Toxic relationships — stopping the sick cycle of blaming others for our own shortcomings
I have been guilty of all the offenses I outline in this article and then some. My intent here is not to sit in the seat of judgment and point the finger of blame down at people. I also realize that those people with extreme cases are likely not going to be reading this. What I am aiming towards is helping anyone who is on the path of self-discovery and personal development, who may be able to relate to some of these character blemishes and learn from my experiences. If any of the questions or ideas I go over in this article struck a chord with you, I truly hope that you could pull something helpful out of it. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I believe it is incredibly valuable for each of us to be inclined to share what we have learned from our mistakes and do what we can to help lift each other up.
What if, you are pointing the finger at everyone else so you don’t have to look at yourself? What if, everyone seems to be against you because you have unwittingly placed yourself into the position of the ‘bad guy’?
What if, you are stuck in a perpetual loop of self-sabotage and self-victimization and are unable to view things objectively? What if, you have problems wherever you go and with everyone you meet because you and your self-centered thinking ARE the problems?
These are all questions I have had to pose to myself frequently in the past and less frequently, though more regularly than I’d sometimes like to confess, in the present. You see, for a good portion of my life, I could have completely identified with each of the above scenarios; although at the time I never would have admitted it.
I lived in a world where every problem I ever faced was everyone else’s fault and no one else could ever understand me because they didn’t have the kind of problems that I had.
I was tremendously toxic to everyone I encountered, especially myself. Until I was finally able and willing to get honest with myself and make the necessary changes, I was trapped on this roller coaster ride of insanity.
Now that I have become aware of this temporary, yet prolonged psychosis, of which I am still dealing with the residual effects, it is very apparent to me when I spot similar dysfunction in others.
We seem to be living in a generation where someone else’s opinion offending us is considered a criminal offense. Yet, a lot of these same people have absolutely no issue with openly offending others.
I am by no means making light of the fact that certain people can be toxic to your life and should potentially be removed. What I am attempting to shine a light on however, is that sometimes YOU are the one who is TOXIC.
If you are constantly in and out of toxic and abusive relationships, perhaps taking a break from relationships and examining what it is about yourself that keeps you in this loop would be beneficial.
If you continuously find yourself in the middle of heated arguments and debates with others, maybe, just maybe, you have closed your mind to anyone else’s point of view if it doesn’t align perfectly with your own.
If you feel as if everyone in the world is against you and you never make mistakes, there’s a fair chance I may be talking to you. There is an equally fair chance that you may be super pissed at me right now.
No matter what we do, it is imperative to remember that we are never done growing. Once we reach a level of thinking where we believe that we are above others in any way, we are surely trapped in a delusional thought pattern.
When we forget that essentially, we are all a part of the same whole and members of a large body; we start believing that others need to catch up or that we are more spiritually advanced than them.
Once this thought-form is fed it can be very difficult for anyone to convince us of our own wrong-doings, because we cut them off intellectually, believing ourselves to be their superior. A person caught up in this egoic pattern cannot grasp and accept that we are all exactly where we are supposed to be.
They stop seeing their own faults and believe that the people around them are to blame for any mistakes that they do make.
If you can relate to some of the issues I have pointed out so far and are willing to make some changes, don’t worry, there is hope for you. The answer to your problems or any problem for that matter can only come when you acknowledge that there is a problem.
If you can see yourself in some of my words and aren’t too afraid to admit it to yourself, then congratulations my friend, you have already won half the battle with that self-admission.
The second half of the battle is taking action and doing something about it. Although denial makes it extremely difficult to get to this point, once we are there, it is remarkably simple to start making healthy changes.
It all really comes down to one thing, self-awareness. I will now go over the four questions I wrote at the beginning and insert what I consider to be a generalized healthy response to each one as it may occur:
What if, you are pointing the finger at everyone else so you don’t have to look at yourself?
When I see that I might be blaming someone else for my mistakes, I take a step back and get honest with myself. If I am truly at fault, I make amends for my confusion and move forward accordingly.
What if, everyone seems to be against you because you have unwittingly placed yourself into the position of the ‘bad guy’?
If I ever find myself in a position where I feel like this, I remind myself that it is most likely not real and make a conscious choice to be more open-minded.
What if, you are stuck in a perpetual loop of self-sabotage and self-victimization and are unable to view things objectively?
This is a tough one because as I have heard many times, ‘I can’t heal a sick mind like mine, with a sick mind like mine’. But this is nothing that can’t be alleviated with some support from a trained therapist or even a specialized support group. Once I have received some help pointing out where and how I am having issues, I have a better idea of how to address these issues if and when they arise in the future.
What if, you have problems wherever you go and with everyone you meet, because you and your self-centered thinking ARE the problem?
If I reach a place where I see this pattern popping up throughout the day, I remember that the common denominator in these conflicts is me. Then I survey each situation, accept fault when applicable, and make the necessary adjustmets to resolve any misunderstandings.
Once again, the most important thing that I wish for others to gather from this piece is that we are all human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we get so caught up in pointing out the flaws in others that it becomes difficult to identify our own shortcomings. A daily self-inventory is an integral strategy that I use to stay aware of my part in all of my affairs. My wish is that you too will find these coping skills beneficial in your life.
Featured image by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash