Toxic People: 12 Things They Do and How to Deal with Them

The 12 Things Toxic People Do and How to Deal With Them

We have all had toxic people dust us with their poison. Sometimes it’s more like a drenching. Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones and all of us have likely had (or have) at least one person in our lives who have us bending around ourselves like barbed wire in endless attempts to please them – only to never really get there.

Their damage lies in their subtlety and the way they can engender that classic response, ‘It’s not them, it’s me.’ They can have you questioning your ‘over-reactiveness’, your ‘oversensitivity’, your ‘tendency to misinterpret’. If you’re the one who’s continually hurt, or the one who is constantly adjusting your own behaviour to avoid being hurt, then chances are that it’s not you and it’s very much them.

Being able to spot their harmful behaviour is the first step to minimising their impact. You might not be able to change what they do, but you can change what you do with it, and any idea that toxic somebody in your life might have that they can get away with it.

There are plenty of things toxic people do to manipulate people and situations to their advantage. Here are 12 of them. Knowing them will help you to avoid falling under the influence:

  1. They’ll keep you guessing about which version of them you’re getting.

    They’ll be completely lovely one day and the next you’ll be wondering what you’ve done to upset them. There often isn’t anything obvious that will explain the change of attitude – you just know something isn’t right. They might be prickly, sad, cold or cranky and when you ask if there’s something wrong, the answer will likely be ‘nothing’ – but they’ll give you just enough  to let you know that there’s something. The ‘just enough’ might be a heaving sigh, a raised eyebrow, a cold shoulder. When this happens, you might find yourself making excuses for them or doing everything you can to make them happy. See why it works for them?

    Stop trying to please them. Toxic people figured out a long time ago that decent people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the people they care about happy. If your attempts to please aren’t working or aren’t lasting for very long, maybe it’s time to stop. Walk away and come back when the mood has shifted. You are not responsible for anybody else’s feelings. If you have done something unknowingly to hurt somebody, ask, talk about it and if need be, apologise. At any rate, you shouldn’t have to guess.

  1. They’ll manipulate.

    If you feel as though you’re the only one contributing to the relationship, you’re probably right. Toxic people have a way of sending out the vibe that you owe them something. They also have a way of taking from you or doing something that hurts you, then maintaining they were doing it all for you. This is particularly common in workplaces or relationships where the balance of power is out. ‘I’ve left that six months’ worth of filing for you. I thought you’d appreciate the experience and the opportunity to learn your way around the filing cabinets.’ Or, ‘I’m having a dinner party. Why don’t you bring dinner. For 10. It’ll give you a chance to show off those kitchen skills. K?’

    You don’t owe anybody anything. If it doesn’t feel like a favour, it’s not.

  1. They won’t own their feelings.

    Rather than owning their own feelings, they’ll act as though the feelings are yours. It’s called projection, as in projecting their feelings and thoughts onto you. For example, someone who is angry but won’t take responsibility for it might accuse you of being angry with them. It might be as subtle as, ‘Are you okay with me?’ or a bit more pointed, ‘Why are you angry at me,’ or, ‘You’ve been in a bad mood all day.’

    You’ll find yourself justifying and defending and often this will go around in circles – because it’s not about you. Be really clear on what’s yours and what’s theirs. If you feel as though you’re defending yourself too many times against accusations or questions that don’t fit, you might be being projected on to. You don’t have to explain, justify or defend yourself or deal with a misfired accusation. Remember that.

  1. They’ll make you prove yourself to them.

    They’ll regularly put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else – and you’ll always feel obliged to choose them. Toxic people will wait until you have a commitment, then they’ll unfold the drama.  ‘If you really cared about me you’d skip your exercise class and spend time with me.’  The problem with this is that enough will never be enough. Few things are fatal – unless it’s life or death, chances are it can wait.

    [irp posts=”1195″ name=”Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal With Them”]

  2. They never apologise. 

    They’ll lie before they ever apologise, so there’s no point arguing. They’ll twist the story, change the way it happened and retell it so convincingly that they’ll believe their own nonsense.

    People don’t have to apologise to be wrong. And you don’t need an apology to move forward. Just move forward – without them. Don’t surrender your truth but don’t keep the argument going. There’s just no point. Some people want to be right more than they want to be happy and you have better things to do than to provide fodder for the right-fighters.

  1. They’ll be there in a crisis but they’ll never ever share your joy.

    They’ll find reasons your good news isn’t great news. The classics: About a promotion – ‘The money isn’t that great for the amount of work you’ll be doing.’ About a holiday at the beach – ‘Well it’s going to be very hot. Are you sure you want to go?’ About being made Queen of the Universe – ‘Well the Universe isn’t that big you know and I’m pretty sure you won’t get tea breaks.’ Get the idea? Don’t let them dampen you or shrink you down to their size. You don’t need their approval anyway – or anyone else’s for that matter.

  2. They’ll leave a conversation unfinished – and then they’ll go offline.

    They won’t pick up their phone. They won’t answer texts or emails. And in between rounds of their voicemail message, you might find yourself playing the conversation or argument over and over in your head, guessing about the status of the relationship, wondering what you’ve done to upset them, or whether they’re dead, alive or just ignoring you – which can sometimes all feel the same. People who care about you won’t let you go on feeling rubbish without attempting to sort it out. That doesn’t mean you’ll sort it out of course, but at least they’ll try. Take it as a sign of their investment in the relationship if they leave you ‘out there’ for lengthy sessions.

  3. They’ll use non-toxic words with a toxic tone.

    The message might be innocent enough but the tone conveys so much more. Something like, ‘What did you do today?’ can mean different things depending on the way it’s said. It could mean anything from ‘So I bet you did nothing – as usual,’ to ‘I’m sure your day was better than mine. Mine was awful. Just awful. And you didn’t even notice enough to ask.’ When you question the tone, they’ll come back with, ‘All I said was what did you do today,’ which is true, kind of, not really.

  4. They’ll bring irrelevant detail into a conversation.

    When you’re trying to resolve something important to you, toxic people will bring in irrelevant detail from five arguments ago. The problem with this is that before you know it, you’re arguing about something you did six months ago, still defending yourself, rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Somehow, it just always seems to end up about what you’ve done to them.

