Protecting yourself from toxic relationships is important for your mental health and wellbeing. It’s always best to keep your distance from people who bring you down. Sometimes, however, the toxicity is not the fault of others, and accepting that the negativity is coming from yourself can be especially difficult to come to terms with. Here are four ways to recognize if you have fallen into toxic habits in your relationships.
1. Your Friends Will Not Let You Borrow Their Stuff
When it comes to borrowing items or money, a friend will usually be far more lenient than a bank. While they may not always expect to be paid back, you should never take advantage of a friend’s generosity. If you reach a point where your friends are cautious about letting you borrow anything, you may be guilty of doing just that. Their cautiousness is a sign you have lost their trust.
Instead of asking your peers to help you out, consider applying for small loans from a not-for-profit lender. This will likely be more suitable for you as they will hold you accountable without letting personal feelings get in the way.
2. You Are Not Present In Their Lives
It’s common to lose touch with friends from time to time when life gets in the way. You know you have a solid foundation and are always able to pick up where you left off. However, if you find yourself surprised by your friend’s important news, like a major relocation or a new baby, ask yourself why this may be.
Have you been apart because of a physical barrier, like living in different states, or have you been skipping their calls and passing on their important milestone events? If it’s the latter, you may want to reconsider your place in this person’s life. Friends should be there for one another when they need them.
3. New Relationships Affect Your Friendships
Getting caught up in a whirlwind romance can be exhilarating. There’s nothing like the honeymoon phase of a new relationship where you can’t keep away from your partner for too long. This shouldn’t, however, become a cause of contention with your friendships.
Constantly ditching your friends for a date will make them think less of you as it can be hurtful to them. If you notice that your romantic partners get in the way of your friendships, or have had your friends tell you that you act differently when you’re in a relationship, you may want to re-evaluate your behavior.
4. You Struggle To Keep Secrets
Whether or not you think the information is sensitive or not, if a friend tells you anything in confidence, you seriously need to keep it to yourself. It may be hard not to share a juicy story when conversing with others, especially if it is relevant or funny, but if it isn’t your story to tell, you need to abstain from sharing it with anyone else.
Fail to stick to this golden rule, and you will lose your friends’ trust. This is no small thing – these issues can destroy relationships. If you find yourself spilling the beans, or have told your friends other people’s personal secrets, be sure to apologize and don’t do it again.
If you can identify with more than one of the above points, you may be the toxic party in your relationships. The good news is, you can reverse your bad habits and apologize for any hurt you’ve caused. Then work on mending your relationships and building stronger ones in the future. Make cutting out your own toxicity a conscious decision today.