Go Ahead, Pull The Trigger: Dissolving Toxic Relationships.
How far down the road are you willing to go before you realize that you have gone in the wrong direction?
It is human nature to believe that we have it all under control, that we know what we are doing, but let’s face it, even the best of us have overstayed our welcome in our comfort zones a little too long.
Look at The Buddha. It took him seven years to realize he was on the wrong path with starvation, neglect, and self-abuse as a pathway to enlightenment.
It’s really okay to say I don’t want this anymore. In fact, if it wasn’t said, how could we ever evolve? We would be putrid with the stench of murky stagnation, and no one would ever want to be near us.
When it comes to friendships, this is a truth that is so essential that our very life force depends on it.
When a friendship has overstayed its welcome, both parties know. It is like having a corpse lying on the floor in the middle of a vibrant garden party. You can smell its decay over honeysuckles, sweet pea, tea and chocolate truffles.
And if you are not careful, you end up tripping over its remains and landing face first in the grass where a dog has just marked her territory, mussing up your fine attire while everyone calls you the fool.
There are just some crucial moments when you know that there can be no more compromises, when you realize your friend has not taken your best interests to heart and you must let said person go.
Relationships are a pathway to your best self. The very best of those you choose to relate to will hold a key that was always yours, given to them before either of you touched your feet on the planet’s surface.
They know your best and worst without you having to say a word, and are willing to spar with you until you get your shit right, and take you into their arms with the greatness of their love. The deliciousness continues when there is a mutual desire established to make the other person smile, laugh, and grow.
We teach people how to treat us. If we are silent because of mistreatment that is clearly evident to both parties, it becomes Palestine-level hostile territory. You both will begin to count the things that you have done for each other. You will hold the remaining power you possess over the other person.
Resentment will hold you both at gunpoint, and then you will toxify each other with your darkness. Suddenly you will awaken to the realization that all of those little snide jokes, subtle insults and the blow-offs were hostage negotiations for your soul.
But I need my friends, you will think, as your dignity trickles down your leg.
It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone; if it isn’t healthy, you are both a hostage and captor as is your counterpart. Your sick game continues with each of you playing either role until someone is strong enough to squeeze her sweat-stung eyes shut and pull the trigger before the last tear falls.
Let it be you.
Spotting a Toxic Relationship.
If you are afraid to tell the truth in any relationship, there is no relationship at all. We need to give ourselves permission to speak the truth when we are hurt, at the very moment our heart has been pierced.
If a friendship is ever going to get past the first flush and get real, admissions of mistakes and exposure of our worst selves is inevitable. If you have difficulty allowing this to happen, you are participating in the creation of a toxic environment.
In healthy relationships, respect and understanding to the commitment of cultivating a relationship is present. In unhealthy relationships, boundaries are blurred through the most vulnerable moments.
As you pour your heart out, the information may be reserved for another moment when among friends, it is used to weaken you. Gift-giving and other heartfelt moments will be used to keep you hanging on in a tiresome dance of besting.
You may hear your bestie say terrible things, and you excuse it thinking she would never say anything like that about me until the day comes when you meet your confidences face to face in the form of an invasive, sensational question being asked from someone you don’t know.
What makes toxic people?
Toxic people make toxic people. When we are silent to our own needs and put the needs of others above all else, we are creating a toxic environment for ourselves that will naturally permeate all other relationships.
In the silencing of our true nature, we lose our uniqueness and our psyche, heart, and soul become diseased.
When we ignore our intuition screaming in our head, “Run!”, yet we step closer, we have a real problem on our hands. Our own judgment cannot be trusted. We will therefore attract untrustworthy people. They can spot us a mile away. We are the ones wearing the graphic tee that says Naïve prey.
We need to first make sure that we are the happiest we can be in the present moment with ourselves. We need to make sure we enjoy solitude, our inner wildness, our assertive attitude, and our flaws, before we go outside ourselves to make solid relationships.
It is essential to get to know and fall in love with ourselves. We need to have a healthy dose of selfishness. We require individuality, our own identity. There must be a reason for wanting to share our moments with another person that comes from the core of who we authentically are. That takes serious integrity.
Integrity is a balm for toxic people. It is a force of energy that commands respect and straightens the spine. It tells us that we are worth the very best of life through its unconditional sustainment in all that lives.
Those that do not possess or understand it are easily detected — they are the same as our underdeveloped selves, and because of that, we may fall hard for their potential. While such a person may appear to be kindred to our own days of being a demi-goddess, do not give in to sentiment and nostalgia of your days of being a little less wise.
It is not up to us to take them under our wings and create them. Who created us? Our excruciating pain of learning the hard way did.
So, when she saunters into your sacred space in short shorts, fuck-me pumps, a whole lot of smooth talk, and zero substance, it is okay to gracefully decline engagement in favor of your heard-earned life wisdom.
Letting go of unhealthy friendships is the very best gift you could give yourself. Sometimes, friendships that have no anchor just dissolve, but others have such a deep-rooted spur in the heart that they need life-changing truth spoken with fire before a quick goodbye. Follow your heart. Love yourself first.
Know limits, boundaries and choose friends wisely, with your intuition as your guide.
Anjana Love Dixon is a Spiritual Thought Leader, Interfaith Minister, Psychologist, and holds a doctorate in divinity. In 2012 Anjana launched The Anjana Network, the home base of her wisdom writings. It is from this place that she delivers deeply personal reflections of her journey to wholeness, inspires change, and provokes thought. Through sharing influential insights through interviews, articles, and her unique connection to the world, Anjana has become an internationally renowned wisdom writer and cited spiritual thought leader with contributions to major online publications including Rebelle Society, Elephant Journal, Match.com, and HuffPost Live. Anjana is a member of The Beautiful Writer’s Group with Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen and is currently preparing for the launch of her second book, Start in The Dark: Soul Work for Opening the Heart and Creating a (Real) Life.