  5. They’ll make it about the way you’re talking, rather than what you’re talking about.

    You might be trying to resolve an issue or get clarification and before you know it, the conversation/ argument has moved away from the issue that was important to you and on to the manner in which you talked about it – whether there is any issue with your manner or not. You’ll find yourself defending your tone, your gestures, your choice of words or the way your belly moves when you breathe – it doesn’t even need to make sense. Meanwhile, your initial need is well gone on the pile of unfinished conversations that seems to grow bigger by the day.

    [irp posts=”1762″ name=”When Someone You Love is Toxic: How to Let Go of Toxic People, Without Guilt”]

  6. They exaggerate.

    ‘You always …’ ‘You never …’ It’s hard to defend yourself against this form of manipulation. Toxic people have a way of drawing on the one time you didn’t or the one time you did as evidence of your shortcomings. Don’t buy into the argument. You won’t win. And you don’t need to.

  7. They are judgemental.

    We all get it wrong sometimes but toxic people will make sure you know it. They’ll judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem suggesting that you’re less than because you made a mistake. We’re all allowed to get it wrong now and then, but unless we’ve done something that affects them nobody has the right to stand in judgement.

Knowing the favourite go-to’s for toxic people will sharpen your radar, making the manipulations easier to spot and easier to name. More importantly, if you know the characteristic signs of a toxic person, you’ll have a better chance of catching yourself before you tie yourself in double knots trying to please them.

Some people can’t be pleased and some people won’t be good for you – and many times that will have nothing to do with you. You can always say no to unnecessary crazy. Be confident and own your own faults, your quirks and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s approval but remember if someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s probably because they need yours. You don’t always have to give it but if you do, don’t let the cost be too high.

2,023 Comments

Jade

When your boyfriend start telling you the way I play with u is too much often,for example I was asking in front of someone and I said :oba answér now playfully and next thing he said was my playing is too much I need to reduce the way I play with you,why will you address me like that. What should I do. Should I reduce the playing with him

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Anna

Am I toxic? my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. We both do our own things and have “me” time.
I always tell my boyfriend that he is better of with someone else. I do know I have insecurities and my demons, so that is part of the problem as well. but I just see how he is so much chatty and happier around other people than with me. I tell him that because I want him to be happy, and not to be with a complicated person like me, who will just drown him with my miseries and insecurities. Like I know its exhausting to be around someone that tells you that every now and then. Some how almost always something triggers those thoughts that he will be better off with someone else. And i tell me too, that it’s gonna be exhausting for him to stay with me, so its better if we break up. But doesn’t want to. The truth is I dont either, but I dont want him to suffer with me. I do my best to be the best person for him, but for me its never enough. It hurts me to see me like this, because i know he suffers too and can’t console me as much as he would love to, as we are in a long distance relationship.

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Wendi

Are toxic people are good and kind to those being kind and good to them? This is because I feel that my best friend being sweet, caring and attentive to her other besties and friends. Even she is busy, she will text her best friends. Contradiction to mine, sometimes when I ask her questions, she will brush it off or ignore it. She sometimes just give me simple answer or just playing safe. I care about her so much but I don’t know her true feeling even though she always said that I am her best friend.

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Jeannie

RUN AWAY FROM TOXIC PEOPLE ASAP
IT IS LIFE THREATENING I HAVE TERMINAL CANCER BECAUSE I STAYED
“IT IS BETTER TO BE ALONE THAN IN BAD COMPANY” IS WHAT GEORGE WASHINGTON, OUR GREATEST PRESIDENT SAID

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Lydai

I dont know after reading this article I feel like I’m toxic even the people i love is toxic both friends and family. I find myself relating to some of the signs, like that me. Also find myself relating it to others, like that him or her. I guess its a good thing that I got the chance to identify such habits that had to be change, before I hurt someone. Towards being a better person I suppose.
Thankyou for this article.

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mary

First great work of the author that wrote this artictle, it helped me understand some things better. i mean i just found out that my best friend can actually be toxic. She seems to do like 9/12 of the points above but i m not sure if she is and how can i deal with her being toxic without losing completely this person, hell i dont even know if i am toxic. Cause sometimes toxic people can turn it against you and make you feel you are the toxic one, it is pretty complicated if you thing about it. Feel free for suggestions and opinions.

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Tessa

Can I please get an outsider’s opinion? I’ve known my fiance for 2yrd and we’ve been engaged almost 1. Ever since we started dated we’ve had fights about nudity in movies/shows. I know I’m not the only girl who feels this way but he has in the past called me crazy for asking him not to watch that stuff and even offering him a website that easily filters it out so he can still enjoy his movies. I dont believe every relationship should be that way, and if both partners are fine with seeing other people naked on screen more power to them but that isnt how I feel my relationship should be. He always would try to make it about “you’re projecting your insecurities on my life” but I dont believe at all that I’m insecure about it. It’s a relationship boundary that I always hoped he’d respect…. he always brings up how his past rela8never had a problem with him watching that stuff too and it bugs me because j feel like he expects me to be like them just so he can watch a movie…. my ground point is that he feels that it’s me projecting my insecurities and mostly trying to use what he watches as a way to control him and manipulate him. I’ve tried countless times talking to him about boundaries and sanctity/exclusivity is so important in a relationship to me but he doesnt believe that’s what its about…please help it’s the biggest problem in our relationship and will most likely end it if it’s not fixed

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Terry

Tessa, it sounds like this is a fundamental disagreement that marriage is not going to fix. If he doesn’t respect your views about nudity and exclusivity in a relationship, I imagine there are other things of equal importance (and even everyday decisions) that he won’t respect either – meaning that you’ll have to be the one to make all the changes, not him. Imo this more than a matter of personal preference like food or paint colors, but a world-outlook issue that affects both of you. I’m not a relationship expert and of course we only know what you’ve told us about him, but this is a situation I myself would not tolerate – not because of the nudity issue itself but his effective gaslighting of your feelings on such an important topic.

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Katie

Terry is 100% right about your situation. This is one of those hard subjects that will not get better with time and marriage. Clearly neither of you is willing to back down (nor should you) so it’s time to break it off. It’s like if you wanted kids and he didn’t. He’s not going to magically change his mind or respect your ideals. Find someone who shares your views on partnership. Naturally this is easier said than done but from an outside perspective, it wont work in the long run.

I would also like to add I don’t agree with your views at all and I would react the same way if I were him. If only to illustrate that none of us are perfect.

