Coming Out of Toxicity
A guide to relationships for those who grew up in toxic homes
Relationships—romantic or not—tend to be difficult. After all, you're bringing together two different people from two different worlds. You have different pasts and experiences. Different goals of sorts, and even different ideas as what life you would desire together.
But what if your family is not exactly "average," but more so toxic? For example, if you have an alcoholic parent or are exposed to narcissism, you develop trust issues that may be hard to resolve while in a relationship or friendship. Or if you grew up with a family who did nothing but manipulate their partners, children, friends, or others, you would be subject to reading too far into the lines with other people. Meaning, you would take the situations given to you and somehow find manipulation in it. The list goes on and on. From paranoia to twisted minds, mental and personality factors coming from a toxic environment can take a toll on your relationships with non-toxic people.
So, what can you do?
For starters, acceptance is key. Realizing the impact that the toxicity has on you is only the beginning. Once you do this, you can approach everything else that encounters you in your relationships and friendships.
Re-evaluating is one of the most important things you can do. If you find yourself getting worked up or spooked over something, ask yourself: Is it necessary? Minds of those who come from toxicity often over-complicate things. Try your best to simplify it, then approach the problem.
Think Before You Speak
This is very important. Given that you've come from a trialing place, you will always be on the defense if conflict arises. You will not always have full control pertaining to what you are saying and what you mean by that. If you seriously love your partner or friend, know that this spurt will pass, but what you say may not. Don't hurt your loved ones and the ones who love you because your defense is so strong.
Know Where You Stand
Where do you stand? Humble yourself enough to gain the clarity to determine if you are in the wrong or not. If you are not, how can you address this in a healthy manner? The best thing you can do is communicate your feelings respectfully and encourage the other party to do the same.
Are They Good for You?
No, I am not encouraging you to leave your friend or partner. But often times, people from a toxic environment migrate to toxic people. If you have tried to go about everything in a healthy manner, but there isn't much improvement, perhaps they are not good for you and mirror some of the same traits of a toxic person. Ask yourself how they make you feel and compare that on how you believe you should feel with them.
Last but not least, communication. People will often give a lot of different advice on this, but I personally believe the best thing you can do is be as honest as possible. There are a million ways to say something, so, by all means, don't be hurtful or disrespectful. However, be open and honest in regards to your feelings. Be clear about your history with toxicity and inform them you are trying to improve. Nonetheless, be honest and clear about how you genuinely feel, and explain why you feel that way. This will help build a steady foundation of communication that, in the future, may even prevent the triggers you'd want to avoid.
There's a lot to be said for those who have suffered living in a toxic home environment. Knowing this, it's normal to feel as though you're hopeless in having a successful partnership or relationship of a sort. Hopefully, these tips will benefit you and you will be able to grow and maintain successful relationships.