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You May Not Realize It But Your “Niceness” Is Impacting Your Mental Health

Our society normalizes behaviors that are unhealthy for us but we tolerate them because choosing to go against what is considered normal would result in discomfort, broken relationships, and anxiety. But, is this beneficial? Or, are there long term effects of tolerating pain and toxicity in the name of peace?

Photo by PNW Production from Pexels

What constitutes a toxic relationship?

“A toxic relationship is one that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked. On a basic level, any relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better can become toxic over time.” - Very Well Mind

The Normalization and Celebration Of Toxicity

Over the years we’ve witnessed an uptick in the popularity and acceptability of unhealthy relationships. Whether it’s a familial connection, friends or intimate relationships we’ve somehow made it okay to be hurtful, disrespectful and selfish with minimal or nonexistent consequences. Society pegs you as too sensitive or dramatic if you dare to develop emotional maturity and self compassion. While simultaneously demanding respect, denouncing bullying and bulldozing anyone deemed unacceptable. We’re all experiencing different levels of cognitive dissonance and it’s frightening to witness.

Examples of Toxic Behaviors Include:

● Insecurity

● Jealousy

● Selfishness

● Critical

    Are these not the predominant attitudes of the world we now live in? People flock to online spaces to bond over mutual hatred for an individual or group of people. We dissect the lives of celebrities and project our pain and trauma onto each other and feel justified in doing this. However, if we experience a minuscule amount of discomfort in our lives we’re quick to demand our respect and privacy. It’s hypocritical and saddening to witness.

    Family and Mental Health

    Family should be the place you feel the most protected. Of course disagreements within the nucleus will occur but love moves you to show respect for your family and communicate your feelings without causing harm. I think there are few situations where anyone should publicly blast someone , the major one being abusive behavior or harming a child. Even then the situation should be attempted to be handled privately unless your life is in immediate danger. But as I’ve mentioned earlier we’ve normalized toxic behavior and all of us gravitate towards gossip magazines and social media accounts to gulp down the latest tea without regard for the person on the other end.

    Developing self respect, compassion, and boundaries will not be comfortable but it is the main ingredient for a healthy mindset and internal peace. Being messy may result in temporary euphoria in the form of likes and retweets but it’s fleeting. We must gravitate towards maturity and develop healthy behaviors such as;

    ● Loving

    ● Giving

    ● Uplifting

    ● Compassionate

    ● Respectful

    ● Selfless

      According to VeryWell Mind:

      “a 2016 University of Michigan study found that "stress and [negative] relationship quality directly affect the cardiovascular system." In the long-term, all of these factors damage your health and may even lead you to develop unhealthy coping behaviors like drinking or emotional eating.”

      How To Regain Your Peace?

      ● Put distance between yourself and anyone who brings out the worst in you or leaves you feeling emotionally drained.

      ● Be assertive about your needs while holding yourself accountable for the part you’ve played.

      ● Try non - confrontational communication when possible. This protects your peace.

        To anyone reading this, it’s okay to focus on yourself. If you are dealing with anyone who makes you feel drained, anxious or unhappy, please find the strength to create boundaries and keep them in place. You don’t owe anyone your mental peace.

        In conclusion, while toxicity has permeated the fiber of society you have the choice to either join the crowd or choose the path of peace, mutual respect and emotional maturity. It is my hope that you will choose love because hate has never led to true happiness.

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