Words and thought processes of our near and dear ones are most of the times infectious – a fact that I have observed along this far, especially in relationships that require people to function living in close quarters, one-sided or mutual influence mostly does start inching in.
The ability to influence indicates that the relationship has got ‘instituted’ albeit, initially, it is very difficult to predict with conviction if such an influence is going to make, break, mortify, strain or lift our soul spirits further so, in the long run. Moral of the story is subjecting our self to any kind influence can prove to be either progressive or detrimental to our soul paths, needless to mention that the impact caused therefrom do have lasting effects. If your soul is able to shine bright then it means that the association is probably doing wonders to you.
While trying to co-exist with anyone, we often tend to copy their habits and thought patterns and also inculcate them to the extent possible which more often resembles an effort to align ourselves to the surroundings. The need for such alignment may be justified due to personal or professional reasons. However, inculcating and living with such adjustments is easier and settling only when the other person’s thought patterns conform to our own, since the thought-feeling pattern of every soul system is indeed unique.
If the element of natural alignment between the individual and the surroundings is absent or incorrect then the resulting outcome could be an unhappy or dissatisfactory existence and one ends up ‘living with the feeling ‘compromised’ or ‘used’ depending upon the degree of mis-alignment.
It is commonly found that sometimes the people concerned, take big-time efforts to keep up or make a relationship work by giving-in to unreasonable demands, pressures of every kind, silent toleration of all misbehaviours, idiosyncrasies, moods, faults and other misdemeanours. This adjustment could result out of a variety of reasons ranging from fear of social stigma to financial issues or to simply keep up dignity levels. But what one fails to understand is, not nipping off such incidences at the bud means encouraging the other person to keep continuing.
Perpetually living into such a misaligned state of existence can lead nowhere other than gradual disheartenment, depression which can push one down into compounded negativities and series of failures, as in a weak state of mind, one tends to stop putting in their best in whatever they undertake which further leads to confidence level deteriorations. Such a relationship is a classic case of one that has become TOXIC.
Toxicity in relationships can appear in other forms too such as:
(1) A relationship where one individual be-littles you whether in private, public, seriously, jovially…in any place or any manner and constantly make you feel that you are a “no good”.
(2) A relationship where one makes it a point to be with you, only to ”use” you for their needs. Here the ”user” is usually very nice, polite and courteous in his approach but only as long as they keep getting whatever they want from you. At times they will also make it a point to do small things for you that will not cost them any thing significant. These are big time energy drainers as they are certain to leave you at some future point in time, if they find someone else who can give them better.
(3) A relationship where one is possessive / dominant / controlling to the point that there is no comfort feeling when you co-exist.
(4) A relationship where ”control is disguised” i.e. one person controls the other by asserting that he / she is ”independent” and for this person, you simply don’t exist. So, what you do for him / her is of no value as it will anyways be done (by someone else of course i.e. if you don’t want to do it).
(5) A relationship where one remains passive and lets you do everything. You have all the rights but at the same time you ‘alone’ are responsible for everything. The element of ”caring and sharing” is absent.
(6) Back-stabbing relationships that could cost you many things at a personal level especially reputation and goodwill which at times could get down to affect your most personal relationships too.
and so on and so forth…the list could be an endless one…but the point to note is any equation which leaves you feeling ”self-depreciated, devoid of mutual respect, lacks an attitude of clear-conscience” is toxic. Also it goes that the aforementioned equations could be between any gender, age or relationship (i.e. it could be a friend, acquaintance, relative, association or any professional or personal relationship).
At some point in time, such equations would need to be addressed since repeated undermining of self-worth and failing to be assertive in one’s standpoint could be nothing but subjecting our self to mental abuse. Constant stomaching of these assaults without doing anything about them, could make one a mental abuse victim who are nothing but the people who are slowly overcome by needless feelings of self-guilt and worthlessness…in other words depression. These victims at some point of time may tend to need some external help (such as counselling) in dealing with the despair and the huge mental abyss since the incumbent by this time would have started losing touch with his ‘real self’ or ‘what he really wants’.
The question is how long can anyone continue being pulled away from their own unique soul system? Certainly not for long since this could affect their health, they could end up feeling frustrated, lost, trapped etc. This could also lead to extreme reactions like crime. If you see most crimes in the society are the outcomes of exposure to such endless negativities and chronic existence in a thoughtless order.
