We are all created to live dependently; dependent on food for sustenance, clothing for coverings, housing for protection from harsh weather conditions. As much as we don’t like to hear this, humans depend on humans to survive. The success of our life endeavours is contingent upon developing positive relationships with people from all spheres of life.
Physical and emotional dependency is very vital to our overall well-being in life in more ways than one. Human relationship and co-existence is a highly complex and extremely volatile topic. We are cognitively wired differently. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of conversation and one of the key elements to peaceful coexistence is to understand this.
The need for dependency is why we are in a relationship, be it a business, cordial, or marital relationship. The most vital component of any relationship is the aspect of give and take. For any relationship to function efficiently, there has to some kind of mutual exchange. The absence of this exchange breeds discord which eventually leads to toxicity and, in most cases, dissolution.
A symbiotic relationship exists in almost every aspect of life. Give the earth seed, it will give you fruit in return. When a spouse gives his partner love, care, and attention, he expects all those, and more, in return. When you are vulnerable and divulge your concerns to a friend, you expect that it will remain confidential. A fetus depends on its mother to be incubated and successfully carried until it is birthed. A symbiotic relationship is also a significant factor in business transactions and in civil society.
Understanding that we are wired differently and having respect for other people’s genetic composition, taking cognizant of whom you entrust your life to, and being aware of the courtesies you extend to others are the first steps towards avoiding toxic relationships.
Irrespective of how carefully we avoid toxic relationships, there will be situations where we will encounter people who love to take without giving. They abuse privileges, takes loyalty for granted, and develop a sense of entitlement. So at what point do we draw the line? How do we untangle our emotional and physical dependency from such situations, think rationally, and find a path out of a toxic relationship?
The first step towards finding a path that leads to freedom is to identify what a toxic relationship means to you and how that relationship has impacted your life. Then place value on and prioritize your self-worth. How much are you worth to yourself? People treat you based on how valuable they perceive you to be.
You can be cheap or expensive, there are no in-betweens and if you price yourself cheaply, then you will be susceptible to all kinds of devaluation which will gradually seep into and affect other areas of your life. You also have to recognize what you can and cannot stand for, and what you desire out of life. Trust me when I say human tolerance can only take you to an extent. But most importantly, you will be doing yourself a total disservice by wallowing in toxicity in the long run.
Our relationships with people have the tendency to define us but we have the capacity to change the narrative as to how we want to be treated. Anything below our expectations will breed contempt, which will then lead to self-doubt and may eventually impact our mental health negatively. It is vital to find ways to detach or reduce our emotional dependence on people we are in relationships with.
This can be done by being confident, knowing your self-worth, building your self-esteem, potentials, practicing self-love, and loving yourself enough to walk away when it gets toxic.
Never allow other people’s inability to own up to their inadequacies overwhelm your progress or your sense of accomplishment. People will never hesitate to bring you down if you give them permission to.
Remember, we are wired differently, as a woman, your partner may not see the toxicity he is dishing you. You may even tell him you are uncomfortable with his behavior and he’ll tell you the feeling is mutual and he wouldn’t be wrong. Know where you belong, search yourself, find your peace of mind, and run with it.