Are you a Toxicholic?

10 Signs That You Are a Toxicholic

You must be asking yourself, “What is a Toxicholic?”  As far as I know, there is not a true definition because it is a word I made up to describe my former self.  Here are my definitions:

Toxicholic noun (tok-sik hol-ik):

1. Someone who unintentionally developed unhealthy relationship behaviors with their family or others during their childhood and continued those behaviors into their adulthood relationships.

2. Someone who unconsciously feels more comfortable in unhealthy relationships than they do in healthy ones. 

3. Someone who is unknowingly addicted to unhealthy relationship behaviors.

4.  Someone who does not recognize their consistent negative thoughts, words and actions and the effect that the negativity has on themselves or others.

Does this describe anyone that you know?  It is so easy to see this in others or when you are not in that type of relationship but harder to recognize it in ourselves.  However, we are probably all guilty of exhibiting unhealthy relationships behaviors at one time or another.

Let’s look at 10 signs that you or a loved one may be a toxicholic.

1.  You believe that love and acceptance are performance-based.  You feel that you need to do for others in order for YOU to receive love or be accepted.  Likewise, you have people in your life who want you to believe that THEIR happiness, love or acceptance is dependent upon you doing something for them. 

2. You do not have healthy boundaries with others.  You do not know what is your responsibility and what is theirs so you find yourself over-involved too often.  Or you allow others to be controlling or over-involved in your life and responsibilities. Due to lack of boundaries, you do not recognize your own capabilities because you allow someone else to step into your role or vice versa.  If you feel you have a lack of boundaries and a belief in performance-based love, then you may consider yourself a “people pleaser.”

3.  You built a wall inside because you believe that everyone will eventually hurt you.  You want to protect yourself or hurt them first.  You may believe that vulnerability and intimacy are signs of weakness.  You may become extremely independent believing that you cannot rely on anyone else for help.  You also may have trouble trusting or forgiving others.

4.  Your relationships are often draining, manipulative, judgmental, defensive, critical, guilt-ridden or unsupportive.  They lack forgiveness and promote bitterness and negativity.

5.  You elevate others as more important than you in the sense that you deny your own voice, opinion or needs.  You almost see yourself as invisible and allow others to treat you the same way.  You may believe that self-love is a form of arrogance or pride.  In doing so, you feel empty because you are always giving of yourself but not allowing yourself to refuel mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.

6.  Blame and shame are a part of your relationships.  One person blames the other for their own behavior and does not take responsibility for their own actions.  Or a loved ones’ expectations may not be met and blame and shame are the consequences.  As a result, you have a low self-worth or lack of confidence.

7.  An unhealthy person may demand more of your time and attention so that you become distanced from others.  You begin to feel isolated and question the value of your other relationships.  You feel the other person “needs” you all the time and are made to feel guilty if you spend time with others.

8.  Your relationships have a lot of unnecessary drama in them.  Emotions spiral out of control on a consistent basis.  Being in “crisis-mode” or stressed begins to feel normal.

9.  You engage in unhealthy habits when you are around unhealthy people.  You tend to easily justify your habits or behaviors.

10.  You’ve used the words “dysfunctional” or “codependent” when describing people in your life but you do not realize the effect they have on you or that you might fit into that same category.

If any of these signs describe you or a loved one, there is hope!  First of all, becoming aware of these destructive patterns is more than half the battle.  According to Rebecca Hintze, author of Healing Your Family History, a destructive pattern is one that limits self-love, prevents us from loving others and/or blocks us from fulfilling our potential.  You cannot change what you do not know.  Now that you are aware of these patterns, you can do something about it. 

The next thing to do is have the courage to want to grow personally, make the necessary changes and establish healthier relationships.  This is a hard step because it means stepping out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes the known feels safer than the unknown.  But if the known is toxic, then the unknown has to be better, doesn’t it?  Trust me – it is!  I am living proof and it is now my mission to help others detox their relationships.  I have the honor of walking beside my clients as they take these courageous steps to break free from destructive patterns so that they can have stronger, healthier relationships with their families, loved ones and themselves.

I will be doing a series on the ABCs of Detoxing Your Relationships as well as some upcoming workshops.  If you are interested in making sure you get updates on this blog series or upcoming workshops, please click on this link to be added to our communications or to set a time to learn how coaching can help you.  I look forward to helping you detox your relationships!

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