Ruh-Roh! Am I the Toxic One in This Relationship?
It’s on the news, in the magazines, even on the reality shows – toxic relationships. But not all examples of toxicity are so extreme, some are every day slights that occur in relationships, building over time. We’ve seen and heard the stories about love gone wrong, but what if we are the ones gone wrong, committing the acts of criticism, contempt, defensiveness and avoidance? What if we are the toxic ones?
Good News! There are ways to get over yourself and be a better person, the person your mother wanted you to be, the person that’s about solutions. Think of the fun you can have once you have the tools to manipulate the rules. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute – a research-based approach to strengthening relationships – has broken down the main principles into the following categories. Let’s do this survey together!
You Never Accept Blame
Never accept blame? What are you talking about? I feel like that’s all I do. And, it’s true, given time I’ll find a way to convince you this was all your fault, in the meantime I’ll just stop talking completely, careful not to say the wrong thing.
You Say Things You Don’t Mean
That’s fucking ridiculous. Doesn’t everyone? Especially when they are called words like “crazy” and “delusional.”
It’s “My Way or the Highway”
Have you heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life”? Well, I may not ever be a wife, but I want to be held to this standard. And I don’t think it’s asking too much. The rest of you can just leave if you don’t like it.
You are Dependent on the Relationship
Dependent is such a strong word. I prefer to call it, checking in with one another at all times, day or night, whether we’re together or not.
You Deliberately Punish Your Partner
No, no, no. Clearly not deliberately. It’s only because he leaves me no choice.
There are more characteristics of a toxic person, and I encourage you to read all about it, but since I obviously don’t suffer from this affliction, I will call it day. Whew! And to think I was worried.