Category: Guest Bloggers

Relationships: Never Let Your Past Control Your Future

You generally tend to see people with a filter that you have created for yourself. This filter has been created with your past experiences with that person and your belief systems. If you have had a bad experience with someone, you would create a so called “bad” image of that person in your mind and your future behavior will be dictated by this image that you have created.

Take a scenario where you have just got married and are interacting with your spouse’s family. Your experience with your sister in law may not have been good, because she just said something very insulting. Now you tell your mind that she is a ‘bad’ person and your behavior towards her will be influenced by this image that you have created.

You need to understand that when you interact with this person again, the situations would be different, that person may not have the same thoughts, but yet what remains constant is your behavior towards them, because you do not view them in a good light. This hampers creativity and newness in any relation, because we are carrying the baggage of past experiences and this influences our future.

When we are creating negative thoughts about people, we are emanating a negative energy towards them. Our thoughts travel faster than words, and when this negative energy reaches them continuously, they also start creating similar thoughts for us on a regular basis, because that’s how the universe works. This cycle goes on and on, and even though you may be polite and ‘good’ to the people you hate, your relationship with them will never improve.

You need to know that all of us are continuously evolving and if people  behave badly then it does not mean that they are bad. One technique, to avoid being judgmental, is to separate the ‘action’ from the ‘person who is doing it’. But it requires you to shed your old thoughts, because Unlearning is an important process of Learning. If your cup is already full, then nothing more can be poured in it.What I am telling you now, needs fresh thinking from your side.

You are free to criticize an action that a person is doing, but try avoiding criticizing a person. Why? Because you should know that your original qualities are purity, peace, happiness and the people that you meet, also have these original qualities in them, because all of us are creation of the same God. They may have gone astray from these qualities, so what they deserve is not hate but sympathy.

Even if someone is sending their negative energy towards you; don’t absorb it, but transform it. And you can transform this energy only if you consciously create good thoughts. Have sympathy for them and more than that, have ‘control’ over your thoughts because ‘Whatever you give a person, you experience it first’. If you hate someone, you will experience that hate within you, and this hate is not good for your mind, body and soul. Similarly, if you give love to a person, you will feel this energy of love nourishing your being.

And like I always say, The Choice is Yours!

deepikasharmagrover_1411815277_42Deepika Sharma

I am a passionate writer and an “eternal optimist” who always sees light at the end of the tunnel, come what may!I truly feel, that nothing in life is a co-incidence and every person that we meet and situations that we encounter, are all there for a reason and the reason is to help us learn, grow and evolve.

When I write, I feel an instant connection to the Highest Soul who is the source of love, happiness, peace and all the best things in the world.

I am also an avid reader and have loved reading since the time I was a kid. I still have the old fairy tales with me, which I loved to read, as a kid.For the past five to six years I have been reading books on spirituality and life, as I wanted to get some answers, which I have eventually found, through reading and praying.

I am now on a spiritual journey and have a mission to make people Spiritually aware.

Read more posts by Deepika HERE


How do you say “Boyfriend, I cheated on you?”

Admit Cheating

When You’ve Cheated On Your Boyfriend

Choosing to admit cheating to him is a huge step. Are you ready? Are you ready to “put it out there” and deal with the consequences? If you feel that the only way you can move forward as a couple is to admit cheating to your boyfriend that you cheated on him, please do it with care. Here are some guidelines on confessing your indiscretion.


Avoid The Wrong Time Or Place To “Have The Talk”

Consider carefully when and where you are going to break the news to your boyfriend that you have been unfaithful. For this, put his yourself in his shoes for a minute to discern when to DENY cheating:

Don’t Tell Him That You Cheated When He’s About To Leave

for work, school, an interview, a drive, or anything that requires his attention and concentration.

Don’t Tell Him As You Are On The Way To An Event

—dinner with friends, a movie, or worst of all, a family get-together. You may think that having an event to attend will give him something else on which to focus. Not so. Having just been hit with bad news, he won’t able to focus on anything but the fact that you had sex with someone else.

Don’t Tell Him At A Crowded Restaurant

You make think that being in a crowded place will keep things calm, but you may end up in the middle of a scene. Besides, would you want to be given the news in a crowded restaurant? This isn’t a date you’re setting up; it’s a confession.

Don’t Tell Him While You’re In Bed

This one should be obvious.

If you fear—even for a split second—that he may become violent, don’t tell and get out of the relationship, pronto. Nothing is worth putting yourself in danger—no matter how bad you may feel about what you did. Period.

