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Have you ever spent time with someone and left feeling down, frustrated or drained of energy? Does it happen often when you’re with this person?
The people in your life can play as important a role in your health as your eating and exercise habits. You want to surround yourself with people who leave you feeling happy and energized.
But some people can be toxic.
Maybe it’s a toxic partner, parent, child, friend or co-worker. You may not even know how much it’s affecting you.
If one or more of the following is true, you may be dealing with a toxic person:
A toxic person can take a serious toll on your well-being. Toxic relationships can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and other health issues.
In a long-term study, participants in negative (or toxic) relationships were found to be at a greater risk for developing heart problems, including a fatal cardiac event, than participants in relationships that were not negative. Further, a toxic person can create a negative internal environment, and negative states of mind may increase the risk for heart disease over time or worsen heart issues that already exist.
What can you do if there’s a toxic person in your life?
Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is to walk away — remove the toxic person from your life. But it’s usually not that easy. The toxic person may be a partner, family member or someone else you can’t easily avoid.
In this case, you can try to encourage that person to get into therapy, although toxic people usually have minimal insight into how their own behavior impacts their relationships. If the person rejects getting help, consider distancing yourself as much as possible. For partners, it may mean a separation. For others, it may mean having less contact with them.
You could also try these tips:
Healthy relationships with mutual caring and respect are essential for a healthy, well-balanced life.
Toxic relationships involve selfishness and inequality. If the negative and unpleasant moments outweigh the positive ones, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship.
If you are dealing with any form of violence, abuse or harassment, it’s important to get help right away. One in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Recognize the signs of domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available for 24/7 guidance at 1-800-799-7233.
Need help getting through a difficult time in your life? Get support from Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.
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