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me myself and i

run and run fast. probably someone who needs constant comforting, someone with a victim mentality. run away. dont look back

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Rain

I can totally relate to the signs above ,we have been married for almost 3 years now, and there have been several instances where he just starts to give me a cold shoulder and I start to find ways to make it better but, in the end I never understand what went wrong? Sometimes he just blames it on his job that he had a bad day( I have requested him plenty of times to try for new jobs if, this one is affecting him so much but, he never tries). We are not financially stable,we are away from our families. When I try to talk to him about this he enters into arguments and is never willing to listen and understand what I have to say and always tries to get his way.

We both are working but since, the day I got married I have sacrificed everything,I save up money and give up on my wishes while he goes off spending on drinks and things, I find myself crying in corners of our apartment just thinking of a way out of all this, I miss my life before marriage but,I cant do anything about it I can’t hurt my side of the family by being a burden on them after divorce.

Now he even wants to have children and when I treid to explain him that we need time, that we are not financially settled and that I am not ready, he made a whole fuss about it he kicked away furniture in rage. Previously he punched our television,threw away food that I had cooked and this always happens. I dont understand what to do I feel trapped in my life.

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Dontlookback

I have experienced events such as you describe in my marriage and without hesitation I’d advise you to get out of this relationship while you can. Your husband’s behaviour towards you is controlling and it will just continue. Having children will not fix him and then exposes them to his behaviour. After the initial feelings of disbelief and dismay at my husband’s unreasonable, controlling, aggressive behaviour, as time went on, I began to tolerate it but at a great cost to my happiness and mental health, and to that of my children. He will never change. My advice to you is to take control of your life and leave so that you are free from the abusive attitude and behaviour and disrespect that your husband is showing you. That behaviour will isolate you and grind you down to the point where you may feel unable to make a change as you grow older. I hope you can reach out and confide in a friend, family or women’s refuge who will offer you support to help you. Do it while you have youth and strength on your side.

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Mindy

You ARE trapped until you send him packing. If you don’t stand up for yourself and give him an ultimatum, expect to continue living in a hell you chose when you deliberately overlooked the warning signs he exhibited before you married him. But now that you’re miserable and don’t see how God can change your situation, your only option is divorce if you want to maintain your sanity. You need to dump the creep and work your butt off to live on your own and feed yourself. NEVER EVER trust or rely on a man to take care of you or stick to a goal you both agreed upon “once upon a time”. We women are such suckers. To survive you need to “grow a pair” and show him you were the best thing that coulda happened to him. Just don’t ever weaken and take him back.

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Anonymous

I can agree strongly to this I have been in the worst relationship of my life for 5 consecutive years. At the time I was 22 years old .. I have been neglected, abused and manipulated from life itself. I new it wasn’t love from the beginning and I don’t understand why I’m still here.. I have tried leaving over over he only follows me around harassing me threatening my family and me. It like I can’t get rid of him. I have been lied to lied on by him ,cheated on several times prolly still is .. I’m consistently call b**** and just really awful names .. I’m consistently disrespected.. I‘m so use to hearing hurtful things that it don’t bother me anymore .. I can go on about this man that I’m no longer in love with but feel obligated to stay cause he won’t leave .. I feel like a been hurt everyday of every year we been together..now I’m here 4 months pregnant by a man I don’t love . Where does it end for me????

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Gage D

It ends with you walking out that door my love. You are worth so much more than how you are being treated. You deserve a safe loving relationship. You are worth it and it will take time to reparent yourself if you were not given that as a child. You have several moths before your baby is born. How can you best spend that time. Is there anyone you know and trust? some place you could go to spend quiet time to get to know and trust yourself? If not for yourself, would you do this for your not as yet born child? If we do not deal with our own abandonment and abuse we are most likely going to repeat the mistakes of our parents. You don’t have to stay in a bad relationship. You don’t owe him or anyone your life. There are resources and people who can help you get away if you need them. Your are precious! You deserve love respect and peace.

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Reece

you need to find a way out of that situation, i know its hard you are a very strong woman you can still have the child but think if its best, follow your gut if its telling you to leave which it really really should be then go. Dont let anyone manipulate you into thinking theres only one person for you its called oneitis theres no such thing. theres good ones and theres bad ones, you have a bad one and deserver to be treated equal and amazing!

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Anonymous

Okay to start off, I have been in a 6 year relationship. In the beginning and first couple of years it’s has been good. But then now it’s like she’s more occupied with her phone. She doesn’t take initiative to do anything anymore. Doesn’t make plans or do any surprises, I always try to do them when I can. She doesn’t even say sorry when she knows she’s wrong. I have been constantly trying to make it work all the time. I really love her but she makes me a so frustrated. When I cry and tell her how she makes me feel when I’m sad, it’s like she doesn’t even comfort me or try to make me feel better. She just stays silent. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m trying to not get fed up and be mad, but I just can’t help it to feel that way now. But I still love her.

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Rita

I’ve been seeing this guy for about 6 months now. His name is Chris. I’m not sure whether these are “red flags” or not? If i did know for sure, i would’ve left from the very beginning. But here’s literally everything on the list.. He makes plans with me but cancels the last minute A LOT! He never keeps any contacts in his phone because he says he doesn’t want anyone to see who exactly is calling/texting him if he leaves his phone behind? He ALWAYS clears out his phone/computer history after using it. (Waay more than anyone else i’ve ever known) He hasn’t told his family anything about me at all. Every time i come over, i noticed that his bedsheets are always in the wash at that exact moment? (They’re never on his actual bed) He only allows me to come over when it’s convenient for him. He never responds to my calls/texts around specific times i’ve noticed? (5pm-9pm) Every time we have an argument and “split” for a bit, he stays at motels for at least 2 days?? He claims he goes to motels to do his jobs work and to play video games, but i highly doubt that’s the case. Every time we argue, it’s always my fault and he never actually listens to what i’m saying or my concerns and just always asks “Why do you always do this?”… or “Why can’t you just focus on something more positive”? … He avoids all important questions and never leaves me with any answers or closure. He tells me how “f*cked up” i am from my terrible past of mental abusers that i’ve sadly been with in the past, and always brings up their names when he knows i can’t stand hearing it. I don’t want to be reminded of any of that?? He never is the first one to call or text and when he actually DOES call, he’s always either playing video games or multitasking, never paying attention to anything i’m saying to him. It hurts. All of this hurts so bad. It’s really hurting my heart. I don’t know what to do. It’s difficult having the strength to leave someone you cared so much about, even when they seem like they don’t care at all about you. 🙁 I need answers, please help me figure out what kind of guy i’m dealing with here and what i should do?

