Friday, November 23, 2007

Dealing with Toxic Relationships

This is DEFINATELY on my mind
This was on AOL's front page today

Someone is dragging you down so much that you feel sapped and sick. You're anxious about the relationship and no longer get excited to see this person who has more ups and downs than a roller coaster. Sound familiar? Although toxic relationships can take on many different forms, those are the main characteristics, and if you're involved in one, you need to address it before it takes you down completely, says Nancy O'Reilly, Psy.D., clinical psychologist in Springfield, Mo., and founder of, a resource Web site to assist women with their health, financial, relationship and aging concerns. Here's how to deal with eight common problem relationships.
Dr. Do Little
Write down the problems you have with your doctor and discuss them during your appointment. If your doctor doesn't listen and ignores your needs, be prepared to make a change. Sometimes, though, a wake-up call can get this person back on track; burnout is common for health care providers, and your doctor may be unaware of his or her unprofessional manners.
Friend or Foe
Sit down with your friend and tell her you're tired of this one-sided relationship. Explain that you need more out of the relationship and see what she's willing to give. Be prepared, though: Your friend could walk away. If she's not willing to change, you'll have to decide if the friendship's worth keeping.
Bad Bosses
Document everything, including conversations with your boss and actions your boss takes. If you've tried to resolve things, note that, too. Then consult your company's policies and procedures manual and determine your rights. Continue trying to resolve things with your boss, and if nothing changes, bring your case to human resources.
Caustic Co-Workers
Don't jump to assumptions about your co-worker; he or she could be having problems unrelated to work. So approach this person with tact and express concern that you're not working well together. Ask if everything's OK. Meanwhile, document everything. If your co-worker doesn't respond to your approach, go to your supervisor or human resources department and be specific about how this person is affecting your job performance.
Oh Brother
Chat with your sibling in a non-confrontational manner. Gently explain that you're bothered by how the two of you are butting heads and ask if there's a way you can resolve things. If that fails, accept that although you might love your sibling, you don't have to like him or her. Nor are you required to spend time with family. If, for instance, it's holiday time, and your entire family's gathering, politely excuse yourself and if possible, arrange another time to see only family members you enjoy.
in law trouble
Approach your sibling when the spouse isn't around and speak your woes, telling your sibling you're unhappy with how his or her partner's behaving. But be prepared: Your sibling could cut ties with you or decrease how much time you see each other. Another tactic? Approach your sibling's spouse directly and state your case, asking how the two of you can get along better.
Partner Problems
List the pros and cons of being in a relationship with your current partner. Ask yourself what you're getting out of it and where you see it going in five years. Think, too, about how you were before you got involved with this person. Has anything about you changed? If you decide the relationship is worth keeping, tell your partner you're unhappy and suggest counseling. If this relationship is a dead end, as tough as it will be, make steps to terminate it.
Tensions at Home
If you need your roommate to help pay the bills, be up front. Tell her you've got concerns about how the two of you are getting along. Stress, though, that you're not the best roommate in the world either and ask how you can improve, too. If, however, this chat is out of the question or she's not listening, look for a new place to live or politely ask her to move out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great advice..very helpful. I am going through this myself and this has been a good read for me. thanks