So Called "Toxic Relationships": Are They Really Toxic or Disguising a Major Life Lesson?
Updated: Mar 13
This is a very intricate complex topic to dissect and break down. There are numerous posts, articles and bumper stickers all pointing to the surface diagnosis of what a toxic relationship is.
I will be explaining it from the humanity concept and spirituality concept, via information gained from personal reflections, experiences, and through my professional workings with people. The first thing to point out would be that there is a Dynamic here at play. Yes... there is a Dynamic involved, but before I go into this, let's examine what defines a toxic relationship.
Firstly, a so called “Toxic Relationship” is one that can come about within any relationship between 2 or more people. Sometimes even a group. It can also occur at any given time and can occur even between the closest of people.
It would be defined and recognised as:
A relationship that involves two or more people behaving in a way that can be emotionally or physically harming or even both, and is occurring on a frequent basis.
A toxic relationship can damage self-esteem and drain energy. It is characterised by insecurity, self-centredness, with-holding, dominance and control, which are low vibrational, fear-based responses. It takes two individuals to have a toxic relationship. So why do people endure these types of relationships? This is what we are going to look at.
Relationships ~ We All NEED Them Right?
Relationships are a certainty of life. They are EVERYWHERE. They are your Hairdresser, your Naturopath, your Mother, your Brother, your Cousin, your Uncle, your Client, your Counsellor, your Friend, your Colleague, your Partner or Lover.
We have many, many different aspects that make up who we are as a person. These aspects are cultivated mainly by external environment and the feedback that we have obtained from our relationships since birth. Your mental, emotional and spiritual bodies have encoded the information and stored it as experience and memory. It will then dictate from this stored information how you "do" relationships.
When you connect with another person, you will connect with aspects of this person that resonate with the similar aspects of you... at first.
There are many aspects to all of us that make up a whole. What you love and connect with in a person, could actually be strongly disliked and dismissed by another in the exact same person.
For example, you may see a person once a year, they connect with you only through say your "family" aspect, but, when it comes to the "spiritual" aspect of you, they will not engage in that, even if they also have a spiritual aspect because they have chosen that "family" is the only aspect that they will connect with you on.
This means that you could present the most wonderful information to contribute to them, however, they will not allow themselves to connect with it, and yet, another person could present the same information to them and they will accept and connect with the "spiritual" aspect in them, with the other.
Can this change? Yes, now that you are aware of this, you can understand that this is just because they are not used to connecting with that "spiritual" aspect of you. To be able to create this connection you first need to forge an alternative connection with a different aspect of them to bridge it to the spiritual aspect of you. This could take time. It depends on how committed you are to want the change. There also may be unresolved energy between the both of you, or you may be carrying "stuff" that has not yet been dealt with personally so it will create an energy block between you to connect with certain aspects with another.
Other circumstances would be that they are not aligned with you as their "messenger" for this information, or they may not be ready to hear it. This can also be based on soul connection and contract.
What Are we Communicating?
When two people occupy the same space, there is an exchange of energy that occurs. In that moment we will make a perception. This perception is only created based on what the other is presenting at that time at that very moment to that person and vice versa. If you are an Empath, or a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) this adds another completely different dimension to the exchange, and even more so if both are Empaths. The impact is heightened as they can take in more information than is usual.
There is an energetic resonance that has to occur between two people to experience love and infinity in a connection. If there is no resonance, the two people can not truly connect. The relationship will come into an imbalance, even if they have connected in the past. This is because aspects of each individual are now perceiving the other in a different way. Energy exchange between the two becomes distorted and this is one of the contributors to experiencing "bad feelings and thoughts".
So when you are around the other, your thoughts and vibrations are not how they used to be in how you relate and spend time together. This results in you feeling drained because your authentic self is not able to be expressed.
When two people get into relationships or connect, whether sexual or friendship or other types, there is an adjustment that occurs as an unspoken synergy takes place that discerns the outcome of the relationship between the two. This is also guided by each individual's Higher Self. This then aids in their mental, emotional and spiritual energy, sorting where they are then going to place that person in their life. This is part of the process as to how we have acquaintances, close relationships and other types. Often we are not always provided answers straight away as to who someone is for us until the appropriate time for us to be RECEPTIVE to the information.
