The time we spend with family (bio or chosen), friends, work and social interaction defines who you are. It influences how you make decisions, what you learn, who you love, and even how you grow and evolve as a human being. Your number one job? Learning how to choose the right people to spend your time with — and also how to spot a potential saboteur. Let us help you with this fast facts list.
Your personal relationships impact who you are and how happy you are. They can also have a surprisingly serious impact on your ability to be successful, too, especially if you spend time in the wrong relationships. While every interaction is unique, these are the top five riskiest relationships that hold people back.
Feeling Drained? These Five Relationships May be to Blame.
The Stonewalling (Or Pushy) Partner
Being in a serious relationship isn’t easy; all couples experience occasional trials and tribulations. In fact, anyone who says they never fight is probably fudging the truth (at least a bit).
What if you have a partner that refuses to communicate with you on important issues or events? Maybe they give you a cold shoulder or avoid addressing problems in the relationship altogether. Others may push to resolve your issues even if the other person needs space to work out their thoughts. Both are problematic.
If this happens once in a blue moon, it’s not a sign of a serious issue. Everyone has bad days! But when you’re experiencing repeated feelings of emotional abandonment on chronic and significant issues with your partner, it’s a red flag that your relationship needs work — or it might not even be the right relationship for you. Over time, it may make you feel inferior and lonely, poisoning your everyday mood and limiting your ability to focus on your goals. Try couples counseling to open communication and get neutral feedback that helps you work it out.
If all else fails? Don’t be afraid to walk away when you aren’t respected. Not every relationship works out. Moving forward alone can terrify, but it can also free you up to focus on yourself, too.
The Overly Critical Boss
Having a paycheck each week is non-negotiable for most adults (hey, most of us aren’t even living comfortably, let alone rich). Unfortunately, this means you will have to deal with an overly critical boss now and again. Most of the time employer/employee relationships are beneficial, but when they aren’t, it can drag you down.
Overly critical bosses cause far more issues than just at work. They nitpick and micromanage, sapping creativity and judging everything you do from a position of negative bias. From what you wear to how you get the job done, all of those snide unnecessary remarks can wear on your psyche. You should never feel bullied or abused — and you should not dread going to work out of fear you’ll be harassed.
Social Media Brain Drainers
Spend a lot of time checking Facebook or Twitter? Most people spend up to two hours a day on social media chatting, sharing, and connecting with others. This time can be useful — or it can be harmful. It’s up to you to cultivate healthy online relationships with the people you meet on the Internet.
Think about the people you spend time with online. Are they friends and followers who engage in gossip or doom and gloom news, or do they consistently motivate and brighten up your day? Maybe they showcase bad life choices by sharing them on social media platforms. This can be really harmful to you in the same way as questionable media influences (like the drive to be thin in fashion magazines).
Think of it this way: if you’re a recovering addict, reading about people using drugs might spike feelings of temptation or relapse. If you have an eating disorder, reading about weight and calories may trigger your symptoms, too, and that’s not beneficial for you when you‘re still struggling with your own relationship to food. Even outside of a specific issue, being forced to read negativity can bring you down.
What you read and see affects your mood. If you feel worse, rather than better, after some time browsing Facebook, take a break. Even a 24-hour detox or blocking off social media throughout the day flushes out the negativity and boosts your productivity in the real world. The result will be fewer distractions at work and more face-to-face contact with those around you.
Psst: A little insider secret. If you’re not sure how much time you waste on Facebook, try installing this Chrome plugin. StayFocused tracks how much time you spend on certain websites (like Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram) and also lets you block them out for time periods each day. It’ll help you break free if you need a hand.
Do you have one of those coworkers who complains about miniscule problems… or maybe even major life issues? They’re the ones always asking for money or a favor. While it feels good to help someone out, compassion exhaustion is a real thing and emotional support is still a form of emotional labor. This leads to less focus on your own wellbeing, resulting in stress, anxiety and resentment.
Break free by creating healthy boundaries upfront. Respond at your convenience, not theirs. Going forward, suggest they pursue help elsewhere. Or, set up a time to help them find the resources they need — when the time’s up, it’s okay to be firm and focus on yourself.
The Condescending Parent
Everyone has their own parenting style. A parent that criticizes and never has a kind or encouraging word can trigger feelings of worthlessness. A narcissistic parent who condescends, talks down to, or disrespects you in every conversation or encounter you have with them may even leave behind emotional scars. All of these experiences can have negative long-term effects on your life.
It isn’t easy for us to tell you a quick fix for this one; in fact, every family is unique. Sometimes, the best way to deal with a toxic family member is to sit down and have a heartfelt conversation about it. But when abuse is a factor, or when there is a long history of toxicity, it often isn’t that simple. Trying to talk it out just might lead to more harm, which isn’t the goal, here. It would be irresponsible and unethical for us to recommend which is best for your situation.
That said, you shouldn’t just take family toxicity and assume you have to deal with it forever, either. Therapy can be extremely helpful as can setting firm expectations and boundaries so each person knows what’s expected of them. In situations of abuse, sometimes the only way to deal is to walk away — and that’s okay, too. What’s important is that you do what’s best for you and your emotional health.
Your relationships influences your mindfulness and overall wellness. If they hold you back or induce negativity or pain, it’s time to make a change or let them go. You are worthy of love, care, and respect, even if someone tells you otherwise. Don’t be afraid to take control of your life and say “no” now and again — it’s healthy!
~Here’s to Your Success