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Mary

You could be dealing with some sort of narcissist or at the very least someone who isn’t really into you and your feelings and after 6 months the relationship should be still new and growing into something you would want to commit your life to as in marriage.Break up and don’t look back give yourself time to heal from hurt feelings but it seems like he also may be seeing someone else or has too much of his own time playing video games or worse yet pornography.you will never be first with this guy and you will never be happier to put yourself first and look for someone who will do that too.

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La

Hi Rita,

It sounds like you are in a very aweful relationship, one that I would not wish upon my biggest enemy.
With therapy and a ot of work from your bf’s side, you may be able to patch things up, but come on, you have been dating for 6 months and like you said: all alarm bells should be ringing.
You don’t describe your bf as a kind and caring person, so what makes you believe he will change?
The more love you’ll give him, the more he will treat you like trash, because effectively – sorry for being blunt – you do allow him such behaviour.
The only healthy path you can follow is changing your behaviour towards him, or letting him go completely.
Please please put yourself first, because he clearly won’t do it.
It’s hard to believe that love cannot overcome all obstacles and make people change.
If you have a lot of love in you, please practice some self-compassion, and self-love.
I hope with time you’ll grow stronger to leave behind what is clearly not good for you or your future.
Best of luck, Rita.

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Elise

Hello Rita,

I sorry for your situation, it’s disappointing that he could ever do such things to you. To me, it sounds like he takes your for granted. and those look like red flags to me. People like him will never change, I know this from past experiences in bad friendships/relationships. In my opinion, if you don’t like his behavior and it isn’t changing, just walk away, he’s the only one getting anything from the relationship, and that’s not fair at all.
You sound like a wonderful, caring person and deserve better than that.
I wish you luck, and that you can pull through this, I believe in you. 🙂

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Mitchell P

What if it was a kid that you thought may want or even need a friend or male companionship, knowing his dad and step dad got out of jail and rehab at the same time but step dad came and took mom and his other siblings having him with gma. Whether it wss his decision to stay or not, I know it hurt sometimes. I wanted to give him everything I could to make his existence a little better. It don’t seen like he appreciates anything and won’t ever follow through and do what he says, always stringing me along when all I want is for him to not lie and and maybe do what is said would be done. I’ve begged and pleaded, I’ve done everything. He’d rather give me someting else and t even do it right than to tell me the truth about anythinh. Seems like he knew how to keep me wanting for more, now he with his dad where he needs to be and still won’t message backing open my texts but I can tell he online. Keep in mind, I wont have kids and I just really thought he came over that kne day and we non stop hung out for a year blowing gas and shit. I honestly thought by giving and showing him I care, running into danger for him… Sticking up for him, proving without a doubt I got him, that I will lay down my life for him but he still does the shit. Lies about dumb shitz, stuff no need to lie about…

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Josefina A

I have lived with someone who has literally sucked the life out of me and when I was so depressed and lifeless along we my son and gave me a reason to live again. This made my toxic person I lived with very jealous very envious that my attention went to my son and he did everything in his power includeing messing with my son’s own well being and state of mind to please himself and get my son out of the way. My life has just been drained by this person. Everything I have tried to overcome gets knocked down I don’t know how he does it butt he does sometimes I think he has evil super powers. It does not matter that I am half empty without my son it does not matter I have literally lost everything after haveing to put attention to this to ic person as long as everything is good for him my life does notatter. I do not know how to overcome this I feel I don’t remember how to live how to fight I’ve lost every fight for my pen life that I’ve had to fight for against this person I even at one point became so hateful so angry for all theanipulateing decietful things he got away with just to knock me down and make me look bad. I know for a fact that my toxic person does not contain the care and live in his heart that I do he has never been considerate or compassionate and he has totally known that I am and has just won at his game to such a glorious point that I am just on a dead end road. I don’t know if you understand what I’m talking about butt I feel as if this tocic person is after my soul as if that’s his main goal. I always end up going with my heart help. Him in every way possible because I cannot stand seeing him in a pathetic state butt if it’s me feeling that bad then he leaves me STRUGGLEING in it and walks away with the most joyful content. I have never seen anyone human being in this world ever to be devious manipulate decietful I never even knew theeaning of these things because that has never been me. I have seen a total different part of humanity and it is ugly hurtful and so draining. I fight everyday to get out of this I am to the point where if I have to pick myself up out of this and see him crushed over it then it will not phase me I know I can now leave with just me on my mind because I have been left to literally die inside soamy tes that I’ve grown numb. I have a son to be there for and I’m scared because I know that it is this toxic person’s goal that I not make it to that. How do I fight back every time I fought by getting so angry I just lost I don’t know how to handle this person butt it much better for me and my son and for the world to be exposed to me than him . People like h are toxic to humans I believe I have been his weakest victom and I do not like being a victom for anyone can you please help me ?

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Julie

Such a good article. I took me a long time to acknowledge that friends come and go at certain points in your life and that’s OK. It’s also OK to end those that don’t enrich your life.

My issue is I have an ex friend who can’t accept that he is no longer in my life and sends a message roughly every year for 6+ years. For the last few years I’ve ignored him but that just rattles him more.

It starts with – “I miss our friendship”
then turns to guilt tripping – “I’m not well, I’m having a hard time”
then ends with abuse and aggression – “What did I ever see in you… ”
I’m so tired of it all, I ended our friendships hip because of its toxicity and i’ve tried polite, i’ve tried blocking but alas he’ll reappear with a new phone number. I’m at the point of changing my number.

Some toxic friends are indicators of far bigger problems.

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Beth J

Hi, I almost feel embarrassed that I am writing this. I have been married to what I considered a larger than life man for 8 years (second marriage for us both). During that time, I have been the butt of his jokes, moved around the world for him numerous times, left jobs I’ve loved because he doesn’t like the amount of attention I give my job (he freely admits that), been called every name under the sun,blocked from all contact with him…only for him to then ignore he did this and to have any and every mistake in my life I’ve made dragged up constantly and scrutinized. My husband works away a lot, which gives me physical breathing space but emotionally it sets him off into something that can only be described as a lunatic with his constant accusations and nastiness, only for him to th n change his tune and be nice…slightly confusing!

This time, I actually feel that I don’t care as much, almost like I have shut down emotionally. Again, although he works away, he wants me to leave my job so that my attention is on him. This is a man who has never financially supported me, I’m scared to give up my job and become dependent on him (which I believe is his aim).

