We often find ourselves in a position where we feel great love comes with great toxicity. Whether its our relationship with our partners, parent or friends. As human beings we often tend to pin point fingers at others for their negatives with a sense of self victimization to feel better about ourselves but is it always them or do we need to analyze if the toxicity might stem from us? Here are three points you really need to sit back and ask yourself right now.
1. Am I Living in Denial?
Living in Denial, the state of refusing to self reflect on the truth of your own emotions, pain and the consequences it has on your actions. Your inability to confront your own mistakes, instead spinning the narrative to find faults in others. More often than not your mind tends to get stuck up in defending your own actions, marinating in your own invisible ego and building up a defense mechanism to avoid confrontation with yourself and others. It could also be a trauma response in order to avoid pain, shame, hate and fear of punishment that you might have faced as a child or in the past, for your mistakes.
Firstly, this needs to be dealt through self reflection. Acknowledge your negatives. Understand your own short comings and the reasons for them to be there in the first place.
"Confront yourself. Understand the root of your behavior. Is it the fear to be looked down upon, hated and shamed? Is it the fear of punishment or consequences to you mistake? Is it your ego? Is it because you have been conditioned to the fact that you can never go wrong? How have your surroundings and experiences contributed to you responding this way? Why is this problematic?"
Secondly accept and apologize. Accept who you are, the actions you have done wrong and the pain you have caused other people by denying your negatives. Be comfortable with yourself and accept your flaws. If you ended up making a mistake, apologizing for it doesn't make you small. Being able to recognize your fault and acting upon them makes you only human because hey who doesn't makes mistakes right?
Lastly, work on yourself. Take responsibility for your own actions and make a conscious effort to better yourself and not repeat it. This will not only make your relationships better but make you grow as a human.
2. Am I a victim of Trauma Response?
As human beings we tend to think of the experiences we have collected over the years, as our weapon of armor. The inability to trust people comes from negative experiences of the past, that leave a deep impact in our subconscious, which is why we are often conditioned to end up dealing with a similar situation the same way we dealt with it previously. This is known as Trauma Response.
It stems from the feeling of being hurt by a partner who betrayed and cheated on you, from the friend who used and abandoned you, from the parent who rejected you and your emotions since childhood, the peers that shamed you for being who you are. All these lead to you growing trust issue on people and dealing with it negatively. Your inability to trust people is a survival tactic. You use your hardcore methods to guard your heart from hurt and pain.
Some examples of trauma response could be, if you have been used and betrayed by a friend in the past, you will subconsciously grow trust issues in the future for a genuine friend asking you for help, by questioning their intentions. If you have been cheated on in your previous relationship, you will subconsciously find yourself more insecure, for the smallest reasons, despite them being absolutely loyal.
"Trauma response needs to be dealt through self healing. Confront yourself and the deepest parts of your heart and mind. Seek help, read more and learn more. You need to believe the fact that no two people are the same, and no two experiences are the same. Learn to hear people out, instead of conforming to your own judgement and assumptions. Hear their side of the story, trust them and believe in them. Talk to people about your feelings uninhibitedly and take their feedback on how to let go of the baggage from the past."
Additionally, give yourself time. Take your time and put as much effort into healing as you would for your career or ambitions. Once you start understanding yourself better you will end up being more empathetic towards others around you and their experiences. Once you stop judging yourself and the people from your past, you will find it easier to stop judging people around you on the surface level and try understanding their depth as emotional human beings, which will fuel positive relationships in your life.
3. Do I Listen to Reply or Genuinely Understand?
As human beings our immediate and automatic response to when a person communicates, is to come up with a reply. We tend to understand less and try to think of responding more. A wise person once said "We were given two ears and one mouth, to hear more and talk less." Being a good listener is the foundation to build good relationships. With the coming age even the biggest companies like Google are highlighting the importance of emotional intelligence, which comes from attentive listening, good understanding skills and empathy as opposed to having degrees or good grades.
"Agree to Discuss, Agree to Disagree."
If someone is talking to you about something you could have done better, take it in the right stride to better yourself instead of taking it the wrong way and shooing them off saying they are negative and you deserved better. If someone is talking about their struggle learn to hear them out even though you might not be able to provide a solution or relate to the experience. Stay away from the trend of Cancel Culture just to look cool. Hearing people out, positively communicating you thoughts and empathizing with them makes you a human being who is more positive, approachable, fulfilled and wholesome, even if their point of view is different from yours.