“The truth is that most of us have at least one toxic trait that we need to work on.”
Sometimes we are stuck in our own way. Sometimes we have been single for so long that we forget that we have to compromise when we get into a new relationship, and we end up bringing that single mentally into it. Sometimes we are just a$$holes that are lucky to have someone put up with us :).
Whether it is selfishness or the lack of listening to our partner, we usually have something that we need to work on so that we do not bring toxicity into our relationship(s).
Here are a few toxic traits:
Do you find yourself always being the one to start arguments?
Do you find yourself constantly putting your needs above those of your partner?
Have you realized that you can manipulate your partner or that you get your way all of the time?
Do you always need to be right?
Do you take responsibility for your own actions?
Do you play the victim,?
Do you include your family and friends in the relationship?
Do you always need to have the last word?
If you have any of these toxic tendencies, it is important to take steps to change your behavior.
Here are a few tips:
-Try to see things from your partner’s perspective and realize that their opinions and feelings matter too. Don’t always put your opinion and thoughts first. Respect the other person by not diminishing or ignoring their thoughts or feelings.
-Make an effort to communicate better. This is a continuous journey.
-Be more aware of how your words and actions are affecting your partner. Be in tune to them, but also use verbal communication.
-Realize that you don’t always have to be right.
– Seek help from a therapist or counselor if you are having difficulty changing your behavior on your own. Communication is extremely important and is something to master. *If you can’t afford therapy, there are a surplus of wonderful self help books.
Relationship Story Time by Ana Lefebvre
I remember my first real fight in a serious relationship. The fight began after an argument about making the bed. If you have been in a serious relationship, you would know that it had nothing to do with making the bed. It was something deeper, but you see we were young and dumb and did not know how to communicate. I came from a household where kids had no opinions and he came from a household where they would give him everything and anything he wanted.
Those two different upbringings definitely clashed. The one thing we did have in common was keeping the perception of perfectionism. I had to be perfect, but i created this perfect version of myself. He had to be perfect, but it was his family that projected his perfectionism. How toxic is this?
Let’s go back to my first real “relationship fight”, “argument”, or whatever you want to label it, that started because of “making the bed”. Now I will spare you the details of the story or place the blame on who was in the wrong, that is actually not important. My actions are the important part. After the argument, I decided the best way to handle the situation was to leave for the evening and give him the silent treatment, which he also participated in. Who started it, or if we both did it simultaneously, I can not remember. I didn’t know how to efficiently voice my opinion since most of my life I wasn’t able to have a voice or an opinion (I was 18). This first fight was a prelude to how we would handle fights for years to come.
I realized some years later (way too many years later) that this was toxic on my behalf, but now my significant other had become even worse at it to where he wouldn’t talk to me for weeks at a time. Read this article that I wrote when were together.
Going forward, I worked on myself to become better at voicing my opinion. I didn’t want to continue this behavior. It was destroying my relationship and myself. I was definitely not perfect, but I was working on myself. I went to therapy and I started to voice my opinion. He didn’t do any of that 😂.
Ironically, the first fight was the prelude to the last fight that we would ever have together.
I knew that my communication needed to be better for my future relationships. I realized that because of my ex and his behavior (this is a for another story time) that I was scared of arguing. Then I realized, that if they wanted to reciprocate by giving me the silent treatment or doing something else, then that is on them.
I remember the first time I actually communicated my feelings to a man (after the relationship I mentioned prior). I was like wow, that was easy, why didn’t I do this months ago. I didn’t get cussed out. There was no violence. No yelling. No silent treatment. If you follow me on Instagram then you will know he was not my ending point.
An ex after that ended up hurting my feelings and I couldn’t get over it. I ended up telling him after we ended things (it needed to end) and he told me he was “sorry”, which was all I needed (I talked to him recently and I definitely dodge a bullet there). He’s one of those people that will probably never change and I am not the female that is going to sit around and wait for you to change.
Communication in relationships is extremely important which is why I talk about it in my book and my podcast. The thing is, communication will trickle down to every facet of your life. Work-life. Family life. Friendships.
Work on it.