I truly have now given up, in terms of the blocking and shutting down he does and then the reeling me back in.

I have realized (how I didn’t before) that I am his emotional pinch bag. He did the same to his two children (from his first marriage), who have walked out of his life with their heads held high, his own parents warned me about his behaviour.

So, I’m confused. Although, as mentioned I have given up and I realise at long last that I can’t change to suit his needs that I’m not always the bad person, the one who needs belittling or putting down, I have this feeling that I shouldn’t walk away and give up. It’s almost like a double edged sword. If o stay, his behaviors will continue and I will be back at square one, feeling like I can never do right. But, if I go…have I given up too easily?

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Althea

How I wished I read this article before. I had a roommate named Joena, and mind you, she is the most toxic person you’ll ever meet. She managed to get the sympathy of Meraki, one-sided class of hers, by using all those fabricated info she made out of the real, actual situation

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Allison R

I’m not sure what end is up with me atm. I’ve been engaged to my fiancé since August.. been going together for 2 years but things aren’t what I thought they were. Or is it me? I was shunned from my religion back in Feb and lost almost everything about my life I knew including all friends and most of my family. My fiancé had seemed very supportitive up to this point but when the actual shunning took place ( i fell out with the doctrines ) he said I had changed. I was desperately trying to make sense of my world and was/am depressed. He is naturally quiet and I love talk and communication. It had seemed okay before.. but then he just retreated. If I try and broach conversations about our relationship he either won’t fully engage or worse… keeps turning it. Often he will say compassionate things or make promises but never follows up and I feel like that child who mummy says ‘yes dear’ to to shut them up.
I want a connection back. I don’t feel loving anymore because I feel lost and lonely inside. I want a cameraderie and openness that I’ve always craved with a partner. Am I asking too much? Can anyone see things from his perspective I could be missing?
I’m emotionally drained but I don’t want to just throw this away.

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Michelle

What you’re desire and are asking for is a healthy relationship. Support. compassion, disscusions about issues is normal, not to mention necessary for a good relationship. If things are this bad now, it won’t get better after marriage. Your fiance’s personality traits seem very similar to those of my ex-husband, and my former brother-in-law. Neither man changed nor did my marriage or my sister’s marriage. Years of having the same discussions and arguments, listening to pomises made but always broken, and lack of true empathy and compassion. I say “true” because statements and/or gestures that appeared compassionate lasted seconds before my ex made himself the focus of the conversation, regardless of topic. He had to have all the attention, the compassion, even sympathy. Somehow, he was always feeling worse than me, or anyone else. His situation was always worse. For the times during which I felt a bit down, upset, or had a problem, I turned to my family. I also ended up getting a counselor. As for promises, eventually, I learned not to expect him to follow through on them. My regular response to most of my ex’s apologies became “Save your apologies. They don’t mean anything because you keep repeating the same behavior. ” His apologies were “a dime a dozen” – very common, plentiful and worthless.

If your fiance never takes responsibility for his wrongs, that is, if he recognizes and acknowledges that he has any, then it won’t get better, only worse. Truly taking responsibility and meaning it is shown by making an attempt to change the behavior. If that doesn’t happen, then again, nothing will improve. If he does make an attempt, but it is brief, (i.e. one or two counseling sessions then some excuse for not continuing), realize this is a tactic. It will be a pattern you will see repeated by him.

My relationship with my ex lasted 18 years. We were married for 14 of those 18 years. My sister’s marriage lasted one year longer than mine. For years, we both kept hoping our relationships would get better once this was different or that changed. Sadly, they did not and we both lost ourselves for a number of years. If promises are never outr rarely fulfilled, they never will be. Marriage is a promise and a commitment, and it is much harder to stick with it and work on it than a promise for anything else that I can imagine.

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Stephan

Allison,
I can’t say much about your situation and I know that this is difficult right now with Covid-19.

But if you’ve lost your support network of friends and family members, you need to create yourself a new support network (either that, or get the old one back). You can’t depend on your fiance (or his friends and family) to fill that gap for you.

If he was attracted to you in the first place, it probably means that you had your own life to begin with. Once this pandemic is over, make sure to get your own set of friends, your own set of hobbies, and your own set of interests. Get a new job. Start a new hobby. Start studying. Or whatever.

Once you can rebuild such a network for yourself, your relationship will be stronger for it.

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Sad wife

Hi, I am married to my husband, whom before we got married, cheated on me multiple of times on a lot of dating app, all possible social medias where he can find girls to talk to (mostly talking like theyre his gf, never slept or met them).
But apart of that, he is a great guy, family man who helped you with chores, or always there for me, always keeping contact with my family, pays a visit once a month even he stays far. I can see his cheating pattern is he cheats after we fought and gave silent treatment to each other. You see, we were in a long distance relationship(different citizenship) for 3 years, so its so easy for him to feel unloved so he cheats for attention.

So now we are married for 2months now(no more cheating, he shared everything) but due to Covid-19, we have to live separately for a while. Which messed me up so bad. I was really paranoid. i dont know how to trust him when hes away. So everytime we fought on the phone coz hes a bit sensitive, im scared he gonna do it again. its really hard that everytime we fight, he always said i dont appreciate him. even when he cheated before, he said he didnt felt appreciated, i didnt make him happy. i felt unloved too, unhappy too. but i never cheat on him. No matter whos wrong, i never think that he didn’t appreciate me. i dont know why he always think that way.

I tried my best to be a good wife, despite my working shift as a pharmacist, i went back home and cook for him, spend time with him doing what he wants, even when the days when im too tired. i never fail to cook for him daily. i clean the house most of the days, so that he’s comfortable. Even when we fought, most of the time im the one who come to him and apologise. So it made me sad when he said i don’t appreciate him. Hes my first and only love , he broke my heart to pieces when he cheated. But i focus on the good in him. I just wish he stop thinking negative about me

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DEEDAH

Hello guys
I believe i have a toxic boyfriend. I was chatting to my sister about my boyfriend and when are we planning to get married. During our chats through whatsapp my sister also asked about how is my job hunting and whether the person who is helping get a job has found anything new.So my boyfriend asks me who is this person helping you find a job and i tell him that its the same guy i had told him about few months ago. He starts claiming im lying that he is not a fool. I was shocked and tried to tell him that this person is the same person i told you about few months ago. He completely denies it claiming i have a new man and my sister knows him. I just told him i wont engage with him because he is just accusing me and yet i have not done anything. So now he has been ignoring me. It has reached a point i just feel tired of constantly defending myself.

