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Video: Buried Alive: Looking For A Way Out Of A “Toxic Relationship” - Relations
The expression "toxic relationship" has long been a psychological term. It is customary for them to characterize the interaction of two people, in which one person literally poisons the life of the other, belittling his "I" in every possible way. This effect manifests itself in emotional depression, a feeling of dependence and low self-esteem of the victim. And these are only the initial symptoms …
Psychologist-consultant Natalia Mikhailova describes this condition as follows: "… discomfort and displeasure in general, as well as, possibly, emotional pain, prolonged recovery, psychological trauma, resentment, anger, a sense of waste of time, etc."
1. Lowered self-esteem
This is a key point that is present in 99% of toxic relationships. All achievements / victories / merits of the "victim" are ignored, but any mistake or the slightest mistake becomes a reason for humiliation and reproaches. They beat, as a rule, on the most sore spot. If, for example, a woman is very worried about being overweight, her partner may incessantly tell her how fat she is, how she does not look after herself, does not cause desire, etc. He can accompany his accusations with comparisons with others, more beautiful / slim / attractive girls. In most cases, a woman does not write off these attacks on the toxicity of relationships: she begins to believe that she is actually ugly, flawed, ugly. To this cocktail is added jealousy of the "slim and beautiful" - and self-esteem is there,where even an experienced psychotherapist has to pick it up for a very long time.
A logical continuation of the previous point: the lower a person's self-esteem, the easier it is to control him. Having found the sore spot of his victim, the abuser acts on him until the victim believes in his insignificance and worthlessness. In such a state, it is difficult for a person to imagine that he is handsome / smart / talented, that he can build new harmonious relationships. Moreover, he believes that the tyrant is doing him a favor by staying with him. In such a situation, the abuser gains almost unlimited power over the victim. It is not difficult for him to achieve complete obedience and at the same time not feel guilty (she is fine with that!).
3. Feeling unhappy
A person in a toxic relationship loses his taste for life and, as it were, does not participate in it. Depression, apathy, constant fatigue and depression - this is an incomplete list of manifestations of this condition. The relationship is not satisfying, but the victim does not have the strength and determination to break out of it. Many describe their condition: "it is bad with him, but without it - unbearable." However, they forget that new relationships are easier to build than a new personality.
How can you tolerate this?
It turns out that you can … This kind of relationship is found not only in men and women who are linked by bonds of "love". It can often be observed in a work collective, and in a friendly company, and in the interaction of parents with children. Another thing is that toxicity in relationships with a father or mother in adulthood is possible to partially get rid of by starting an independent life, you can change your job, and you can simply erase tyrant friends from life. When it comes to relationships in a couple, one can only marvel at the patience and humility of the victims. They prefer to justify arbitrary behavior rather than putting an end to it.
Psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky, discussing the toxic relationship between a man and a woman, notes that suffering in love, combined with self-pity, is characteristic of the fair sex. This can explain the fact that many women endure humiliation for years and are ready to lose their individuality "in the name of love": "In their neurotic picture of the world, the quality of love, its depth, is determined by the amount of suffering endured."
Of course, from the outside, being in a relationship that kills a person seems absurd. But for a woman convinced that love and suffering are synonymous, it is not so easy to give up “her cross”. Such a choice does not arise from scratch. Very often we owe our parents our low self-esteem and manifestations of a kind of masochism. The model of relationships, fixed in the mind of a woman, is certainly associated with the atmosphere that she has seen in her own family since childhood. Excessive severity, constant dissatisfaction of parents, exorbitant requirements - a fertile ground for the development of complexes, which can subsequently lead to the adoption of toxic relationships. It is very difficult to abandon the "norm" and take the first step towards a new life.
Awareness as an antidote
Of course, if a parent, spouse, boss or friend once makes you an inappropriate remark, does not evaluate your abilities, or reproaches you for no objective reason, you can treat this with understanding and justify such behavior with a bad mood or momentary weakness. But when this behavior becomes chronic and poisons your life, patience and self-sacrifice are clearly inappropriate. The first thing to understand is that this relationship is abnormal. You can stay in them only in one case: if they change radically and begin to bring joy and pleasure instead of negativity and stress.
When a person finally realizes that a toxic relationship is an unhealthy psyche and “burying a person alive” - he has a better chance of breaking free.
We recommend reading:
- Lecture by M. Labkovsky "How to get out of neurotic relationships"
- To understand if your relationship is toxic, you can use the famous test dedicated to gaslighting (a kind of psychological abuse that is the basis for unhealthy relationships).
Photo: © Chepko Danil / Photobank Lori