So How Does it Become... Toxic or Dysfunctional?
It all starts with a Dynamic. A Dynamic is an energetic "force" that plays out between the individuals. This dynamic has set a format to your interactions and the basis of your future interactions.
A dynamic, can play out between people for years, going completely unnoticed until one day. BAM! One person notices and becomes aware, and wants to changes it.
Once that happens, the relationship becomes dysfunctional or toxic. It can be likened to two magnets repelling each other. The relationship worked only if this dynamic played out and wasn't questioned. This has each person be put into a spin as what was set up between them is being torn down, and that an agreement has been broken, meaning, that both parties agreed to the dynamic being set up in the first place.
For example, say two mature adults get into a sexual relationship and a dynamic was set up similar to a "parent / child", where one agreed to give the other more power in the relationship acting as the "parent" and the other then being more the child. They both are in agreement of it.
If you have been in a relationship dynamic with someone who has had the go ahead from yourself to be the dominant one who holds most of the power, for what ever reason, at the time, you agreed to it because on a level it worked for you. It did. You can’t agree to something that you aren’t benefiting from to a degree. It also worked for the other person too.
Problems occur when a person stands up and says, “Hey, this doesn't work anymore."
So imagine you have a certain relationship going on with a person. This relationship is based on particular “cues” that each person subconsciously falls into. These “cues” are willingly surrendered to and participated towards. They determine a balance of exchange in a so called “transaction” between the two individuals. If the "cues" aren't being acknowledged or reciprocated, an eruption will occur between the two. This is because the standard "transaction" of relating between them both has not been played out as it normally should or would.
If you are attempting to balance a dynamic with the other who held more of the power within the relationship, you will find that they will not "let go" with grace. It will often lead to controlling through isolation tactics and with-holding so that you know that "they are not happy with you". This can result in one person chasing and is usually the one who is attempting to balance the relationship. This is when it becomes more dysfunctional, as it has to be recognised by both first, in order for the dynamic to balance and come to a resolve. Only once this occurs can a new relationship be created. While this is occurring, it is very difficult to feel any love, compassion, empathy or connection for the other, because everything that you have known between you both has been disrupted.
Please understand that even if a relationship balances, it doesn't mean that the relationship will continue. For example, a married couple may be together for many, many years. They have children, they appear happy to all who know them. Under the surface, they may have a dynamic that has one of them have to be kept "walking on eggshells" with the other in order for the relationship to function. One day, it happens that something occurs that has them want to even out the balance of their relationship. This then sets the wheels in motion for it to occur, yet the balance may mean that their relationship may evolve and become something else. It may mean that the relationship dissolves and they carry out a new contract of only now being platonic co-parents to their children.
In more serious cases where there is an aggressive physical power involved between two people, where the dynamic is "perpetrator and victim", these dynamics are so extreme that they require professional help.
What is The Dysfunctional Dynamic Relationship Telling You?
The relationship isn't moving forward or progressing.
There is a lack of resonance and connection. One or both may be finding it hard to relate to the other as they used to, therefore tolerance for the other is challenged and minimal, and things that would not normally bother them do... this can also be an indicator of unfinished or unresolved soul contract. Both or one of the parties may be out of alignment with honouring an agreement.
One or both parties have experienced a massive life change. This includes any personal health crisis.
This can also correlate with personal soul growth and expansion, therefore who they are becoming vibrationally can no longer fit into the dynamic.
Spiritually, there is a soul contract between you both that is now either Igniting, Evolving, or Terminating.
If the relationship is expiring, the change in dynamic will be the catalyst to it dissolving. The person saying, "Hey, this doesn't work anymore" is setting the termination wheels in motion, or catapulting it to another level, where the dynamic shifts and Ignites a new soul contract. Both may also be going though a period of soul growth and now calling for the change in dynamic which then shifts the two soul's contract into evolving into a new one or different phase of the contract.
Spiritually there is a soul contract that is not being honoured or carried out.
