We’re discussing Toxic Relationship Advice on Talk It Out Tuesday with licensed professional counselor Yunetta Spring.
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As a societal buzzword these days, many call others toxic simply because they have differing viewpoints. One must first understand its true meaning in order to identify it in others (and yourself). According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary,
the definition explains it as “extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful”. From a therapeutic perspective, toxic individuals (often wounded themselves) design relationships with others out of their desire for personal gain of power or control.
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Toxicity is not a mental illness, but more of a learned behavior. It can be a result of lived experiences or trauma that causes a person to exhibit unhealthy patterns. A mental illness can make an individual more susceptible to toxic behavior, but not in every case.
Gary notes that the word “toxic” reminds him of poisons or harmful chemicals. When thinking about how toxic relationships can affect mental health, the meanings are definitely parallel!
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Counselor Spring reminds us that “not all toxic relationships are abusive, but all abusive relationships are toxic”.
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