Finding and creating healthy relationships is hard work and many people do not have the energy or patience for this type of effort. It is a normal human desire to want to be in relationships which are mutually respectful; however, when we are not in these types of relationships we tend to, either, blame ourselves for the problems and make efforts to change, or we try and change the other person rather than simply acknowledging the relationship is dysfunctional and toxic.
1. Be rational not emotional.
Rather than wasting a lot of mental and emotional energy worrying about whether someone likes or approves of you, take a moment to analyze if what you are feeling inside, all the butterflies, adrenalin and excitement, is simply chemical.
You can feel chemistry with people who are not good for you, and you most often do. If you get lost in feelings of lust you could easily end up in a toxic relationship. You have to ask yourself if the person you are interested in has most, if not all of the qualities, you are looking for in a relationship.
2. Be comfortable being alone.
The most common reason people stay in dysfunctional relationships is the fear of being alone. Initially it can be very hard and painful to be alone because we are naturally built to be in love and bonded with another. Keep in mind that before you can have a successful and fulfilling relationship with another, it is vital you develop a solid relationship with yourself.
If you are uncomfortable being alone, then it will be an important task for you to come to a place where you truly enjoy your own company. Learning to be alone is a process, but it is much better than being in an unhealthy relationship filled with chaos and drama.
3. Learn to meet your own needs.
Never let anyone do for you what you can do for yourself when it comes to self-care and personal responsibilities. No one else was placed in your life for the sole purpose of taking care of it for you. Needing others to be your end-all makes you very difficult and draining to love. You are responsible for whatever needs fixing in your life.
You will feel more confident and pick partners who respect you when you can do life on your own in the areas of career, debts, taking care of your health etc. It is through the pristine management of your own life that you develop self-love and self-respect. Self-respect is something others find very attractive. When you respect yourself, you will never settle for someone who doesn't respect you.
4. Know your limits and stick to them.
You teach people how to treat you. You are consistently sending out clues to others about how you want to be treated. These clues are your limits or boundaries. The limits you set serve as your deal-breakers of what you will and will not tolerate. They communicate how much value you assign to things like honesty, respect and reliability. They also communicate what you need in terms of personal space, time alone, or how much physical affection and romance you need.
When you honor your limits, you don't allow others to manipulate, control, or guilt you. When you boldly set limits in your relationships you quickly weed out those who do not have your best interest at heart, thereby, upholding your integrity and self-worth.
5. Choose positive people.
Make it a point to choose positive, motivated and uplifting people. Chronic negativity in a person is a red flag. You want to surround yourself with people who are consciously doing the work to improve their own lives and are invested in personal development.
When you surround yourself with those who want to be successful, who commit to accomplishing their dreams they will take you along on their ride. Successful, happy people naturally teach and mentor others who are appreciative of them in return. Having high quality people in your life gives you points of reference in the areas of improvement you need to work on in all of your relationships.
6. Be what you look for.
You must be the list of what you are looking for in others. To choose and find healthy relationships you must be a person who is trustworthy. You must keep your promises and have integrity in word, deed and action. You must be protective and defend yourself if you hear gossip about yourself and do whatever you can to stand up to non-truths, as you would do no less for others.
Have a sense of confidentiality about you. Keep the secrets of those you love and never gossip about them. Hold a non-competitive stance, never striving to be "better" or out-do those closest to you. Operate with a sense of mutuality in conversations where you are willing to listen as much as you are willing to share. Be available. Make time for people.
7. Trust your gut.
Your body is built with a sixth sense to other people's energies and intentions. Pay close attention to all warning signals alerting you to someone who may be a toxic or drama-addicted. If you feel used, gut-check this feeling. You may find you are in a one-sided relationship where you are doing all the giving. If you find yourself feeling guilty, you may be in a relationship with someone who overtly or covertly makes you feel you owe them. If you are always angry around someone you may be with a person who is undermining you. If you feel drained after a person leaves, this is a sign that you may be in a relationship that is not mutually beneficial. When you have the desire to avoid someone, this is a clear signal this is a relationship that is not good for you. You have to trust your gut. In a healthy relationships, these feelings would not be present on any level of consistency.
It is vital to your self-respect and well-being to remove yourself from relationships which are full of red flags. All couples in healthy relationships have a certain level of conflict and disagreement. It is when conflict is chronic that it becomes toxic. Take your time in getting to know people before you fully commit to a relationship. At the first sign of a red-flag, acknowledge it and communicate about it immediately. Set clear limits on what you are not willing to tolerate and then if it happens again do not excuse the red-flag. You need to leave. It may feel uncomfortable or you may be afraid you will appear as if you are not willing to be flexible when you put conditions on people, but if you refuse to do it, you will deplete yourself of your own energy reserves. It all boils down to respect.
Sherapy Advice: If the people in your life truly care about you, they will respect your limits.