Listen to Episode 50 of the Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast: Are you in a toxic relationship? It is time to get out

Toxic relationships are not found only in personal relationships.  Toxic relationships can plague your personal life, friendships, and work.  A toxic relationship is defined as “ a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and,  not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner.” 

Personally, you may long to be in a relationship, but not all relationships are created equal. Some relationships cause more grief than they are worth. While being alone can be disappointing, it can be preferable to being in a toxic relationship.

Whether you are examining your professional or private life, ask yourself if the relationship enhances your life or makes it more challenging. Why?  Because you deserve the absolute best!

Toxic relationships can be challenging and hard to leave, especially in midlife.  You might be hoping that something will change, and you will not have to give up your paycheck or the person you love.  Regardless of how much pain this toxic relationship is causing you, losing your source of income or facing the world alone, even temporarily, can be frightening.

Today we will talk primarily about the signs of toxicity in your personal life, but I want to touch on how working in a toxic climate will affect you and give you steps to help you navigate a positive outcome for you.  We spend so much of our waking time working, and toxic relationships will destroy our productivity and our ability to collaborate with others.

 Signs that your workplace may be toxic:

“The Workplace Bullying Institute indicates that 19 percent of workers report they have been bullied at work. And 72 percent of the workforce are aware of it happening.”

Your workplace may be toxic if you dread going into work and you feel emotionally and physically drained by the end of the day.

Your productivity is suffering, and you are running out of sick and vacation days. 

There is a constant level of disrespect and lack of communication.

 You feel like there is a lack of support, and you are unsure if you can trust anyone, so you keep how you think to yourself.

Physical symptoms have emerged, such as sleepiness, anxiety, or stress-eating.

The atmosphere is so hostile that you feel unsafe.

Signs that you may be in a toxic personal relationship:

A consistent lack of trust. It does not matter whether you do not trust the other person, or they do not charge you. Relationships are incredibly draining when there is a pervasive lack of trust. There is never any peace.

You are forced to compromise your values regularly. When you are put in the position to live outside of the tenets you consider to be most important, your self-respect suffers.

Your partner is not supportive of your success. They say you find out who your real friends are during times of distress, but the same can be said of periods of success. It is not uncommon for friends and family to be unsupportive when you are doing well. The last thing you want is a partner that displays this type of behavior.

Dismissiveness. Is either of you dismissive toward the other? Your interests and projects should be respected. This works both ways. If you are dismissive of your partner, your relationship could be better.

Your partner is unreliable. If you cannot count on your partner, your life is more stressful than it needs to be, and your relationship is harming you.

Going somewhere else after work is more relaxing than going home. What is worse than spending a stressful day at work and deciding instead to go sit in a coffee shop alone than go home to your partner? It is nice to have a home that is an oasis from your everyday stressors.

A lack of affection. There is a lack of closeness when love wanes. Ask yourself why you no longer want to touch each other.

You resist confiding in your partner. When you have something sensitive to discuss, it would be nice to rely on your partner. If you find yourself hesitant to share, it could be a sign that your relationship is not healthy. Ideally, your partner is also your best friend.

The relationship is harmful to any children involved. Relationships should enhance the lives of the children. If your children are frightened or discouraged, these are warning signs.

You feel unsafe with your partner. No relationship is worth risking your safety. Make your health and well-being a priority in your life.

You can think of other people with whom you would rather be in a relationship. Do you find yourself wishing you could be in a relationship with a friend or coworker instead of with your current partner? Something is wrong if you imagine yourself with someone else.

I hope that you are not experiencing any of these symptoms and that your relationships are healthy, supportive, and a source of inspiration to you.

If you believe your relationships are toxic, do not be afraid to take the time to investigate further.  For both unhealthy personal and professional relationships

  • Be willing to seek professional help.
  • Start keeping a log of events, document emails, voicemails, and interactions with individuals.  This is especially important at work if you need to file a claim with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
  • Work on building or rebuilding your self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Start activity to help you relieve the stress
  • You do not have to stay plan your exit strategy
  • Create your village, find supportive friends or coworkers who will be there to comfort and support you.

I hope that you are not experiencing any of these symptoms and that your relationships are healthy, supportive, and a source of inspiration to you. But, if they are not, it is time to step out of denial and save yourself.  A healthy relationship makes it easier to be at your best and pursue the dreams and goals that make you happy.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

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