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Japannar

Whatever you do – do not tell him you’re leaving him!!!!!
However — plan it in secret and continue like nothing has changed and walk out the door when you can — with the dogs and never ever go back! Run — block him, cut your losses, leave your possessions, start again and get as far away as possible.

Then take nice relaxing baths, walks, good food and listen to lovely music and get out in nature and never ever talk or think of him again.see your friends and family and spend as much effort and time on them and see the results — the twirls you’re not getting from him and never will.

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Diz

100% agree – because I lived through making the wrong choice — choose yourself and choose someone who chooses you.

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Vijay

This is really beautifully said, and it speaks to what I believe a lot of people suffer. Thank you.

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J

Can I please have an outsiders opinion for feedback.

My husband keep swearing among other things. Judging people when driving etc. This instance, we were coming back from shopping and I was feeling very happy. He mentioned something about what My daughter and I purchased and he said yeah look at all the shit you got! We agreed not to swear in front of her years ago. He didn’t flinch. I said gently and quietly (in the front seat) why the swearing? I wasn’t looking at him. But something made me look at him because he said “I didn’t swear!” So there was a lie. I looked down because I felt pushed back he was getting loud and I didn’t want to made a big deal. Then I looked at him at realized that he was making faces at me. He stopped when I saw him. Not thinking I would see. Then he started another face but a really silly face to make it look like it was allllll just fun and games. Our 14 year old daughter is sitting diagonally from him. Watching his every move. He of course minimized and asked me to not be so sensitive it’s all just fun and games. I feel this was a whole new level of disrespect and disregard for me as his wife. Me as a Mother and his daughter as well. Because is that the way a man should treat a woman? I don’t think so. Mean and cruel.
There is pat meanness and cruel words he has said to me. I am a very kind and patient wife and I feel like Marijuana has changed his brain to become a disrespectful and disruptive abusive child.

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Jen

J- this behavior is extremely disrespectful and inappropriate. Sounds like something my soon-to-be-ex would do as well. Toxic for sure.

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Michelle

I agree. In my opinion, in large part based on my personal experience, it is a major red flag. To me, that was a form of emotional and verbal abuse. That kind of behavior will continue, despite apologies and promises, and will only get worse.

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MsNormaBates

You are living in a toxic relationship! If he has always been this way then no option but to leave him. If not it will set the worst kind of example for your daughter that she should accept being treated poorly by a future partner as she is learning constantly by what she lives with and sees at home with her parents.

Suggest counselling to your husband for you both to attend to greatly improve your relationship and his behaviour and then attend family counselling too to teach your daughter it is not ok to treat anyone the way he treats you. A relationship should be built on mutual respect and trust or it just doesn’t work and is much worse on a child than seperation. You need to decide pretty quickly either way as your 14 year old daughter needs you to be strong and show her what is and is not acceptable in the treatment of women (or people) so she won’t take these bad habits into her very near future relationships. It won’t be long till she is in one of her own and would you like her partner to treat her as you are being treated by her father? You must make a decision now! If he has no interest in counselling or making personal changes to strengthen the family unit and be a better parent to your daughter and partner to you then you have to leave him because he’s toxic to you both otherwise.
Sorry to be so blunt but time is of the essence here due to your daughter’s age. Save her from a future of the acceptance of this type of treatment which can lead to poor self esteem and negative sense of self worth before it’s too late.

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Em

J- I have just come out of a year long relationship (the end was mutual as we couldn’t continue as it was) where a lot of what you just described was exactly as my partner was behaving. He has also been a regular weed smoker and with lockdown and having a hiatus from work, the use had increased. I experienced the exact same attitude- belittling, snipes at aspects of my character, projecting anger for small things at me, swearing but then saying it wasn’t ‘at’ me, which is still hurtful. I feel your sense of hurt and it almost feels like when they give you a nugget of affection, cuddles, or statements of love, you cling to them and start to think ‘am I really just overthinking things?’ But other people had noted my partner’s outbursts, and the irony is that people who act like that seem to have snide comments to make and to have a problem with small things eg. Other drivers, but then when you try to address the issue, it’s turned around and you are the melodramatic, emotional one. My situation is obv much different as we did live together (in his house with his dogs etc) but had no children. The only thing I can suggest to you is not to let these things slide- if he says it is a minor thing then maintain that, to you, it didn’t feel like that. The more you let people get away with smaller things, the more this will increase sadly. Also keep your cool and address in a non-swearing or argumentative way and if he loses his cool just explain you aren’t going to be spoken to like that. I hope that things get better for you and that he realises how his behaviour has hurt you. Take care

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SomeRandomPerson

My situation is about a vegan. And what makes it harder to deal with, she’s my older sister. Even worse, she’s an adult and I’m not. There’s a 17 year difference! Anyways, she doesn’t just straight up walk up to me and go “Hey, since you eat meat you’re a murderer with terrible health and you’ll die by the time you’re 30” but she drops hints about that crap all the time. I swear, everytime somebody brings up Arnold Schwarzenegger she ALWAYS MENTIONS HE’S VEGAN. I GET IT, SHUT UP! She quite literally said “tough people eat vegan” and “he was brainwashed before he was vegan” implying that us non vegans aren’t tough and brainwashed. Looking back on my earlier childhood, she showed me a lot of videos (not graphic, thank goodness) of how certain animal products are made such as hotdogs or McDonald’s burgers. I realize now she was trying to use a shock factor to turn 5 year old me vegan. I also have overheard her arguing with my mom (a meat eater who now eats less, but still not even vegetarian) about food. The last time this happened was like a year ago. But you want to hear something funny? My family’s Christian. Not the stereotypical homophobic, preaching Jesus all day type. We barely ever tell people. But we want to, oh no, CELEBRATE a Christian holiday?! Guess we’re shoving our beliefs down her throat! We TOTALLY never respect HER opinions! But while we do respect her opinions and we’re not pushy, she still tells us to stop. Stop what? Anyways, while she does that, she’s constantly trying to force us to be vegan. I’m tired of her stupid vegan “chicken tenders” that taste like a sad attempt at oatmeal. I want to say something, but I feel like I’d get in trouble for being disrespectful. It’s annoying me a lot, but I can’t do a thing about it. The worst part is she’s doing her self quarantine at our house since she lives in her car, so I’m stuck with this until at least June. I have no idea what to do.

