I read an article, the other day, about a woman who had been struggling in her marriage. Day in and day out, she attempted to make the best of her situation and chose to ignore the toxic environment that surrounded her.
One day, she finally had enough. She stood up and walked out of the room, ensuring that her husband realized that she was tired of tolerating his behaviour.
She escaped to the bathroom – the only place where she could find some peace. She proceeded to look in the mirror and take some deep breaths, thinking that would be the Zen-like thing to do. Since that didn’t work, at all, she splashed freezing cold water on her face and took her time wiping the moisture with a towel. In that moment she vowed that something needed to change…
What we don’t realize is that our home environment does affect who we are, if we let it. Our mental health and frame of mind is impacted by the people who we spend the most time with and it is often more toxic than we realize.
Time and time again, people walk away from toxic situations. Thus, the reason for so many divorces. This certainly is one option. Another option; however, might be to change how we react in toxic situations and figure out the root of the problem.
I remember Michael Losier (author and trainer in the realm of the Law of Attraction) mentioning that we wouldn’t tolerate music that we hated, on a radio station, for very long, but for some reason we often tolerate unbearable relationships for years at a time.
If we want to see change, unfortunately we can’t expect others to do the changing. We must do something differently ourselves, in order to facilitate change. This is why so many of us remain unhappy – we wait around for someone else to change, in order for us to feel better.
This will almost always result in chronic unhappiness for us and we will only repeat the patterns in our next relationship.
We wait around to be happier by hoping, wishing and praying that someone else will change. If this is the case, we will likely be waiting for a very long time.
Instead, when we find ourselves in a toxic situation, what can we do differently? What action can we take to improve the situation? Are we contributing to the difficulties, in some way? Are we overreacting? Are we too passive? Should we be speaking up? Do we have something going on with us, which is causing us to be overly sensitive? Are we talking about it or holding it all in?
The first step in assessing any toxic environment is to grab and pen and paper, reflect on some of these questions, find out our role in the matter and see what we are prepared to do differently. Think of it as becoming an investigator of our life. Either that, or we can continue to be miserable – that is our choice too!
We may not be as far away from a solution as we originally thought because people are inherently the same; we all want to be understood, loved, accepted and appreciated. When we are feeling the opposite of these things, tension happens.
Are you in a toxic situation and what are you willing to do differently to make it better? Change is actually up to you…
‘When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.’ ~ Victor Frankl