In growing older, we tend to realize how some of the things that used to work in our lives are no longer effective. You may have a super cute outfit that is five sizes too small and pushed to the back of the closet. Knowing full well it needs to be dropped off at the local thrift shop; you continue to hold on to it year after year. Perhaps, there are unhealthy habits that you were able to bounce back from quickly in your twenties that will now take you out entirely if attempted. I’m willing to bet quite of few of us have experienced situations such as these. They may make us feel old, but this only means we are evolving–for the most part into more magnificent women! Toxic relationships are ineffective too, at any age and certainly after 40.
In the past year or so, specifically, the days leading up to my mother’s passing and the months that followed, I learned a great deal about people. It’s often been said that the hardships you face in life will reveal who’s really in your corner. While my world was an absolute blur at the time, I couldn’t help but notice how those that I thought would reach out, never did. Something I could never do to them if the situation was reversed.
Maybe I expected too much of these people, and in that case, it’s my fault. Nevertheless, there have been a few relationships I’ve had to bid farewell to. Not because they didn’t contact me in my time of crisis, but because this has been the nature of these relationships for quite a while. My time of trouble magnified and confirmed what I already knew. While in the beginning, my feelings were a little hurt, deep in my heart I knew these separations were for the best.
I don’t believe in playing the victim because in no way am I perfect. No one is. Whenever one is involved in a relationship that’s on the verge of failing, it’s important to try to see things from the other person’s perspective–especially if keeping the other person close is your goal. The main thing is, it takes two to make it work.
Relationships are essential, but it’s the good, wholesome ones that truly matter. I didn’t have good self-esteem when I was younger; as a result, I didn’t set any boundaries. Most of all, I didn’t protect my feelings. I suppressed them. Turning 40 has been a force to reckon with and the older I get, the more I reach for quality over quantity in everything, people included. It’s not necessarily that certain individuals aren’t quality, they simply aren’t the ones for me. At this point in life, there is no longer any time to waste on that which no longer serves me, especially toxic, one-sided relationships.
There are a few ways to determine if you are involved in a relationship that is one-sided:
- You are always the only one reaching out.
- The messages, calls or texts you send are never or hardly ever responded to.
- The support you give them is never reciprocated.
- You regularly express the importance of their presence in your life, but they only acknowledge you when it’s convenient for them.
- You feel it in your gut.
If you’ve ever encountered any of these scenarios, how did they make you feel? Less than, I can imagine. I’ve personally been there more times than I care to count. On the other hand, are you treating others this way? Well, I can tell you from experience that no matter who’s primarily at fault, this type of relationship is good for no one. Unless you and the other person want to confront the issue and work on cultivating a healthy relationship, it’s probably best to just let it go.
Toxic relationships can destroy you mentally and cause you to become paranoid, needy and doubt your self-worth. With all that you have going on, isn’t it best to sever those connections and focus on the individuals that genuinely care about you? I think so. In fact, I’m sure of it. When you make the decision to identify and stay clear of people who take you for granted, you will discover the power and freedom to become a better you.
All the best, always.