You become like the 5 people you spend most time with. Choose carefully.
Nowadays we become more health-conscious than ever before. We choose carefully what we eat, we spend hours in the gym, we have this long walks and practice yoga – we do everything to increase the quality of our life. Do we choose our people? What about quality of our relationships?
Quality of our relationships can be just as toxic to our health as fast food or a toxic environment.
There are certain circumstances where we cannot choose (our colleagues at work for example), however what about people that are in our life because we want them to be? Did you ever ask who are they and how do they make you feel? Is it someone with whom you grow, someone who is supportive and who actually cares about you? What is your behavior when you are with them?
In a long-term study that followed more than 10,000 subjects for an average of 12.2 years, researchers discovered that subjects in negative relationships were at a greater risk for developing heart problems, including a fatal cardiac event, than counterparts whose close relationships were not negative.
I really like to see every relationships as a system. Sometimes very complex system where both parts constantly evoke toxic behaviors. Once we identify and become conscious about it, we can do something about it – decide no longer to be part of this system, or decide to change our behavior which might lead to the transformation of the entire system.
Lets find out what are they – toxic conducts. And we can think about antidotes for each of it. Below can be applied to every member of the system, including ourselves as well, since we are forming a part of it.
Do you project any of the below?
First place goes to – Criticism.
Oh yes! ¨You are always late, again, we are not on time with this project, you always do it this way, etc. etc.¨ Criticizing others and ourselves. Sounds familiar?
ANTIDOTE: Listen to your complain at the back of your mind. Ask yourself – how the situation can be resolved? Transform complain into request. For example: instead of “You are always late”, the request could be – “can we leave office earlier next time, so we are on time?”
Second place goes to – Blame.
“Of course its your fault! Because of you, I am not able to do this, that, etc.”
ANTIDOTE: Talk about it. Be honest. What can be done to change it? Take responsibility of something that is not working in a relationship (its much more practical, rather than blaming others).
For example: “I cannot plan my time properly and losing trust, WHEN you cancel our meetings last minute (exact actions). At least the person is aware that with such behavior makes you feel uncomfortable.
Third one – Disdain.
This irony or sarcasm which are not funny at all, this has a harmful effect on you, this might be projected in any of your systems.
ANTIDOTE: Express how do you feel. Respect to others and to yourself is always much more effective. Take appreciation as one of the basic pillars for your relationship.
As a response for the above toxic behaviors, in some cases we start isolating from the system, which makes relationship even worse. This is when it’s time to ask ourselves: do I stay and do something about it or do I leave?
As always, I like to give you some homework 🙂
Let’s measure how healthy our relationships are.
Make a list of your systems (family, love relationship, friends, etc.) – in every system identify toxic behaviors, write them down and choose your antidotes.
Do you project any of the above? How healthy is your systems?
What are you antidotes?
I would love to hear what works well for you and did you ever have a need to leave any of your systems because of the toxic behaviors.