Article by Wendy McCance
Some people have their walls up high, extra sensitive to the relationships they are willing to form. I am one of those people. After years of engaging in toxic relationships that left me feeling insecure, doubting my own abilities, losing all interest in life, I came out of my fog and rebuilt my life.
It began with some friends I had while growing up. I tended to be more the follower than the leader. I fell into some controlling, manipulative friendships. It only got worse as I began dating. By the time I got married, I was in toxic hell.
As I got older, I began to see my own worth. I can trace it back to several jobs I had and excelled at. There is nothing like going to a job you love and hearing how well you are doing at that job to snap you out of your trance. I started reevaluating my life. I made goals for myself, and I slowly walked away from each and every bad connection I had made. It took time, but I got a divorce and disconnected from quite a few friendships. Then I began the rebuilding process.
In all of these years I have learned a lot about myself and of others. I can see a poor relationship forming miles away and I cringe. My biggest dilemma is wanting to help others form healthy relationships for themselves. I hate seeing when people manipulate each other whether consciously or not. I feel awful when someone I care about is treated less than stellar by friends or family. I want to jump in and protect the ones I care so deeply about, but over the years I have learned that I can’t.
I used to feel it was my duty to jump right in if I saw what I felt was a bad relationship. I wanted the person I cared for to feel better than what they were attached to. I wanted to be protective and supportive. Each time, it backfired. People only see what they are ready to see. Their evolution comes during their own timetable not mine or anyone else’s. To push someone along only leads to the person you are trying to help looking unfavorably at you. It’s an awful consequence to trying to be protective towards the person you care about.
There are times in life that you sit with knowledge in your hands that you desperately want to share. You don’t want to see others suffer the way you did. It’s a sort of knee-jerk reaction.
You want to get involved because you care, but you also react because honestly, these situations remind you of your own painful memories.
You don’t want to see someone else go through bad times, but, you are afraid of how your advice might be received.
You have rid yourself of toxic relationships, you know how to avoid them. Yet, here you are powerless, you have no voice to do anything.
It’s painful to watch. It makes you want to stay away. You can’t bear to experience a recurrence of a memory reminiscent of a bad time in your own life.
So, these days I am careful about injecting my opinion. It may not be wanted nor appreciated. It might just damage a good relationship. As I write this, I feel like this is so backward. I mean what if someone is being abused? If they are in severe danger, I will find a way to step in to help, even if it means that the relationship would break because I tried to protect someone. I would rather do that than sit back and regret not getting involved. But, I still stand by the fact that you can’t get through to someone who isn’t ready to acknowledge what is going on. In most situations, you can only sit on the sideline, ready to support and help in any way possible if the person decides the relationship is not good for them.
What are your thoughts on this article? Would you get involved or stay out of someone else’s business? Have you experienced a situation like this? Let me know in the comment section below.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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