This post is brought to you by Shamin Brown Consulting. Shamin Brown is a social worker and certified health and life coach. Her aim is to educate, equip and empower women through her services.
Let’s talk about relationships.
Not just romantic relationships but all relationships. Let’s talk about how to recognize harmful relationships. This is something I struggled with a lot for many years. It was hard for me to figure out who was healthy for my life and who wasn’t. I think part of this is because, when it felt good to be around certain people, it made it harder to acknowledge the things that were happening in our relationship that were harmful. Now, when I say harmful I don’t mean physically harmful … although that’s definitely one way our relationships can be harmful.
What I mean is harmful in a different sense. I mean the kind of harmful that takes you away from who you are because of their influence on your choices, self-esteem or self satisfaction. These are the people that know you’re trying to change your behavior such as quit smoking or eat less sugar but still offer you a cigarette and cake every time they see you. These are the people who offer backhanded compliments that feel more like insults and cause you to walk away questioning your worth.
These are the people that flaunt their successes and achievements in your face, leaving you to feel as though you are stuck in a hamster wheel going nowhere fast and your contributions to the world are insignificant. These are the people we want to notice. these people are not necessarily unhealthy; they may have great jobs, great families, great values, and appear to have it all together and be doing everything the “right way”. This isn’t really as much about who they are as individuals as it is about who they are in your life and how they impact you.
I developed a system to identify those people. I call it the Happy People, Crappy People System.
Here’s what to look for:
Crappy people are folks you want to stay APART from.They Apologize rarely, Project their own insecurities onto you and punish you often for not meeting their expectations (often without clearly communicating what those expectations or OR after communicating them in controlling ways), they Alienate you from your community, they Resist hearing you or accepting responsibility for their actions when you express your needs or hurts and they Triangulate (an effort to manipulate a situation in the favor of the manipulator that may involve turning people against each other, making someone else look like the bad guy, and creating emotional confusion in the communication.)
Happy people are folks you want to CONNECT with. They Care about your feelings, they Own their part in things when you have disagreements, they Never blame you for the impacts of their behavior when you express that something has been done to hurt you, they put your Needs before their wants, they Encourage you and point out the positive things about you, speak to you and about others with Compassion, Take time in your relationship (they don’t rush you they’re OK with giving you space and you don’t feel pressured to move faster than you’re willing to or do things that you’re uncomfortable with.)