Find The Right Time And Place To Tell Him That You Cheated

Choose A Time When Neither Of You Has To Be Anywhere Right Away

This may be a short conversation or a long one, but the last thing you want is for either one of you to be looking at your watch.

So, if the big game is about to start, wait.

If he has a tee-time set up that afternoon, wait.

If his mother always calls at 3 p.m. on Saturday, don’t have the conversation at 2:45.

Of course, it’s tempting to have an exit route, but this is a serious conversation and it merits enough time to have it without rushing.

Choose A Place That’s Comfortable For Both Of You

It can be at home (if you live together) or at his place or yours. It can be outside, at a park. You can get coffee along the way and then sit down to “have the talk.” It should be somewhere that, if he walks off or drives off, you have a way to get home. So no hiking trips or walks along the beach for this conversation—unless the beach is walking distance from your place.

You’ll probably each have your cell phones with you, because these days almost everyone has a cell phone handy all the time. Put yours on silent mode before you even get together for this conversation. The last thing you need is the phone to ring and your boyfriend to ask, “Is that him?”

What To Say

Get right to the point. Don’t torture him with a long, confusing introduction about how much you love him or how this hurts you more than it hurts him. Trust me, it doesn’t. You can say, “I made a horrible mistake. I cheated on you. And I think that going into details about it will just make things worse. I was wrong and I’m sorry.”

Affair Recovery Advice For When You Have Been Unfaithful
Affair Recovery Advice For When You Have Been Unfaithful

Then stop talking.

If he walks away, let him walk. He needs space.

If he asks for details, say, “Going into details won’t un-do what I did.”

If he asks “With WHO?!” I suggest saying, “It was a mistake.”

Then stop talking.

Right about now you may be wishing you hadn’t told. But you cannot back out. The less you say, the better. Let him talk. Let him express his disappointment or shock or whatever he’s feeling. Just listen.

If he asks why you are telling him—and only if the reason is that you felt it was the only way to move forward—then tell him, “It was the only way we could move forward.” Remember, though: moving forward doesn’t always mean staying together. That part is still up in the air.

What Not to Say

Don’t offer excuses. If you were drunk or angry or in the middle of horrible PMS, it doesn’t change the fact that you did the deed.

Don’t bring up mistakes he’s made in the past. Even if he’s cheated before, this conversation is about what you did, and about trying to make it right.

Don’t say, “It meant nothing.” It meant something or you wouldn’t have done it.

Don’t trivialize something that is probably really hurting your boyfriend right about now.

What To Do Next

Now for the tough part: once you’ve told your boyfriend that you cheated on him, you’ll have to live with this. If you decide to split up, do it with dignity. If you decide to stay together, you might need counseling (for you, for him or as a couple).

Most likely, he’ll need some time. This will be the agonizing part, because the ball is in his court. He gets to decide how he’s going to process this news, and whether or not he even wants to stay with you, let alone figuring out how to make it work if he does.

He might need a day or a week or an hour… there’s no telling. Give him the time he needs. Don’t push. You can, later on, write him a letter (no texting for this one) explaining that you are sorry, and that it won’t happen again, and that you realize that you were wrong.

I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with gifts or cards or anything like that. Stay composed, don’t beg, just let him know that you made a mistake, one that you truly, truly regret.

Then wait to see what happens.

Oh, and while you’re waiting, erase the other guy’s number from your phone.

Is my partner cheating on Dating sites?


The number of people supposedly in committed monogamous relationships, who are creating secret dating site profiles, to allow them to meet people on dating or social media sites is on the increase. The problem is that with so many dating sites available (there seems to be a different one popping up every five minutes), the likelihood of catching your partner cheating on line is becoming less and less likely. By changing just a few details and maybe using somebody else’s photograph, or no photograph at all, finding out the truth as to whether your partner is being unfaithful on a dating site by searching through sites is almost impossible.

It is probable that a large number of individuals who are being cheated on by unfaithful partners fail to realise that they may not be the only victim of their partner’s infidelity through online sites. Men and women on dating sites frequently encounter (and sometimes even fall in love with) someone who could be considered a suitable companion or even their future life partner, but who, unknown to them, are already married or for other reasons are emotionally unavailable. More and more of these individuals are checking out the person they have met, prior to getting too involved with that person. Some are making the wise decision of registering the person with an online cheater checking service.

