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In any relationship it is possible to find people with toxic attitudes. What to do if that person is a family member? How to live with someone who hurts us with their actions, but from whom we cannot get away so easily?
Although it is not a concept of psychology, Mónica Mejía, clinical psychologist, and Helena Esmeral, psychologist attached to Colsanitas, recognize that in every social group there are those who meet the characteristics of what is popularly known as "toxic person".
The term is so common that the words "toxic person" are consulted on Google every hour, and in the last five years, searches have increased by 700%.
So we are facing a recently popularized and generalized problem, because toxic people can exist in any social sphere and in any type of relationship: as a couple, with friends, at work or even in the family.
Due to the very popularity of the term, certain "antidotes" have also been standardized to deal with toxicity. But what to do when we have the toxic relationship at home? The most common advice to deal with a toxic person is to stay away from it, however, how to do without someone on whom we depend, who we know since we have life and with whom we have a very strong emotional bond? How do we protect ourselves and avoid feeling guilty?
What does "toxic person" mean
It seems difficult to define, although we all know or have heard of toxic people.
• They are not nutritious
• They do not contribute
• They take away energy
• They lead us nowhere
• We are obsessed
Of course, it is not so easy to identify, recognize and accept these patterns in members of our family. Precisely because the family is the primary nucleus; the sacred circle on which the foundations of society are founded.
But the reality is that families are all imperfect, and it is possible that there is a member whose way of relating to another is not healthy and ends up generating more harm than benefit. It can be a spoiling father, a picky mother, a manipulative brother or sister, a victimizing son or daughter who is never to blame for anything. It is so common that in every family there is such a member, says Esmeral, that "we have already become accustomed to the grumpy, the angry, the pessimistic.
"Toxic people are beings with whom we establish relationships that do not benefit us."
What are the characteristics of a toxic person?
In general, people with toxic characteristics are usually those who, with their way of being and acting, hurt us, take away energy, do not meet our expectations of what we expect them to be or do for us. That is, they are beings with whom we establish relationships that are not beneficial to us and that take more from us than they give us.
These are some of the unique characteristics of such people that can make them easier to identify. It is worth clarifying that not all toxic people have all the characteristics; some are more present than others.
• Have trouble communicating effectively
• They are arrogant, critical
• They tend to victimize
• They do not take responsibility for their actions and therefore are never to blame for anything.
• Aggressive or passive-aggressive
• Little empathetic
And of course, it is also true that these characteristics apply to any type of person, not just those of our own blood. What happens is that it is more difficult for us to realize the toxic attitudes that our parents may have, for example; people we deeply admire and from whom we always want your approval.
How to deal with a toxic relationship?
Before taking any "radical" measures, it is important to listen to this person who is toxic to us and provide support, to generate a constructive conversation with the people who are victimized and ask for management alternatives: "What are you going to do with that? "," How do we solve it? "," What is your plan? ".
If this person continues in her toxic attitude, no way. We have the peace of mind knowing that we listened, that we were willing to collaborate, but we must have the strength to understand that we should not be hooked on the same discussions or problems that others do not want to see and solve.
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