Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Give and Take - When The Balance Is Off Kilter

I’ve blogged about toxic people before so most of you probably know already that I’ve been doing as much as I can to remove them from my life and clean up any negative emotional debris that they’ve left behind, but somebody recently asked me WHY I see certain people as being toxic, a question that led to quite a lengthy and interesting conversation.

All relationships are based on a trading system - give and take.

When we meet new people, whether or not we become friends with them depends entirely on whether they have something to offer that we need/want in our lives and whether there’s anything we can offer back that’s of value to them. It could be the ability to make you laugh, being a good listening, shared values, helping out with odd jobs, being a travel companion or one the myriad other reasons why we enjoy being with certain people. Usually though, for a close relationship to develop there needs to be several matches from both sides and for things to balance and create a harmonious relationship, there has to be an even amount of give and take from both sides.

When I realised I needed to remove certain people from my life it was because the relationships I had with them were far too unbalanced - I felt I was doing far too much giving in comparison with what I was receiving back. That sounds selfish, and some would say that we should always give without expecting anything in return, but I just can’t see how any long term relationship could survive like that. We may not consciously expect anything back, but our spirits become unhappy when our kindness is being abused.

Obviously all relationships become unbalanced at times - sometimes a friend’s need can become so all consuming that they’re simply not able to give anything back at that time, but when there’s a continuous unequal measure of give and take, a relationship becomes toxic to the person doing the giving. We can become tired, frustrated, lose our confidence and even become depressed, depending on the level of giving that’s expected of us and how many people are abusing their relationships with us.

But not all toxic relationships are based on ‘selfishness’. Some become toxic simply because the original ‘things’ we needed or could give are no longer valid. Perhaps one or both is still loving and kind but just doesn’t have enough to bring to the table anymore to keep the relationship as strong as it once was. This, I believe, is what most often happens when partners come to a point where the only answer is to walk away but don‘t. They keep going back, keep trying, even though they know deep down that the relationship can‘t survive, whether that be a partner, an awkward boss, a friendship or any other kind of relationship. It’s nobody’s fault - people change and so do their needs or ability to give what‘s needed.

Unfortunately, because there were so many people in my life who I felt were doing far too much taking, either on a spiritual, emotional or practical level compared to what they gave (in some cases, nothing at all), I was running myself dry. That was no good to anybody. If I’m run down I’m of not use to those who do deserve my time while the ‘leeches’ will just move on and look for a new ‘victim’.

Since removing certain people from my life, or at least minimising the time I spend with them, I’ve felt I could once again breathe out and take stock of my life; regain the control that I felt I was losing. I’ve worked on clearing the negative energy they’d left behind in me and I’m gradually ridding the house of their residual energy too. The longer time that passes and the more people who have a positive effect on me I have visit, the better the atmosphere becomes. The law of attraction is once again working in the way I need it to and those I spend time with nowadays are giving me what I need and giving back feels so much easier.

Sharon J xx


Image Credit: Sarah Azavezza


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Cabbage Heart said...

Mmm...experiencing the Toxic a bit myself at the moment. It seems as though the more you try to help or the more you give, then the more liklihood they are to take and abuse the privilage.


Margaret's Ramblings said...

To survive in our world, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually, we have to have the ability to adapt and part of that is recognising what we need in our life to move on. I don't mean "toxic" friends but those who no longer walk to the same drum as we do. It's not that you have to deliberately exclude them but their path through life may take a different route and we don't have to always be a follower, Margaret

Sharon J said...

Cabbage Heart. That's exactly it. Toxic people will continue to leech off of you until there's nothing left to give then they happily move on to the next 'victim' leaving you to pick up the pieces of your own life.

Margaret. I totally agree. People come into our lives for different reasons and often our relationships with them draw a natural close. They're the ones we can look back on with fond memories. But those who continously take without ever given much, if anything, back - they're the ones that leave us emotionally, spiritually and often physically exhausted. Sadly, I seem to have attracted far too many of those in recent years.

Anonymous said...

let see, yes ive done it with no pass word, sorry its me that got it wrong, keep writing x Ruth

Sharon J said...

Hi Ruth. Glad you managed it :)

If you choose Name/URL instead of Anonymous, you can type 'Ruth' in so that you won't be confused with any other anonymous commenters.

I'll try to keep writing as often as I can :)