If you think your partner may secretly be on dating sites and cheating on you, register them with; they will search their data base and inform you within 24 hours if they are matched with somebody else who has registered their partner/potential partner. The sites investigators will continue to monitor the details of your registered person every 24 hours, to ascertain if new people registered are a match and are linked via a romantic relationship with someone else. If the sites investigators find evidence of cheating or infidelity, they inform their clients discreetly and confidentially through the site.

What people do with that information is a matter for the individuals concerned. If both parties so wish, the site investigators can even put cheated parties in contact with each other, so they can confirm the match and compare experiences.

Registering your partner is safe, secure and simple; they will never know they have been registered, under investigation or being monitored at any point in the process.

NB: Research involving more than one million online dating profiles partly financed by the National Science Foundation found that 81% of people misrepresent their height, weight age or marital status, in their profiles.

Another survey indicated that 1 in 10 dating site profiles is completely fake and was romance scams designed, ultimately, to obtain money or sensitive personal information from their victims to commit identity fraud or deception. is operated by trusted ex London Scotland Yard detectives trained in the investigation of fraud and infidelity

By Guest Blogger : Kim Tuffin




Sexting In The workplace?

dreamstimelarge_22043698-1024x682If you have been reading any of my content for any period of time, you will have heard me say 1000 times….”Affairs most commonly start in the workplace, or with people whom you spend significant time with….”

So what can happen to people who use the company phone and/or time to carry out an affair? You will be surprised to learn that text messages are not private and are easily retrieved. Furthermore, as a business owner, you could be the one facing litigation.

Read on for advice that you do not want to miss….


Does your company policy include language that would cover a forensic examination involving sexting in the workplace? As with most of our articles they are sparked by our investigations. We are in the process of investigating an employee(s) who engaged in visiting porn sites from their employer provided devices using their employers Internet services. We discovered this was being conducted from the employee’s mobile device. During the forensic examination of the mobile device we discovered that the employee had been engaging in an affair. The affair was being conducted on company property as well as documented on company hardware. Did I mention one of the parties is married?

Often we see in infidelity cases where a spouse will use their employer’s hardware to facilitate an affair.  Either they will keep the phone close to their person or demand their partner keep their hands off it. It often keeps our hands off as well, since legally the spouse can’t give us permission to examine a computer or cell phone they don’t own or can legally give us permission to examine.  But what about when the role is reversed and the employer is forced to deal with the affair?

Can you be sued for conducting a forensic examination involving sexting in the workplace?  The Supreme Court of Ontario California recently overturned a decision on a similar matter, wherein a lower court thought the employer had invaded the employees right to privacy. Given the sensitivity of the matter we were curious as to where the lines were with regard to the mis-use of company property, violations of company policy, and privacy laws. Forensically this case was very easy to document to the extent one of the parties saved every email, photo, and text. But could our client be sued for uncovering it?  In our case the employee’s engaged in sexting in the office. They are both salary employees. Could you imagine an attorney arguing you can’t sue for sexting since your nude selfie is covered under the work product doctrine.

In short the article and the court opinion basically say you must inform the employee that you retain your right to examine your hardware and if their personal information is on there its no longer private. If an employee engages in such gross misconduct on company property while using company computers and mobile devices, have they waived their right to privacy. Fortunately it appears (from what we gathered) the law tends to lean towards company policy. Yes, you have to tell them they can’t have sex in your office and they can’t sue you if you find their nude “Selfie” on your device. Fortunately our clients corporate policy included the proper language with regard to informing their employees they do not have the right to privacy with respect to company owned hardware.  If the employer learns of an affair or sexting does the employer assume some type of liability if they allow it to continue? Can they be sued by the employee’s spouse if they contract a STD to the extent the injury occurred on company property and the injury was caused by another employee?

Here is some insight on the subject which was provided by Berger Legal LLC:

Sexting in the Workplace

Thu, Feb 10th, 2011

Brett Favre is making headlines for a lot more than his retirement lately. Just a few weeks ago, two massage therapists who were employed by the New York Jets at the same time as Favre, sued him alleging sexual harassment. They rely on several suggestive text messages they allegedly received from the quarterback to establish their claims. In October, Favre was accused of sending sexually explicit text messages and pictures, commonly called “sexting,” to a female field reporter who worked for the Jets at the same time he did. The NFL was not able to establish whether or not Favre sent the messages, but it is possible that he may face further charges. While Favre may be the subject of some of the more high-profile allegations of sexting, as more people use text messaging as a means of communication, sexting, and allegations of sexual harassment involving sexting, are becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace.

