Ridding yourself of toxic people, is essential to good mental health. Toxic people will accuse you of how you make them feel, and give your point of view no breathing room. They use dirty tricks in arguments: guilt, extortion, leverage, manipulative language, to distort reality, and convert you into their point of view, which serves their self-interest. Where persuasion is about evoking positive emotions, giving accurate information, answering questions, etc., manipulation is about luring someone into a trap. Manipulation is about identifying emotional weak spots, to use as leverage.
Toxic people are weak. They can be outwardly strong, but inside they’re like charred corpses. The closer you get to them, the more their scars will come alive and cut you. Getting close to them is a chore, as they are madly distrustful. Behind their emotional shield, you may expect to find someone worthy of the effort, but instead of meeting the person of your dreams, you’ll be met with nightmares. The person you like is probably in there, somewhere, but digging to them, will profoundly damage you.
When I lacked the toolkit to build healthy relationships, I ended up with some seriously fucked, venomous relations. The damage caused to me, and the other people, was enough to alter our life paths. The aftermath was years worth of guilt, therapy sessions, and serious mental problems.
Why do people get into potentially life-destroying relations? Most often because of empathy, for the poor, pitiable shitter who didn’t deserve their fate. Intrigue is the main allure, as people who are toxic, are often complicated personalities, who have had interesting lives. If you’re willing to pay the price to your mental health, dig right in. Your dull, boring life will soon be never out of drama. You’ll be having the weirdest arguments of your life, exquisite emotional meltdowns, lots and lots of crying! You will fight to make it work, to “fix them”, to “fix yourself”, and this process will drain your finances, and shave years off your life. At the end of it, one of you will be walking out into a better relationship, while the other will be burned, unable to ever love again.
Normal folks can do plenty of damage to each other, but there is another type of beast I want to warn you to be careful about. Contrary to popular belief, sociopaths, and psychopaths, are not uncommon, and they can be difficult to spot. Most mental illnesses are just a list of symptoms manifesting as stereotypical behavior. Psychopaths and sociopaths are just thieves, they’ll get your trust to steal your happiness, your knowledge, your money, while leaving nothing but infliction as payment. Spotting a monster early is important, but it can be difficult, because every human is panaroid, manipulative, prone to depression, and lies to protect their self-interest. These commonplace traits in ordinary people, are also tell-tale signs of psychopathy, and sociopathy. This will obfuscate your ability to identify the most vicious abusers, but don’t be alarmed: they will telegraph who they are, loud and clear. It’s because of your emotional investment in them, that you will ignore the signs.
Staying safe from abusive, and toxic relationships, does not require that you are constantly cutting people off left and right, the first moment they show signs of depression, or say things to make you uncomfortable – if you’re cutting everyone off, you’re probably the one that’s mentally ill. You’re doing them a favor, but a disservice to yourself. You need people in your life, who offer points of view that make you uncomfortable. Different points of view enrich your thinking, as they help you avoid falling into a bubble-like mindscape, where morality is black and white, where people are good, and evil. A monochronic mind will eventually slip into depression, because your inner reality will constantly clash with actual reality. Your unreal world view will also clash with other people’s realities: you will see anyone who disagrees with you as evil, because your rigid way of thinking eliminates your empathy to understand them.
Your social circle is not truly diverse, if nobody in the group makes you question your lifestyle. Feeling discomfort is the first sign that you are confronting something new, something that will teach you new lessons.
Staying safe from toxic relationships, is easy. All you gotta do, is invest into yourself. Strong people attract strong partners. Invest your time and money into your health, your career, new skills, people who make you happy. Relationships are very similar to any other investment: you never know how it turns out. Have a plan B, and you’ll never go emotionally bankrupt.
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