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MsNormaBates

Wow…..what a control freak huh? Just because your 17 doesn’t mean you can’t have a voice this is not wrong or disrespectful she is the one who is wrong and disrespectful!

We all have a right to an opinion and to feel passionate about things sure however there’s a fine line and what she’s doing is harassment/bullying and if she’s been at you since 5 years of age then it could also been considered as abuse.

We all have to live in this big world together and should be more focused on tolerance and acceptance of one another’s differences no matter what they are, provided they aren’t illegal or harmful to other people).

I pitty you having to be quarantined with her and that behaviour and I would tell her maybe if she had a great big juicy hamburger then maybe she’d be less of a b*tch and a much calmer/nicer person to be around. If that doesn’t work I’d talk to your mother/parents and have a family meeting and tell her if she can’t keep her vegan opinions a little less vocal then she can go back to her car! Tell her that’s her naughty corner if she can’t keep peace and harmony in the home by toning it down!!! By the way, I too am a Christian but there’s only so much anyone can take. That chic sounds waaaayyy too OTT and you will all go bonkers or mad under the same roof if you don’t shut her nonsense down. Seems clear as day why she usually lives alone in her car……no-one is prepared to tolerate her or live with that. So go ahead either speak with your family as a group to her or go it alone but you have every right to have your voice.

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Paula

She sounds like she isn’t very well. Could you all sit down calmly and talk about it fully and properly asking her to respect your right to choose and likewise. Perhaps a really open honest conversation would help. Her veganism is like a religion to her.

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Lace

I can relate to this so strongly 🙁 My boyfriend has the key characteristics of all of these things , I feel torn between what I should do, in my head and deep down I think I know he is emotionally abusive but because he was so different at the start and on his good days I choose to persevere and tolerate them, I cant do anything right, there is always a criticism or I need to change my tone or my attitude (all when I’m just being my friendly, happy self) He makes me feel stupid on a daily basis and very often makes me question my sanity or makes me feel like I’m just playing the victim, or if I do truly ever pluck up the courage to talk to him about how I’m feeling, he either makes it clear he is deliberately not listening by pulling out his phone and scrolling through facebook, or will always outwardly turn my concerns back on to myself and make me feel like I’m going crazy and it’s in my head, the biggest headfuck of all is if I’m raising a point he will make me backtrack and repeat snippets over and over then will try and get me to stumble upon my own words and then tell me I dont make sense or I’m contradicting myself, I’d like to think I’m fairly articulate and have always been sharp in catching on to peoples behaviour, however I truly feel like he knows exactly what he is doing and is a master manipulator when it suits, I wake up some mornings or near when it’s time to finish work and I’ll feel anxious as to what mood he is going to be in when I get home, the cold shoulder, moody evenings hurt the most… even more so than the belittling comments some evenings, I’ll ask if everything is okay he will always say yes, but not talk, not even look at me, then all of a sudden he will get in to bed later that night as though none of that ever happened. I know deep down this is going nowhere and fast, yet at the same time I’m just not able to walk away

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Lyn

Well to keep your personality intact, walk away, no matter how hard it might be. If you stay you will lose yourself and it will take a long while to rediscover who you are or were before you met him.

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Susy

Please walk away! Take it from me, someone who married a man like you have described, and have lived nearly 30 years of agony. I’m still looking for comfort and advice on sites like this one. Still. Run away and save yourself. Please! I envy you, that you can move on in your youth and find someone who really cares about the “you” who lives behind your hurt eyes. The eyes you try to cover up, like you’re not hurt. All the best!

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Anonymous

Sweetheart, you deserve wayyy better. I am so incredibly sorry you are going through this! I am also, and the reason we get stuck is called trauma bonding. The literal chemicals in our brains that correlate to the abuse we endure. Also, the fear of the “unknown” as we are creatures of comfort and habit. Please know and accept that you are worth so much more! I beg of you to please get out before serious commitments are made and little ones are added to the chaos! My poor kiddos have gone through so much! Be strong, be realistic, find a man worthy of your love. This one clearly is not it! Best wishes to you!

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L. Liz

Lace – Oh, no! Please get out of that relationship. You are describing my marriage, but he wasn’t that bad until after several years together. You are young and not attached, thank your lucky stars that you found this site and asked the question. Get out while you can, or you will forever dream of what your life could have been if you had waited until you found a man who respects you. Don’t persevere, don’t tolerate. I only wish I had had advice like this when I was young. I’m not sure I would have listened to this kind of advice, because (as in your situation), he was good and kind some days. He still is good and kind some days, but the drama and manipulation get worse with each passing year. I only hope our sons didn’t pick up his behavior in their relationships. Do yourself a favor and take care of yourself and love yourself first and foremost. You can’t and won’t change him. Don’t get married to a child.

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Razanne

I have a so called “friend.”
She has almost all of the 12 toxic people signs.
I don’t know what to do or how to break away from her. I’m in year 8 (7th grade) and i don’t to like have trouble with people.
But she just causes me so much pain. Shes made me cry in the changing rooms by myself and I just don’t even know what to do anymore.
I don’t want to talk to talk to anyone about it, i just don’t know how to deal with it.
I know I need to break away from her, but she just manages to turn everything into my fault. I can’t handle it anymore.

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Ginger

RUN! Do not pass Go and do not collect $100 just GTFO. I’m in the same boat and unloaded mine this last Sunday….I’m hurting and it sucks but it will be for the best. He has mindfucked me so much I can’t even see straight and I started drinking again to ease the pain….I’m off it now as of two days and things will get better. Everyting was always my fault. He never apologized, ever. He never complimented me. His tone was forceful and mean. When we argued he made no sense….he constantly accused me of things I wasn’t doing. BUT, on those good days when he was on, he was on big and sweet and loving. He was super nice to me infront of people but when we were alone I got the cold shoulder. Weird ass shit. It hurts, I feel like I’ll be alone forever but i won’t. I feel like I’m lost an alone but I’m not. You aren’t either. These relationships hurt….if I looked at him with anything but a smile on my face he would get vexed. Always ready to put his ‘manhood’ in me when we laid down but acted as if I was a pimple under his armpit on regular days….imagine that….regular days were when he only insulted me a little. This man told me I’d never find anyone that loves me the way he does then tells me, No one will ever F you again without you having to pay for sex. (I’m 52) he also said, “F, you are the Fing Stupidest Fing White Woman I have ever met.” In one sentence he manaaged to cuss me, insult my race, my gender and my intelligence in one sentence. I ended it and I ended it big….it hurts but eventually I will get over it and I’m done. It’s new and fresh and it hurts to be alone, all the routines altered and everyting else. He had some good qualities wrapped in a toxic narcissistic personality disorder….and I will be better off some other day and so will you. Go, get out of that toxic mess.

