Is it a Toxic relationship?
He said that I am way too sensitive, but deep down I know that is not true and that I should be doing something about this relationship.
His behavior lacks empathy—it hinges on manipulation and emotional abuse. I need to tackle this problem, yet I cannot seem to get started.
Toxic relationships have existed since the beginning of time.
Millennials are the first generation to openly talk about setting boundaries to deal with the problems that stem from mentally draining relationships, such as manipulative emotional abuse or gaslighting.
But, as aware as we are of these issues and what we should do about them, we struggle to put one foot in front of the other and do the right thing.
Basics of Boundaries in Relationships
The problems that stem from toxic relationships come at us from all directions—friends, family, and love partners.
When we are prepared with a foundation of boundaries, it is simply much easier and much less traumatizing to deal with these issues.
So, why would we not want to set boundaries in place and be prepared to handle the negative problems that can come from toxic relationships? Mostly, we do not fully understand what boundaries are.
Boundaries are often associated with breaking off relationships, or with going no contact, but the basic benefit of setting boundaries has nothing to do with physically distancing ourselves from people. It is quite the opposite. Boundaries are an essential part of healthy relationships.
Boundaries communicate to others how we want to be treated. Boundaries help us to meld our relationships around respect, appropriate behavior, and mutual caring.
The setting of boundaries is self-care. That is what we want to do when, and before (because it does happen in life), we face toxic relationships.
We want a foundation in place that helps us tackle those problems. Boundaries are vital!
How do We Set Boundaries in Our Relationships?
Our parents didn’t talk with their friends about setting boundaries when they were our age, but we are super-efficient in verbalizing what we will and will not tolerate in life.
The problem is, we aren’t so good at developing the boundaries that help us deal with relationship problems and toxic behaviors.
Where do we start?
The only behavior that we can manage is our own. It is an ongoing process that is much easier when we have clarity on what we want in life and why it is important.
Our behavior, and the treatment that we accept from others, reflect true to who we are when we base our actions and expectations on our core values.
By doing so, we build healthy relationships, and we bolster our self-esteem. We become confident and clear about what we want.
Write It Down
When we are trying to be specific with what we want and why it is important, writing it out can help us navigate through the process.
When we write it out, it also gives us a base to refer back to when we need it.
Write down your core values. Write down why they are important to you. Be clear about what you want in life, and what you do not want. Declare how you want to be treated by others. Write it down. Compare this to your core values.
What stands out to you should define the boundaries that you set.
Live It, Communicate It, and Stick With It
It isn’t so difficult to maintain our boundaries when we practice living by them every day and communicating them clearly through our actions and words.
We then have the tools to stick with it and to combat toxic relationship issues.
This is what we must do to protect our boundaries and well-being:
- Be clear about what we want.
- Live every day within our core values.
- Never apologize for our needs.
- Always be direct and to the point when communicating our boundaries.
- Have empathy. It may take time for others to grasp our boundaries. No apologies needed!
- Anticipate relationship problems in life, toxic ones included.
- Remember that boundaries are for our well-being and are not designed to control or punish others.
You Aren’t Alone with Your Struggles
The facts are that prior generations worried more about money and health than we millennials do.
Studies indicate that over half of us are anxious about relationships. We know what we need to do, but we struggle with doing it.
Boundaries help. Knowing and living out our core values helps. Unapologetically sticking with what we need helps.
Talking with others that have our back helps, and sometimes we must reach out for a little extra help.
We are here for you! Make an appointment today.