“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”
As a society, we tend to define our lives by the company we keep. However, this ideal we instinctively cling to can have lasting effects on our perception of our self. Human brains are hardwired to crave connections and form lasting relationships. Therefore, we view friendships as an extension of our own being, but we should not allow them to define our happiness.
Healthy relationships can lead to a higher self esteem just as a toxic relationship can have the opposite effect. A sustainable connection with an another person is impossible without first having a good image of one self. Although it sounds cliché, you can never commit yourself to another person if you are insecure or lack self love. From this stems the toxicity some relationships can spread. Whether it be the clingy friend or the verbally abusive one who continually puts you down, some relationships can have damaging affects on our well being.
But what are the signs of a toxic friendship? The first is your own perception of the friend. If attention is always centered on them and you feel vulnerable in their presence, chances are the relationship is unhealthy. Friends should enrich our lives, challenge us to be better and make us feel understood. If the behavior of a significant person in our life is hurting us, then we must reevaluate our relationships.
There is a correlation between the way we act in a relationship and how we feel about ourselves. If we allow someone to treat us badly, or hold on to a toxic relationship, then we are lacking self awareness and respect. Self respect is a key component to any relationship. Without self respect, the possibility of a healthy friendship is slim. Could you imagine a relationship where only one person communicates what they want? You would feel alone and crave another connection. One that fulfills you. problem we face as we cut ties is our inability to throw away the time we’ve spent on a person. But why waste more time? Instead, we should move on and know we deserve someone who listens, a friend who respects our thoughts as much as we respect theirs. If a relationship is stunting your growth, don’t hold on to it; learn from the experience and grow.
It is not selfish to focus on one's self because it allows us to better lend our understanding to others. So often we forget to love ourselves we are left feeling empty. When we cut a toxic person out of our life, we are putting our own well being first. Our freedom trumps that of another. And may it be a salvageable relationship or not, we must give our self time and explore the connections we have with other people.
One sided friendships are lessons in how we shouldn’t feel when we share our life with another person. One’s empathy or care for others should be greater than the care they take of their self. We must let go and move forward into a new phase and appreciation for the people who enrich our lives.