Friends, family members, and even co-workers are supposed to maintain healthy relationships between one another which are grounded in mutual respect. Even if a relationship is not romantic, it should still be a safe space between two people. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. For a variety of reasons, people may become toxic to be around or harmful to get involved with.
Toxic People & TMS
For those suffering with TMS, known as the mind-body syndrome, tension and repression in the mind causes a lot of pain. The bulk of that emotional discord is due to reactions from the id part of the mind, which is instinctual, childish and unchanging. If someone is experiencing TMS pain, then, chances are that they already have a lot of unconscious emotional pain which is subjecting their body to torment.
TMS sufferers do not need more emotional pain or toxicity on top of what they are dealing with. Additionally, part of the pain a TMS sufferer may be holding onto may be derived from past or current actions by the same harmful source or person. It is therefore crucial that a toxic relationship can be identified, and hopefully removed before causing too much damage.
Ways to Identify a Toxic Relationship
Brain Drain – Have you ever been around someone, spent a while speaking with them, then left and thought “man, I am so drained” afterward? Most likely, that person is draining your brain and your energy. It could be due to a few reasons. Perhaps the person is naturally a downer or has a “glass half empty” kind of view. If they’ve just had a particularly bad day, then by all means, provide them with some support and energy. However, if it is a recurring theme with them, consider either addressing it or distancing yourself. Constantly draining your own energy reserves for someone else might leave you without the energy you need to stay positive in your journey to overcoming TMS.
Imbalance – Any relationship needs to have balance, in many areas. As the popular saying goes, a relationship is not a one-way street — there needs to be input from both sides. If you find yourself giving, giving and giving some more without any feedback or output on the other person’s part, then it is time to reconsider the relationship. It is important to remember that imbalance may also take on many other forms, such as unreliability or never-ending drama, where the natural flow of events — such as reliability and calm — are constantly disrupted.
Negativity – Along with disrupting calm and balance (which aid in mindfulness for all people, but especially this with TMS), excessive negativity can really bring down a person’s daily outlook, goals, and even self-worth. Depending on the level of negativity brought into your life by those around you, you may need to reconsider whom you spend your time with, if possible. Look out for those who are filled with criticism (about you or others), make you feel uncomfortable, diminish your self-worth, are jealous or hostile toward your accomplishments or disrespectful. Those with TMS need all the positivity they can get — both from within themselves and from those in their life. You don’t have the time or energy to let negative people tear you down. Just say goodbye.
No Trust – Trust is a crucial element of relationships; it’s the glue that keeps people together. Another popular saying notes that a relationship without trust is like a car without gas: You can stay in it as long as you want, but it won’t go anywhere. Trust comes in various forms, all of which are important. One of the most important for those with TMS is having those around you trust in your autonomy and, because they do, seriously listen to your TMS story and support your journey (even if they don’t believe in TMS, mind-body or Dr. Sarno’s theories). They don’t have to believe, but they do need to trust you enough to be respectful and supportive of your choices.