How To Spot And Avoid Toxic Relationships In Our Millennial Society

How To Spot And Avoid Toxic Relationships In Our Millennial Society

We can't help who we love, but we can help ourselves and help the ones we love (see what I did there?).
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One major question people ask when they see loved ones in toxic relationships is: why do you stay? Why not just leave?

I have been both the girl that says out loud, “I would never stay with someone that treated me like that”, and the girl that thought internally, “I know I should leave, but I can’t help but stay.”

Why are unhealthy relationships the hardest to get over? How do your mind and body trick you into staying in a mentally or physically toxic relationship? There are many reasons and answers to these questions…but two major scenarios are usually applicable to all unhealthy relationships

1. The Gas Lighting Pill

The Gas Lighting Pill is a term usually for information or communication between two people that is toxic. You know the expression, "that’s a tough pill to swallow"…but you’re not actually taking medicine…you’re mentally digesting something that affects the way your mind is working either at that moment or forever.

Well, when in a toxic relationship, a major sign of mental abuse and manipulation is when one partner gaslights the other, and this is how it works: The toxic administer of the gaslighting will conjure up a group of false accusations, distortions, lies, minimization, etc. about the other individual and feed them into the argument as either a distraction or defense mechanism. Well, one might say…just don’t believe them.

If someone is telling another person lies that the receiver knows are not true, it’s just as simple as that. Right? Wrong. One thing that gas lighters know to do (either consciously or subconsciously) is to insert one piece of true information (usually something that the receiver is insecure about or something that is a sensitive topic for them) along with the rest of the manipulations in order to throw off the mind of the person that is being gaslighted.

2. Trauma Bonding

Trauma Bonding might sound romantic (and no, this isn’t the kind of bonding Nancy and Jonathan experience when they rescue Will from the upside down…that’s the good (and totally fictional) kind of bonding).

But, the reality of trauma bonding is that it is when one party (or both people in the relationship…this is very possible) is loyalty to the other party even though they are destructive or toxic. Gaslighting is an effective route for narcissists to take when attempting to chain their significant other with trauma bonding.

An atmosphere for trauma bonding involves a lot of intensity, complexity, and inconsistency. Having an interesting and complex conversation in a relationship is important and healthy. But do not confuse intellectualism with narcissistic manipulation.

There will be times when things seem "normal"...but if this "normalcy" is often broken by fits of rage, extreme argumentation, extreme name calling, fights that escalate to the point of major tears, loud voices, and extreme language, then the relationship is experiencing trauma bonding- and it can be one of the toughest relationships to exit.

Ways to tell if you are in a trauma bonded relationship are: if others (friends, family, co-workers) seem disturbed by the activity (abuse, behavior in general, communication) of your partner but you do not, if you feel stuck in the relationship (not moving forward, not moving backward, just stagnant), if you continue to have repetitive, damaging fights and one seems to “win” or there is no constructive outcome, being unable to detach yourself from that person even if you cannot trust them or don’t even really like who they are as a person, and when you try to leave and it affects your mind and psyche in a way that makes you want to numb the pain and go back to them.

With that last point (trying to leave and feeling like it affects your mind in a way that causes you to want to go back to that person) in mind, there is one final note to add in order to instill some hope with those who feel like they are stuck in a merry-go-round of bad, unpromising, toxic, tiring relationships.

Just like people detox their body from junk good, drinking too much, and just plain putting bad stuff in your body, your mind requires this same kind of detox. You might crave that junk food, you might want that cigarette, you might want that drug, you might want to text that ex, you might want to see that ex, you might want to do a lot of things you do not need to do.

But, detox your mind, share with your friends what your mental health goals are, and have them help you stay accountable for your actions and what is good for you.

You might also be helping the other person who was mentally or physically abusive to you by not allowing them to practice or continue the cycle of trauma and toxicity.

Detox your mind, body, and soul, and allow yourself to become a positive person who attracts other positive people in all areas of life- friendships, romantic relationships, work relationships, and familial relationships. Being aware is the first step.

Cover Image Credit: everypixel.com

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Surprise Surprise

The 14th was hard but the 15 was pretty cool.

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I previously wrote an article titled "Dreading This Day All About Love" writing about my plan for Valentines Day, and lets just say it didn't go as planned. I did eat chocolate but I was just crying like no ones business (probably because break ups are not fun and being alone on Valentines Day after almost 4 years of not being alone just kinda hit me hard). I was supposed to go out with someone on Valentines day but I didn't think it would be fair to go out and me not mentally be their, that wouldn't be fair to him.

So I told him "I really cant do this today I am a mess. Maybe tomorrow I wont be such a mess," (and let me add he was understanding of this and was cool with it, which is something I haven't seen from anyone else I have talked to most would just get pissed off and tell me to figure my crap out and still come out. So that was pretty cool). Plus I got class so I am gonna hit up the crepe shop anyway since I haven't been able to get my weekly crepe due to the snow (for people who don't know Western Washington got hit with a huge snowstorm. Which means I didn't have school and I couldn't have my crepe). He replied "care if I join?" and I said "well you know where I'll be at noon tomorrow" (since that was were the first date happened).


this is a crepe I got from Savor a crepe shop downtown Tacoma

So the 15th came and I was excited for a crepe but also like second date. Getting to the second date threw me for a loop (because honestly I have been on a few first dates and then the second one ever happen ) so I was low key nervous but once we started talking about Bandersnatch it was smooth sailing. I even forgot my phone on the table and this snazzy person grabbed it for me (signs of a cool cat person, just pointing that out). Got some coffee since we were both dying and then just walked around talking.

So yeah my Valentines Day sucked, but let me just say the day after Valentines Day was pretty good. Taking my mind off of stupid things for a bit and just talking about random stuff. This is what I learned, some days might be complete crap, but you never know what the next day will bring ya.

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