You might have a toxic person in your life. It might be a family member, a partner, a spouse, or a friend. As an empath who might have the tendency to over-give, you may have tried for many years to support this person, yet they do not want to receive or genuinely benefit from your help. Still, for attachment reasons, you might hesitate about taking space or even letting go.
So, how do you sense if a relationship is healthy for you? First, you can ask yourself if you are reaching beyond your own center of truth to try to be liked, approved of, or cared for by a toxic person? Do you recognize when you are being overly giving with someone in your life, and it is not being reciprocated?
It is important to understand that 50/50 reciprocity in giving and receiving is the benchmark for a healthy relationship. The ratios can occasionally change due to life circumstances but if you are continuously giving far more than you are receiving to an adult in your life, it bears considering that you might be feeling healthy anger.
If you are over-giving without receiving much in return, you might feel angry or depressed without knowing why. If you are feeling close to 100% responsible for the health of a toxic relationship, or are making excuses for someone's bad behaviour by being overly considerate, compassionate or lenient, it is time to ask yourself the following questions.
1. Do I feel happy when I spend time with this person?
2. Am I receiving anything good from this relationship?
3. Do I dread spending time with this person?
4. Do I think I am a bad person for not giving this person what they want, even if it does not feel right for me?
5. Is this a 50/50 reciprocal relationship?
6. Do I feel emotionally drained or angry after being with this person?
7. Does this person have an excessive amount of anger towards me?
8. Am I being used as an emotional dumping ground?
9. Am I overgiving to please or appease this person, so as not to be blamed for their problems and choices?
10. When was the last time I enjoyed this person's company?
11. Do we have any common goals or interests?
12. Am I making excuses for this person's bad behaviour because they have had adverse life experiences, or have a mental/physical illness?
13. Do I feel seen, heard, understood and appreciated by this person?
14. Am I learning and growing together with this person?
15. Is this relationship at all beneficial for me? How?
16. What are my underlying reasons for staying in this relationship?
17. What do I fear will happen if I decide to take space or let go of this relationship?
Anger is a signal to direct your attention within to identify how your core desires, needs and values are being violated. Feeling and expressing healthy anger when you are being disrespected and mistreated will support you to set better boundaries, and make changes in a toxic relationship. Once you know what boundaries are being crossed, you can choose to assertively communicate what you need, if it is possible. And, if it is not possible, give yourself what you most need.