Is it possible to avoid being into such associations, relationships or circle? Well, not every time for one cannot stop interacting with the vast world that is filled with all sorts of energies and people.
So then what is the solution?
Alertness: While it is important for one to be aware of their own soul system i.e. strengths, weaknesses, goals, likes, dislikes, what you can tolerate / what you cannot etc., it is equally important that they be rightly protected. We cannot always choose our surroundings but we can always choose to guard ourselves by being alert and keeping an open mind to the surrounding vibrations and identifying the people or things emitting that uncomfortable vibration. The source could be an intentional /unintentional person, very important association or a close relationship.
Every person we come across in our life path, gives out a vibe or energy as do we. The vibe is either comforting or repelling, which our soul can easily sense and also react. If the vibe is comforting, not much efforts are required at connecting with that space and settle there. But the minute something different or repelling is sensed, it is upon us to be assertive enough to discern our soul reaction and respond to that inner voice (which is probably calling for a guard) and make sure that the calling is aptly answered (be it your closest kith and kin or even your parent or children) in time.
Correct your equations: Non-positive vibes could after some time lead to bad equations. So earliest possible correction of these by clearing out the air is very important. Honest one-to-one talks is the most commendable way to achieve this, but provided this works. Quite possible, the other person at times may not be able to understand your point of view or where you are coming from and this may require more energy than we may be prepared to give. But then with these flaws, if one is compelled to continue being in the association or relation, then setting up ‘boundaries’ may be a good alternative.
Set Boundaries: Honour the calling of your inner voice for ‘boundaries’ and better set them at the earliest. Also let these be clearly communicated as well. While it is better not to let anyone into your space unless you are absolutely confident, again one needs to guard their own pace of entry into such other person’s space in a bid to avoid internal strife and toxicity in the future. Every person whom you encounter and who is there in your life should be given their own deserving place which should also be clearly spelt out (gently if the situations permit) and such place should be maintained.
Respect Boundaries: Anyone encroaching your space automatically finishes the comfort levels and causes disturbances as so does yours being in anybody’s. Mutual respect for each other’s boundaries while keeping them up is a much appreciable way to co-exist undisturbedly.
At times, we do come across people who find it difficult or not important to respect our boundaries. Moving away from such people might probably be the best alternative if attempts to correct or make them understand turns out fruitless.
Sometimes, close personal relationships that start off on a good note get inter-woven and complicated to such an extent that they become too close for comfort leading us to feel shackled. Whenever this happens, please understand that it’s time to unwind the ropes and set ourselves free instead of letting ourselves in for a future disaster.
Avoid / address circumstances of ‘Mental Abuse’: Often unknowingly, in relationships one ends up being victim of mental abuse. It’s a gradual process with a slow / casual start where one keeps putting up with various unreasonable behaviours and demands for the others comfort and overall peace. Sometimes we keep bending towards close one’s insecurities, dominance, control etc under the pretext of respect, love, patience, duty etc or whatever name on the earth we may choose to call. In the long run, this could however get completely mis-directed as whatever you are putting in or up with today, could settle down into a permanent expectation for others from you, instead of this building up any value for yourself. Eventually in the future, when kindness remains unreturned, the victim who is as such unable to assert, starts feeling ‘ill-treated’ and begins losing identity with self. At some point they feel lost, frustrated, unable to comprehend on how to correct the situation and keep waiting for others to learn their lessons through an ‘act of god’ which is rather a typical negative state of mind. But remember that in this case, ‘Self-help is the best help’ for which it is important to know ‘your mind’, ‘what you want’, ‘how do you want to be treated’ etc…you need to do a lot of proper thinking
Also please understand what is ‘best foot forward’?
The reality is, all the accommodation that the victim has been doing so far, was simply against his will (probably to keep up cordiality, peace etc) though it could be regarded as fair, considering one always tries to put in their best foot forward to make things work in a relationship.