Sexting Can Lead to Sexual Harassment Claims

Sexually explicit text messages can be used to harass and are often used as evidence in sexual harassment claims.  The majority of states recognize that harassment can occur via electronic means and have laws prohibiting it.  In addition, employees are increasingly using test messages to prove claims of quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment. For example, in Kuntzman v. Wal-Mart, 673 F. Supp. 2d 690 (2009), the plaintiff alleged her former supervisor sexually harassed her by sending her unwanted sexually explicit text messages asking her to engage in sex acts. She was able to avoid summary judgment, in part, based on a record of sexually themed text messages sent to her from her supervisor.

Sexting Using Corporate Equipment

Sexting may be occurring on company-issued electronic equipment. Many employers want workers to use electronic devices like cells phones and smart phones to conduct business and many provide this equipment directly to the worker. However, many workers use company issued electronic devices for personal use as well. Individuals who use company-issued electronic equipment to send sexually suggestive text messages could be in violation of corporate computer use or other IT policies. This issue made its way to the Supreme Court in City of Ontario v. Quon, 130 S. Ct. 2619 (2010), in which a former government employee alleged a violation of the Fourth Amendment when his employer searched his government-issued pager and found a record of sexually themed text messages. In Quon, the Court gives guidance to public and private employers addressing 1) the use of corporate-issued equipment, the Internet and social networking sites, 2) corporate monitoring of such equipment and 3) a workers expectation of privacy when using that equipment can help limit liability should an employer learn of potential misuse.

Text Messages Are Discoverable

Finally, text messages are easy to retrieve and are discoverable. Many people think of text messages as being fairly private, and, because they are so easy to send, many people do not put a lot of thought into their content. But, when a text message is sent, a record of the transmission is stored. It is easy to find and retrieve these records and if they are relevant to pending litigation, they could be used against a company in litigation whether or not they are sent from a company issued device or a private one.

What can an employer to do address sexting in the workplace?

  •  Review corporate sexual harassment policy to ensure it clearly states that sending sexually suggestive/explicit texts and pictures is forbidden and communicate this policy frequently (through training, email updates, yearly policy acknowledgments, etc.).
  •  Ensure corporate computer use policies address the use of texting and other social media. State precisely what is permissible when using corporate-issued electronic devices and what is not. Include a statement making it clear that there is no expectation of privacy in the use of company issued electronic devises and that such devises may be monitored in compliance with applicable law.
  •  Take allegations of sexual harassment or sexting seriously. Conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations and take appropriate action upon the conclusion of the investigation.
  •  Review the company’s record retention and data storage policies to determine if they address the collection, storage and retention of text messages. If they do not, consider including text messages in the policy.”

This quoted article was obtained from

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5 Ways You May Be Unwittingly Inviting Rejection

Rejection. It’s the greatest social fear. Who enjoys being hurt and rejected?

Yet, so many of us unwittingly walking into rejection again and again. We feel consistently disregarded, hurt, isolated and betrayed in our personal and professional relationships.

A pattern of feeling rejected leads to resentment and even depression. In fact, a ten-year study recently confirmed that such stressful relationships are directly linked to clinical depression.

Amazingly, behaviors that flow from our conscious intention to be accepted are often the culprit. Here are five examples of how we may unwittingly invite rejection while banking on acceptance.

Do you see yourself in any of the following 5 scenarios?

1. Not Speaking Up

You need something, but don’t ask for it. Perhaps you’ve worked hard all day and would like your partner to help with the dishes. You think, “I wish he would just help. If he really cared about me, he’d know that I want help and just offer. So, just forget it. I guess I’m stuck with an uncaring mate.”
In this scenario, you probably feel taken advantage of, unappreciated and resentful.

The alternative is to simply ask for what you need. Your partner will either agree to help or refuse to help in one way or another. If he helps, then you have much less reason to feel rejected. If he doesn’t help even though he easily could, then you experience a real world rejection, which is very different from the self-induced rejection. This is a problem to solve – and one you can begin to address immediately.

2. Pressuring

You want something really badly, so you keep asking for it…over and over. Your partner feels pressured because she needs more time to decide or doesn’t really want to come out and say no.

You sense the hesitation, which compels you pressure her more. You know what happens next. Bam! She blows up and tells you off.

3. Avoiding Conflict

Something difficult yet important needs to be discussed. You know this is a hot button topic and the last thing you want is another argument. So, with looming images of verbal battles in your mind, you avoid the subject entirely.

