What is a toxic relationship? How does mass culture impose on us the image of an executioner-victim relationship, where love becomes synonymous with suffering, and family drama is presented as the norm? How do you know that you are in a psychological trap? Why is it impossible to express yourself as a person in a toxic relationship? Is it possible to change the person who is poisoning your life and how to protect yourself from unhealthy relationships? We understand.
Today, a toxic relationship is any interaction between people (spouses, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues) that brings emotional pain and complete exhaustion of the resources of one of the parties. This is communication, as a result of which one person consciously or unconsciously “poisons” another, making him feel depressed, insignificant, frightened, used — there can be many variants of negative feelings.
Unlike normal interaction, toxic relationships do not bring any benefit: instead of personal growth and positive emotions, the “target” over time risks earning a number of mental or even physical ailments. Feeling uncomfortable, sooner or later a person will feel all the “charms” of such states as apathy, continuous stress, depression, progressive decline in self-esteem, panic attacks, nervous breakdown. Such a scenario is dangerous because it can lead a person to a psychiatric couch at best, and to suicide at worst.
It is not difficult to understand whether communication with a particular person is toxic. The underlying sign is your discomfort. If from time to time after a normal conversation, correspondence in social networks, gatherings in a cafe or a meeting, you feel completely empty, depressed or scared,then there is no doubt.
Paradoxically, often in the chair of psychologists are people who tolerate this kind of relationship for several months, or even years. At the same time, they need time not only to get out of a traumatic relationship, but also to simply understand that what is happening to them is not normal.
In his lectures, practicing psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky notes that the current situation is quite understandable. According to him, toxic relationships are one of the names of neurotic interaction, its synonym. At the same time, according to psychiatrists, today in Russia more than 70% of the population suffers from some form of neurosis. Residents of large cities, whose pace of life requires maximum mobilization and quick decision-making, are most at risk. The medical publication “Doctor Peter” reports:
“Every year, 10-14 thousand people turn to the St. Petersburg Research Psychoneurological Institute named after V. M. Bekhterev for advice, of which a quarter – about neurotic disorders.”
In the case when a sample of neurotic relationships accompanies a person from childhood, in the future it is difficult for him to believe that there are other, non-traumatic behaviors. In addition to the negative childhood experience, masscult adds his contribution to the formation of future neurotics who voluntarily enter into toxic relationships. Every day we come across a huge number of films and books, the interaction of the characters of which is built on the “executioner-victim” scheme, where love becomes synonymous with suffering, and most family dramas are presented as the norm. As a result, looking back at parental relationships and messages from the big screens, we get used to sacrifice ourselves and our interests, endure domestic or work tyranny and for years try to correct abusers (from the English abuse– violence).
According to Labkovsky, healthy individuals do not enter into toxic relationships. All participants in the process are traumatized, since a balanced and harmonious person will never act as a tyrant or victim.
Understanding that communication with a person (especially a close one) poisons us often brings great pain. Experiencing stress, the individual tries to justify his environment to the last. But endless patience and adjustment to the partner turns out only fatigue, loss of your Self, the feeling that you are trapped. Over time, a person may become afraid of their partner.
Getting deeper:
We are usually poisoned by those who see us not as a person, but as a function. Unfortunately, this is not only the work colleagues, but also the closest people. But if a partner constantly forgets to fulfill promises, ignores your desires and needs, assures you that you are the closest person to him, but, in fact, wipes his feet on you with his actions, manipulates, controls, constantly criticizes and condemns your every step, makes you jealous, disappears and appears without warning, projects his complexes on you, forces you to do what you do not want (from overwork to intimacy), imposes his value system and ignores your rhythm of life, you should immediately say goodbye to him.
Psychologist Anna Iotka notes: in order not to be in the role of a victim, you can not ” … give comfort without getting it. After all, the partners should mutually strive for comfort and understand the value of each other.”
At the same time, the degree of understanding of comfort is different for everyone. And sometimes it happens that it is not the person himself, but that you simply do not fit his lifestyle and his values. Trying to adapt to an objectively “good” but absolutely not your person is the first step to a neurotic relationship with the loss of your Self.