But hey hang on there!!! Remember, this was only supposed to be a best ‘forward’ foot which ideally means the best ‘first’ foot that you had put, should have been appreciated, valued, cherished and returned in kind (You could make repeated attempts too and give yourself sometime to be understood.) However, the minute you realise any of these things are not happening then there is a red flag which calls for a perception clearance. By now you should have raised up your concerns, tested waters, tried to speak out, cleared the air on expectations. A honest talk does clarify perspectives and gives an insight on how everyone around is and where things could be heading for you. You could have studied the behaviour of the incumbents around whose actions most probably will never match with their promises / words and immediate attempts should have been made to extricate yourself from being unnecessarily misled. Failure to take some intelligent efforts in this order can lead one to remain caught into a web of expectations with this person leading to eventually overcome by the feeling of being victimised / taken for granted / never really understood resulting in a compromised state of existence.
Unfortunate isn’t it? But not really all that unfortunate because one can always withdraw from being good (well, nobody is preventing that!!!) and start being realistically tough, true to yourself and authentic towards your own needs. While one should always voice out their opinion instead of trying to hide it, remember that it’s also ok for people disagree to with you and you need not judge or dismiss them. Acknowledge what they say and be prepared to defend your own stand which can lead to gradual improvement in confidence and respect from people around you.
Break-off: This is usually the last straw i.e. when nothing seems to work and things have become hopelessly burdensome enough to continue. End the negativity or nightmare by ending the association or relationship and re-start life on a positive note by having nothing to do with the past.
Lack of courage can prevent one from taking this step ‘which looks extreme’ and often I’ve seen that people try to drag this decision while over-looking the need to immediately break-up or by avoiding the break-up, when in fact, this would have been the best alternative to perennial living in negativity. I have seen cases of failed marriages where the victims of mental abuse refrain from putting an end to their relationship but choose to put a tragic and disastrous end to their own lives instead. While it might have been difficult for the incumbent to be practical in his outlook under whatever circumstances he /she was, wouldn’t seeking counselling at the right stage have been better instead of shoving oneself onto self-destruction? Some of them even resort to crime and retribution, thus destroying the value and quality of life. Is de-face owing to break-up more dis-reputational than a tarnish due to felony or desertion of life itself? Obviously, the former would have been the better choice as life is precious. Also remember there is no such thing as ‘defacement’. These are only human perceptions. Also the world still has a lot of humanity left out there – so have some faith on your good-minded brethren. If you look out for people like yourself you will find many who are / have battled situations of a bigger order. You would find the solutions too. It is just that, at ‘this very moment’, you are facing a crucial time where god has ‘willed you his way’ rather than the way you would have wanted and he is demanding that you place your faith in his larger plan for you. So ‘stay positive’ is the loud & clear message as this too will pass.
Break off not possible? – Extricate: Where even though, considering the various issues, where one is forced to pull on and manage without a break-off (due to certain situations such as responsibilities that cannot be avoided), the maximum possible option that one could look at doing is, to extricate oneself out mentally out of the surroundings. This is obviously the most difficult thing as to remain disentangled emotionally and mentally while physically living that situation certainly requires lot of will-power, conscious efforts and probably some external moral support too. Many people turn to yoga, meditation, art of living, chakra awakening etc. which does provide relief to a certain extent, though these things are as such some healthy practices to follow, even for normal people, in the wake of the pressures caused by this modern, complex lifestyle. But one could also turn to apply their energies to positive activities like pursuing their dream hobby, developing other skills and many other things that could bestow a different form of satisfaction and a sense of achievement. But yes, for this to work out, one would need to exercise a lot of self-control, self-discipline, grit, determination and fixity of purpose to the objective before them. It is as good as forcefully wringing out a change within one-self to re-build one-self. We have many people who have successfully achieved this and set up great examples for the others.
Finally, one must remember that life is a beautiful privilege bestowed by god which should be honoured by doing whatever it takes to make ours as well as others existence worthwhile and happy and where at a certain moment, it is felt that this objective is not likely to take shape in a desirable way, then one must turn towards the motto to prevail in peace, positivity and dignity and do whatever it takes to salvage these within ourselves and take according steps ‘to force out a change in the order of things’, without any further thoughts.
On a separate note I would like to add:
For those people who are affected by any of the above situations, please do make it a point to raise your concerns “immediately” with the right people i.e. friends, parents, siblings or anyone who you feel would ‘understand you’ – Please don’t shy away from discussing your problems and releasing yourself.
And for those who are strong and capable of facing their own battles, please do look around for anyone needing help and be upfront in whatever support you can offer them…you could end up salvaging someone’s sanity…I am thankful I did