Worrying all the time is bad for your health.
That is a fact we have all heard time and time again. Some of us are resistant to warnings and live out the health consequences prior to making changes and by that time significant damage has been done. Many of us are suffering from several health issues as a result of stress from our relationships. We have allowed people to walk all over us in the name of the position, relationships, and familial ties.
I gave all of my energy and time to people who were unwilling to be inconvenienced and only did what benefited them. Not only were these individuals unwilling to go the distance with me … when I went out of my way to help or do things for them - it was never good enough. Thanks came with buts and shade.
I do not do things for thanks or Facebook and Instagram shout-outs. However, after going out of my way to help or meet the need of someone, that same person should not criticize me or make me regret ever going the extra mile. The truth is some people are never satisfied so nothing you ever do will ever be of significance to them because they lack the basic ability to be content. Energy, resource, and emotional leeches are never satisfied. They have no issues draining you and moving on to the next host. Sometimes the leeches will step aside while you nurse the wounds that were inflicted by them and return as if nothing happened.
How do you deal with toxic people in your life?
Cancel them? Unfortunately, we do not always have the ability or option of getting rid of those who cause us pain. Sometimes that selfish, rude, inconsiderate person is your boss, sibling, mom, dad, child, or even your spouse.
Great. So you have considered the relationship which gives you the most angst and you can not just go no contact with the person. So how do you change the unhealthy dynamics? What can you do differently? Often, where disrespect exists there is a lack of boundaries and entitlement. Sometimes people feel they have the right to speak to you at any time and say anything they feel like saying. Why? Think about it for fifteen seconds. Why would a person change an approach or attitude that has always helped them in achieving their personal agenda?
Keep in mind nothing will change until you change. You have to decide you are no longer willing to allow the dynamic to remain .The moment you put up a stop 🛑 signal you have the attention of the person.
Some people will engage in the California roll - a stop and roll; halfway acknowledging your boundary and continuing on. Another might just continue as they had been and even worse an individual resistant to your boundaries may try to put you in bondage. This person will try to bring up everything they have done for you and or your faults … that is the person you engage as necessary. It is important to keep the peace but do not engage this person any further. Nothing productive can come from that situation. Accept that this person does not respect you and change the way you engage them. Self-awareness is key. If you notice your heart races every time you have to engage this person or you are upset more times than not after periods of engagement with said person take the hint your body has given you.
What are some red flags?
You keep having the same conversation over and over. They heard you the first 20 times.
If you feel put upon or that your voice is not being heard or taken seriously. It is not an accident they do not mind you sacrificing your comfort for theirs.
You are upset or exhausted after engaging with this person. There is no miscommunication- your point of view is irrelevant to this person.
You feel personally attacked or the need to defend yourself. The attack is a way of securing their space in your life.
You are often criticized and rarely given credit. Diminishing your accomplishments and or not acknowledging them allows this person to increase their sense of importance and entitlement.
There seems to be an unspoken expectation that the person must get their way and things must be done how they want things done. Why should someone else’s wants supersede yours?
There doesn’t seem to be any space for negotiation. Why do you feel obligated to meet this person's needs?
Human nature resists change so it may take several tries and a lot of time for you to be completely comfortable with your new way of engaging or not engaging others.
Family nor work connections should tie you to having to be used, abused, and mistreated. Refuse to be used. You have the right to feel safe and comfortable. Do not carry anyone’s hang-ups or excess luggage. Free yourself by being clear about what is and what is not acceptable. As you continue to grow you will need to make changes and adjust.
Yetunde is a wife, mother, educator, advocate, business owner, and Mental Health Care provider. She has worked with children for over 18 years, taught in New Jersey public schools for 12 years, and has spent the past 6 years working in Behavioral Health. Yetunde holds degrees in English, Secondary Education, and Applied Behavior Analysis. She has special interests in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Communicative Disorders, severe problem behaviors, self-care, teaching parents how to advocate for their children, and navigate bureaucratic processes that often hinder access to receiving quality education or critical services. She is also the owner of Badewa Royal Butters.