Make like a tree and leave...that toxic relationship

Make like a tree and leave...that toxic relationship

Author: Dr. David Cooper is a psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology.

(My apologies for the terrible pun, but when your blog post falls near Arbor Day and Earth Day, there’s only so much a person can resist.)

No one intends to get into an unhealthy relationship, either with another person or with a job. It sometimes happens without us knowing it. Like quicksand, we get sucked in little by little and one day wake up and find ourselves sunk up to our necks in a bad situation, with no idea how we got here or how to get out.

When you’re not stuck in the middle of one, toxic relationships can feel easy to identify. Keeping score, snarky passive-aggressive comments, feeling like you can’t be yourself; these can all be signs that a relationship is unhealthy. And while for many people these are easy to spot in others, it can be a real shock when we see them in our own lives.

So how do you get out? The first step is to forgive yourself for ending up where you are. Again, no one means to get into a toxic relationship; it can happen to anyone who’s not looking out for the signs.

Next, try to do something, anything that can make you feel better. Give yourself permission to do something that will lift your mood. That’s because when you’re feeling depressed, as being in this kind of relationship can make you feel, anything you might think about doing seems really hard. Boosting your mood can help you get the motivation you need to begin to focus on the positive things in your life that you can change. Focusing on the things you do have power over can eventually help you extricate yourself from any toxic relationship.

Sometimes just talking to someone can give you that added perspective you need. If you don’t have anyone you feel you can trust and are feeling stuck, you can always reach someone to talk to by clicking on the CHAT or CALL tabs on the upper right of every page on AfterDeployment. Each tab provides a menu of resources and links that connect you with professionals who can help. You can also use the LOCATE tab to find a health care professional in your area.

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