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All kids need the 'the right things' to thrive. The right people, the right motivation, the right encouragement. Out in the world, at school, or wherever they find themselves, kids and teens with anxiety don't need any extra support - they just need their share, but in a way that works for them. 

In a world that tends to turn towards the noise, it can be easy for the ones that tend to stand back and observe and think and take it all in, to feel as though they need to be different - but they don't. Kids and teens who are vulnerable to anxiety tend to have a different and wonderful way of looking at the world. They're compassionate, empathic, open-hearted, brave and intelligent. They're exactly the people the world needs. The last thing we want is for them to think they need to be anyone different to who they are.

#parenting #anxietysupport #childanxietyawareness #mindfulparenting #parent #heywarrior #heysigmund
Sometimes silence means 'I don't have anything to say.' Sometimes it means, 'I have plenty to say but I don't want to share it right here and right now.'

We all need certain things to feel safe enough to put ourselves into the world. Kids with anxiety are thoughtful, observant and insightful, and their wisdom will always have the potential to add something important to the world for all of us. Until they have a felt sense of safety though, we won’t see it.

This safety will only happen through relationship. This isn’t a child thing, or an anxiety thing. It’s a human thing. We’re all wired to feel safest when we’re connected to the people around us. For children it starts with the adult in the room.

We can pour all the resources we want into learning support, or behaviour management, but until children have a felt sense of safety and connection with the adult in the room, the ‘thinking brain’ won’t be available. This is the frontal cortex, and it’s the part of the brain needed for learning, deliberate decisions, thinking through consequences, rational thinking. During anxiety, it’s sent offline.

Anxiety is not about what is actually safe, but about what the brain perceives. A child can have the safest, most loving, brilliant teacher, but until there is a felt sense of connection with that teacher (or another adult in the room), anxiety will interrupt learning, behaviour, and their capacity to show the very best of what they can do. And what they can do will often be surprising - insightful, important, beautiful things.

But relationships take time. Safety and trust take time. The teachers who take this time are the ones who will make the world feel safer for these children - all children, and change their world in important, enduring ways. This is when learning will happen. It’s when we’ll stop losing children who fly under the radar, or whose big behaviour takes them out of the classroom, or shifts the focus to the wrong things (behaviour, learning, avoidance, over relationships).

The antidote to anxiety is trust, and the greatest way to support learning and behaviour is with safe, warm, loving relationships. It’s just how it is, and there are no shortcuts.
In uncertain times, one thing that is certain is the profound power of you to help their world feel safe enough. You are everything to them and however scary the world feels, the safety of you will always feel bigger. 

When the world feels fragile, they will look to us for strength. When it feels unpredictable, they will look to us for calm. When they feel small, we can be their big. 

Our children are wired to feel safe when they are connected and close to us. That closeness doesn’t always have to mean physical proximity, but of course that will be their favourite. Our words can build their safe base, “I know this feels scary love, and I know we will be okay.” And our words can become their wings, “I can hear how worried you are, and I know you are brave enough. You were built for this my love. What can you do that would be brave right now?”

We might look for the right things to do or the right things to say to make things better for them, but the truth of it all is the answer has always been you. Your warmth, your validation, your presence, your calm, your courage. You have the greatest power to help them feel big enough. You don’t have to look for it or reach for it - it’s there, in you. Everything you need to help them feel safe enough and brave enough is in you. 

This doesn’t mean never feeling scared ourselves. It’s absolutely okay to feel whatever we feel. What it means is allowing it to be, and adding in what we can. Not getting over it, but adding into it - adding strength, calm, courage. So we feel both - anxious and strong, uncertain and determined, scared and safe ‘enough’. 

When our children see us move through our own anxiety, restlessness, or uncertainty with courage, it opens the way for them to do the same. When our hearts are brave enough and calm enough, our children will catch this, and when they do, their world will feel safe enough and they will feel big enough.
The temptation to lift our kiddos out of the way of anxiety can be spectacular. Here's the rub though - avoidance has a powerful way of teaching them that the only way to feel safe is to avoid. This makes sense, but it can shrink their world. 

We also don't want to go the other way, and meet their anxiety by telling them there's nothing to worry about. They won't believe it anyway. The option is to ride the wave with them. Breathe, be still, and stay in the moment so they can find their way there too. 

This is hard - an anxious brain will haul them into the future and try to buddy them up with plenty of 'what-ifs' - the raging fuel for anxiety. Let them know you get it, that you see them, and that you know they can do this. They won't buy it straight away, and that's okay. The brain learns from experience, so the more they are brave, the more they are brave - and we know they are brave.

 #parenting #positiveparenting #parenthood #parentingtips #childdevelopment #anxietyinchildren #neuronurtured #childanxiety #parentingadvice #heywarrior #anxietysupport #anxietyawareness #mindfulparenting #positiveparentingtips #parentingtip #neurodevelopment
To do this, we will often need to ‘go first’ with calm and courage. This will mean calming our own anxiety enough, so we can lead them towards things that are good for them, rather than supporting their avoidance of things that feel too big, but which are important or meaningful. 

The very thing that makes you a wonderful parent, can also get in the way of moving them through anxiety. As their parent, you were built to feel distress at their distress. This distress works to mobilise you to keep them safe. This is how it’s meant to work. The problem is that sometimes, anxiety can show up in our children when it there is no danger, and no need to protect. 

Of course sometimes there is a very real need to keep our children safe, and to support them in the retreat from danger. Sometimes though, the greatest things we can do for them is support their move towards the things that are important a or meaningful, but which feel too big in the moment. One of the things that makes anxiety so tough to deal with is that it can look the same whether it is in response to a threat, or in response to things that will flourish them. 

When anxiety happens in the absence of threat, it can move us to (over)protect them from the things that will be good for them (but which register as threat). I’ve done it so many times myself. We’re human, and the pull to move our children out of the way of the things that are causing their distress will be seismic. The key is knowing when the anxiety is in response to a real threat (and to hold them back from danger) and when it is in response to something important and meaningful (and to gently support them forward). The good news is that you were built to move towards through both - courage and safety. The key to strengthening them is knowing which one when - and we don’t have to get it right every time.♥️

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