With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this time of year usually makes us think of candy hearts and bouquets of flowers and mushy love songs. But aside from the romantic relationships that usually dominate this holiday, it’s also a good time to think of the other bonds that we value and find important in life. Our connections with others are something to treasure now more than ever, so it’s nice to think of the other relationships that mean so much too. For me, I value the relationship that I am fortunate to have with my sister.
Growing up we bickered and fought just like typical siblings do. We had times where we didn’t like each other but we still loved each other cause ‘we had to’ kind of thing. But as we grew older, we started to appreciate who the other was and learned more about them. Now we look back and realize how lucky we were to have one another. Our other siblings were close in age but older, and while we were all close and grateful for that, my sister and I formed a bond that has strengthened to this day.
My sister is a wonderful mother and talks about having more children because she wants her son to have a sibling with whom he can have the same type of bond that her and I share. As our family has sadly lessened over the years, we’ve grown increasingly grateful for those we are still blessed to have, and I am thankful for her every day. She listens without judgement, loves unconditionally, and knows my quirks, fears and hopes. My sister is always there, and I would feel lost without her. She’s a fun reminder of our childhood and is someone that I can reminisce with to share memories of family and good times.
If you have a relationship in your life that you value and cherish, be sure to let that person know it. You don’t have to say it every day, but once in a while let them know that they are important to you and what your connection means. It’s nice to share this sentiment with the people in your life who matter the most.
Keeping with the theme of relationships on this month’s blog inspired me to do a little Googling into different relationship topics and recent news to see what’s been trending lately. I actually found several pieces on toxic relationships and help in how to recognize these. Usually when people think about relationships the mind doesn’t tend to go towards the dark side necessarily, but the truth is there can be a lot of toxic parts to a relationship that some people don’t even notice sometimes. Often, people believe their relationships look like other’s relationships; everyone has their ups and downs and not-so-fluffy cloudlike days and this is normal. This is true, but when the relationship is in that darker side of the clouds more often than not, it’s something to address.
Psychology Today recently posted about how to recognize toxic people and relationships, and it’s not always easy. In a relationship, sometimes the people involved have blinders on in order to see what they want or need to see in the other person; it’s only natural. Everyone has flaws and no one is perfect, but there are some toxic traits that can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked. Things like selfishness, disrespect, and arrogance are all signs that point towards a potentially harmful toxic relationship. The post also mentions these other red flags as potential signs of a toxic bond:
- Being unapologetic
Examining one’s relationship and trying to recognize red flags is not easy. It can be overwhelming and sometimes shocking to realize that the relationship is causing more harm than good and if it’s contributing to stress and negativity. Sometimes these bonds are ones that can’t be severed so easily either, especially if they’re with family and loved ones. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive energy and loving relationships whenever possible, and taking a step back from the ones that aren’t is sometimes necessary. Reaching out to others for support, seeking therapy, taking time for self-care and self-love are actions that can help combat toxicity. Everyone deserves to be respected and to be in relationships that nurture love and support; anything else is unnecessary distress.