

More than likely individuals that exhibit toxic traits were unfortunately raised in broken homes, or have experienced some level of intense trauma throughout their lifetime. As children age, not only do they grow physically but their brains are also expanding and collecting information. The first relationship a child builds when they enter into this world is with their parents. They learn everything from their parents. How to walk, how to talk, how to brush their teeth, how to eat with utensils, etc. They're observing the relationships their primary caregivers have with others, this includes how they communicate, how they express their anger, sadness or happiness, their body language, how they respond to stress or crisis, amongst a range of other things. When a relationship with a parent or primary caregiver is riddled with poor communication, lack of trust, extreme stress, neglect, trauma or abuse, this creates the premises for all relationships that individual may have in the near future.

Toxic traits include:

1. Never taking responsibility, if they feel angry about something it is always projected on the other party and blame is put on you on why they did what they did.

2. Manipulating, they will have a goal in mind & will do whatever it takes to get it, doesn’t matter at what cost to you.

3. Never apologize, why apologize if they never did anything wrong? They refuse to acknowledge their mistakes.

4. Judgmental, they will judge and criticize everything you are doing.

5. Never supportive, refuse to encourage and will try to bring you down anytime they can.

6. Inconsistent, they constantly change their opinions and narrative, whatever suits them best, it all depends on what fits their needs and wants.

7. Lack of empathy, they don’t understand the concept of “feeling” what someone else may feel, this is due to their selfishness.

8. Gaslighting, they deny that they ever said anything even if you have proof, their actions never match their words, they try to align people against you, they try to convince you to question your own memory, perception, and sanity.

When you are in a toxic relationship you start to think of ways to make the situation better, you start to ask yourself” what am I doing wrong” at this point you have convinced yourself that this is a problem you MUST solve. This leads to huge disappointment and pain which then turns into anger and resentment. You’re trying to find solutions and nothing much is changing, You start to take things more personal as if you failed.

This is why empathy is important, when you utilize empathy you start to ask yourself, “why is this person doing this, why does this person behave this way?”. Whether you search for the answer or not the fact will always remain, poor behavior is poor behavior, and there is no excuse for it. As humans we all go through trauma, we all go through pain, what’s important is the choices you make and how you preserver. Always remember that someone’s lack of honesty, integrity or poor choices is never on you! That is a direct reflection on who they are and their character. When you start to view it from that perspective your mindset begins to shift and instead of playing “the blame game” you start to view things less personal and more logical.

I will repeat, WE ARE ALL IMPERFECT HUMANS & we all make mistakes, at times the individual may not know they carry toxic traits, that’s why communication is key, and during this conversation, you may also reveal that you carry some toxic traits yourself, and once again; THAT IS OKAY! The response and action thereafter are what’s most important. If both parties agree that change needs to occur in order for the relationship to thrive, then this may actually make both individuals stronger then ever, but if one person admits to faults and not the other or even if both parties doesn’t admit to their faults, then more then likely it will be a vicious cycle of toxic behavior.

NO RELATIONSHIP IS WORTH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. I cannot stress this enough, love is real and love can hurt, but part of love is adapting and learning one another, and if both parties aren’t on board with that then it can never work.

Be my peace & I’ll be your peace, otherwise, it’s ✌🏽