“You’re such a frickin’ idiot! Is their something wrong with your brain?”
I know, right? How rude!
This type of verbal bashing, along with plenty of other toxic behaviors, shouldn’t be tolerated in any relationship. The reality, however, is that plenty of us allow some toxicity to rule the roost, whether by parent, friend, sibling, boss, or lover.
I can totally relate, because in my last relationship, I tolerated plenty of toxic behaviors. Sometimes I failed to recognize they were toxic and other times I just wasn’t strong enough to call it for what it was.
This happens quite often for those that fall into the “insecure attachment style”. Those that probably picked up some codependency traits during childhood due to a lack of a healthy attachment to a parent or parents.
I remember times throughout my life where I let people treat me disrespectfully, use my kindness to their advantage, or emotionally neglect me.
And I’d blow it off or repress my anger because I didn’t want to deal with any conflict. I didn’t want to be abandoned, somehow equating being single with a cold, hard, lonely death.
But today, I understand that excusing bad behavior can cause us to stay stuck in a self-imposed prison of shame, sadness, fear, and more codependency traits.
A Sign of Control
When we allow toxic behavior in our relationships, we’re allowing our partner to exert control over us. We’re allowing an imbalance of power. And, when we’re not able to stand up and say, “Um, excuse me, but this is unacceptable”, we give the other person full license to keep the toxic behaviors up.
There’s plenty of toxic behaviors we should NEVER tolerate. As we band together as powerful men and women with a full reservoir of self-love and confidence, let’s commit to not tolerating the following toxic behaviors:
Having conflict arise in relationships is normal. Having the occasional spat happens, but what we don’t have to tolerate is name calling. Even if we did something that was considered wrong, name calling is not acceptable. Comments like, “You’re an idiot, loser, bitch, a-hole” is not alright and we don’t have to tolerate such.
On the same note, if our partner comes at us with starting with the words, “You always” or You never”, and then lists a litany of events that strips us powerless, that’s not ok either. If we’re being called names or feel beaten down by words or behaviors, we have the right to draw some firm boundaries ASAP.
Making fun of your feelings
If someone tells us that we’re too emotional, overly sensitive, or laughs when we share our feelings, that’s not alright either. We ought to be able to have our feelings and share them without getting ridiculed.
There are plenty of people who don’t want to own their own feelings, so they project them onto others. Narcissists are extremely good at this. Maybe they’re feeling angry because their boss didn’t boost their ego on a project completed that day, so they come home and take it out on us. Perhaps they start insulting the dinner we made, saying that it’s awful and essentially saying our cooking skills suck. This attempt to feel better by taking their emotions out on us is not alright and does not have to be tolerated.
Gaslighting is psychological manipulation. It’s a power play where one person will manipulate the other into thinking that they’re going crazy. Let’s say an argument ensues. The person who gaslights will have the other person questioning their reality and by the end of the conversation, perhaps even their sanity. Oftentimes, the victim will be very confused and end up apologizing for something that was not even their fault. I’ve experienced this, bringing up an issue that I wanted resolved and by the end of the conversation, I was apologizing and literally felt like I was crazy for even bringing it up.
Stonewalling means that a person won’t even listen to us or discuss something we want to discuss. They’ll ignore us, give the silent treatment, and refuse to engage. Or, they’ll give us very vague responses that won’t really give any clear answers. This type of behavior is frustrating and essentially demeaning. It’s not alright.
Summing It Up
We have every right to draw firm boundaries and uphold them in our relationships. There are behaviors that are not alright and don’t have to be tolerated. Now, keep in mind that not everyone will love it when we draw a line in the sand and say, “No more!”
But let’s do it anyway. Let’s step into our power and affirm our wants and needs with confidence. It might feel difficult at first, even scary, but let’s practice speaking our truth and setting boundaries. Over time, it’ll get easier and the narcissistic or selfish people in our lives will notice our ninja boundary setting skills. And, they’ll either shape up or ship out!
Either way, we’ll be alright. Our self-confidence and self-worth will soar, embracing the truth that we deserve healthy relationships where we are treated with respect.
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