One or both can be blocking the assistance that they are spiritually aligned to provide the other. For example, one may provide material or physical support in the earth plane and the other spiritual support to assist the other in their spiritual maturity and growth. This can also be due to a major change in life.
One or both involved are not happy with who they are and are seeking personal change on a deeper level. They also may be going through a time of personal, spiritual evolution, that has their energy not be compatible with yours at this point in time.
They may have discovered that being a certain way in life has resulted in them having outcomes and relationships or just life is not as fulfilling for them as hoped. They could also be lacking a purpose or a vision. They are in a re-identifying and re-evaluation phase within themselves.
Is There Still Hope to Creating a Healthy, Balanced Relationship? Negotiations Begin!
Once you have made the decision to confront the other on the dynamic, it's not easy standing in that space and holding it with the intention to change. Many emotions will come up around this. Often you will feel disheartened, standing alone, or wrong to do so. It can be difficult because if it was someone whom you once felt so connected to and shared a bond with, it can feel like a betrayal when a relationship dynamic changes. We naturally want to lash out at the other with anger or we can feel anger towards ourselves for allowing something to continue. Either way, be prepared to counteract a lot of anger whilst you are in the breaking down and negotiating phase.
Balancing takes time. It takes a lot of time. Being open and patient to how long it takes is a challenge, as it can be hard to understand that something good can come from this conflict.
Processing of personal emotions takes time. Understanding what is going on between you and the other takes time. Looking at your own pain and emotions or how you are feeling takes time to gain clarity as to why this person is showing up this way in your life. Sometimes it requires talking it out with a person who can offer an alternative non-biased perspective.
The shadow self will be at play in a big way.
It will be hard to find and have compassion for the other as you will both be in battle mode. One may be fearing losing control, therefore fighting harder to hold on to it and the other behaving in a more powerful way to show that they are not going to stand down from the change. What ever aspects are feeling threatened in the "change over period", the "shadow aspect" that resides within us all has the intention of self-preservation and power. It doesn't want harmony and balance. It only wants to justify its pain and be right. When we are in the shadow aspect of ourselves we are not operating from the heart centre or our higher self. Noticing this is part of the process, and understanding why it is showing up has a purpose also.
How mentally, emotionally and spiritually mature are you?
This plays a big part in how you will handle the situation within yourself and with the other. If you are reading this and feel you have taken in something of worth, then this in itself may alter your view and create a shift. You may also want to share it with the person as to which you are in the dynamic with. One of the biggest obstacles in moving through and past the dynamic, is letting go of the belief that the other person is never going to change or see anything in a different way. If you are holding onto this, then prepare to ask yourself the question as to whether you are capable of change also? Be real and honest with yourself as to what that answer is.
Start by expressing what the dynamic is, call it into the light.
Once you are able to explain it and verbalise it, without an emotional charge but from authentic expression, it moves away from you being caught in the cycle of feeling bad or angry and just feeling that something is just not right. Once you verbalise it to the person, it brings awareness. The other person may or may not agree with it. That doesn't matter. Time will reveal it openly to both of you. It can be a very confusing time for those involved. You may have days where you are both in harmony with each other getting along, to days where you are once again not liking each other.
Often when we don't know what is going on we tend to hide behind basic communication such as texts and emails. This may be a way of checking in, but for any type of resolve or new creation to take place, you must have a conversation. In a conversation there are parts of your brain and consciousness that you connect to and express in a different way when another person is present in a conversation.
What happens if there is no communication between you both for sometime? If you are in a dynamic with someone and they or yourself are "with-holding", understand that the other will know and feel it. Remember it is part of the dynamic. So if they start chasing you with messages, and you continue to ignore, you are enabling the dynamic. It is easy to become angry during this time. All you can do is recognise the dynamic and put it to rest. Start thinking and creating in your consciousness what it is that you would like to have and create in that relationship instead.
Consider that you are being separated or blocked to communicate for a higher purpose. Maybe you both need time to process everything before a real authentic conversation can be had. Sometimes people need to separate for a time to come back together and for harmony to be restored.
If you would like to talk your experience out with someone to discern what sort of dynamics are at play with another for resolve, then please feel free to contact me.