This topic has been weighing on me for a couple of years now as I’ve started to realize that our relationships with people affect us immensely. Most of my anxiety was brought on by toxic relationships, and unfortunately, I found this out too little too late.

I’ve compiled a short list of tell-all signs of a toxic relationship:

(1) Who puts in the effort?

Who calls who? Do they pick up the phone first or is it you? It seems as if it’s their way or no way. They won’t bend their schedule to accommodate the need to get together or just catch up.

“The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.” – Ajahn Sumedho

Once one person isn’t as invested as you, it can become toxic quickly. It feels as if your demanding too much of their time even if it’s so incredibly minimal. They’re too stuck up to deal with you and your issues. However, they have no issues taking advantage of your generosity. God forbid you ask them for the same.

 (2) It’s always about them

The worst is when they start to compare to you these other friends, too. ‘Oh Sarah is way more fun on the weekends, and Jessica drinks way more whiskey than you!’ Why Are you even hearing this??

Yap Yap Yap! Are they done yet?? Whenever you call or text to talk about your day you never get a chance to put in one word. They tend to drag you into their drama-filled day describing how awful or amazing it was but once the subject hits you, they always find a way to bring it back to them. Even worse, they can leave the conversation immediately with 1,000 reasons why they cannot give you any talk time.

“Don’t deal with sometime-ish people. Life is too short for inconsistency.” — Rayaleradin

(3) They’re blunt and lie

What happens when being frank turns into resentment and harshness? You come to them for advice, but their words sting and their advice leaves you feeling small and embarrassed. They don’t care how YOU feel about the situation and just pass judgment based on their own experiences. They’re ALWAYS right and will not hear anything otherwise. If they think that you’ve wronged them, they will never forget and will throw mean-spirited shots at you and your ego. They use your emotions to attack you and its draining. It’s almost as if they WANT to start a fight, so the both of you are conflicted.
No wonder you feel awful – they’re projecting on you to feel better about themselves.
They mention that you need to change but when it comes to them, no way. They see no need to recognize their inadequacies. The lack of faith and belittling makes you think that “if only I changed, things would be different.” Pointing the finger and blaming you, regularly, is not OK. It’s is a two-way street!

(4) They’re unpredictable, and you’re cautious.

When it’s good is great but when its bad, WATCH OUT. You can no longer predict what mood they’ll be in, and this causes you to worry how they’ll act with you. This rollercoaster of emotion leaves you feeling worried, scared and sometimes uncomfortable. They do not feel your pain and take advantage of this, bringing you down with them. Knowing that you cannot please them, you make yourself scarce thinking that YOU are the reason for this roller coaster of emotions.

“You can never win an argument with a negative person they only hear what suits them and listen only to respond.” — Michael P. Watson

At a certain point, your friendship changed. They rip apart everything that you say, and you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. You avoid saying anything to set them off in their pessimistic ways.

“As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.” — Greek Philosopher

(5) You’re no longer the person you were

This is a big one. You are starting to feel weird as the stress of this relationship affects your body. You begin to feel anxious, getting unknown stomach problems and feel overall lethargic. Stress can lead to higher blood pressure, IBS, lowered immunity, depression, anxiety… etc. This list can go on and on, unfortunately. Friends are supposed to ADD to your life, not take away from it.

Accept the truth and stop wasting time on people

Finding someone in your life who consistently makes you feel wrong about things, and leaving you confused as to why chances are they are projecting their insecurities on you. They are trying to bring you down to their level, so they feel better about themselves. Most people lack the courage to let go of these relationships, but once you realize the extent of their toxicity, it’s best to break loose. Keep those beautiful memories but move on! Your health is most important

 

 

Over the break, I went out for lunch with one of my best friends, and we started talking about Anxiety. She mentioned that she loved reading my experiences but couldn’t relate to most of it since she doesn’t experience it as often as me. My immediate thought was LUCKY but, it’s unfair of me to think so. Anxiety can creep on us at any moment, can be big/small and have a significant impact on us and others.

When she asked what alleviates my anxiety, I immediately thought of my side passions: Writing, Reading & Music. Determining what you love and taking action is a big part of reducing stress and anxiety.
I like getting lost in music and stories, keeping my mind occupied undoubtedly keeps me away from my worries. Writing in itself is cathartic, and sometimes when my mind is jumbled, it’s great to get these thoughts out.

Do you need help or lack motivation? One of my enormous hurdles over the past couple of years was acceptance. Anxiety doesn’t go away – it will never disappear. Once I accepted this, it oddly reduced my anxiety.

Here are five ways to help reduce Anxiety:

  • Meditation: This will take a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of meditating you’ll start to notice the calming effect it has on you. I use the app CALM for this purpose but start gradually. Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot do a full session right away.
  • Get Healthy: Physical health is so incredibly vital to anyone’s mental health. Once I started to eat healthier, I noticed a huge difference in my energy and sleep patterns. Working out a few days a week is also very useful at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and at enhancing your cognitive function
  • Follow a Routine: Creating a daily ritual for yourself can reduce your anxiety by its predictability. Bring your passions into play! I like to write out my ideas for this blog or my novel, read a book by one of my favorite authors Linwood Barclay or just getting lost for the 1092846th time in Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon
  • Stretch your comfort zone: One of my prominent accomplishments was doing something once a week that took me out of my comfort zone. Don’t forget to take SMALL STEPS though – beating your anxiety takes time so don’t jump into something too drastic right away
  • Laughing: Remember to smile and laugh at yourself. Laughter is one of the best medicines, and the positivity is always best