This only makes arguing inevitable. For example. You told your friends that you could go out with them Friday night. You know your partner will be put off, so you don’t tell him. Friday night comes and you spring the news on him at the last minute, or worse, just leave without telling him.

He’s upset and loses his cool in your direction.

4. Masking the Truth

Let’s just call it lying.

So, you spilled milk on the counter and neglected to clean it up. Your partner hates sloppiness. “Who made a mess on the counter?” she demands.

You and the kids look around suspiciously. Apparently, nobody did it. Thirty minutes later, she discovers the truth and you are not only busted, but suffer through another rejection – and for more than sloppiness. Now, your trustworthiness is in question.

5. Being Too Agreeable

Agreeing with something that you don’t really agree with leads to passive aggressive behavior.

• You agree to go to a play, but sulk your way through the evening.
• You agree to mow the yard on Sunday, but somehow ‘forget.’
• You agree to save more money, but spend it like always.
• You agree to do more around the house, but continue your couch potato ways.
• You agree to spend more time together, but continue as a busybody.

All of these passive aggressive patterns ultimately lead to arguments and rejection. It’s much better to disagree up front and negotiate something that you know you can willingly do.

Why oh why do we set ourselves up for rejection?

Often times we ‘know’ the ultimate outcome of our behaviors, even as we do them. You know where the above behaviors are likely to take you. Yet, in the moment, you stick with old habits.

The set up for almost certain rejections comes from a little known phenomenon called a negative psychological attachment. With psychological attachments, behaviors that cause us pain tend to happen on autopilot, as if some part of us were actually seeking unfavorable outcomes. Even though we consciously would not choose rejection, for example, somehow we end up there. It can be confusing!

In the end, such attachments create self-sabotage, which is perhaps the most important issue to understand and resolve.

To learn more about how negative psychological attachments create self-sabotaging behaviors, watch this enlightening free video.

Mike Bundrant is author of the book, Your Achilles Eel: How to Overcome the Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage. He is also co-founder of the iNLP Center.

How to Handle Acute Anxiety Attack Symptoms


Millions of people suffer from General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or other forms of psychological disorder which are characterized by anxiety or panic attacks.

Anxiety attack symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable. These attacks are well-known for being acute; they happen all of a sudden, and when triggered, it can be difficult to deal with the physical and emotional discomfort that they cause.

Anxiety attack symptoms usually subside after a fairly brief period of time, but while they are happening, they can be excruciating. Once the onset of an anxiety attack has occurred, it can be difficult to stop the process; one may have to “ride it out” until the symptoms dissipate.


What Are Some Common Anxiety Attack Symptoms?

Anxiety attacks are a period of intense fear and discomfort, which are characterized by a set of physical symptoms. During an anxiety attack, the organism’s “fight or flight mode” is cascading out of control. “Sympathetic” processes, which occur during arousal, include changes in heart rate. When this process goes wrong, anxiety attacks can occur.

The symptoms of an anxiety attack include: 

–          Increased heart rate, sometimes with heart palpitations

–          Shaking or trembling

–          Sensations of shortness of breath

–          Feelings of being choked

–          Chest pain or discomfort

–          Nausea

–          Feelings of dizziness or faintness, as if one is about to “pass out”

–          Intense emotional fear

–          Feeling as if oneself might be dying

–          Numbness or tingling, especially in the hands and fingers

–          Chills or hot flashes.


This entire process can be terrifying— this, in turn, exacerbates the effects. Many individuals who have a panic attack are initially frightened that they may be having a heart attack. If you are experiencing this set of symptoms, the most likely cause is that you are having an anxiety attack.

Anxiety attack symptoms can be terrifying. Fortunately, these episodes tend to pass fairly quickly, and peak within a few minutes. If you are experiencing an anxiety attack, you may find that some or all of these things help you to cope with the symptoms as they are occurring. Seek consult for what other options are available to you such as the new revolutionary, safe, non-invasive method.


Bullying and Toxic Relationships


Do any of the following situations sound familiar to you?


Your friend, coworker, or partner uses threats of violence to manipulate your behavior.


Your friend, coworker, or partner constantly belittles you and your choices, insists that your decisions are wrong, or uses other emotional tactics to influence your actions.


You have a friend who constantly gets her way, who makes all of the decisions, and refuses to participate if her demands are not met.


Someone only calls you when she is in need of something: a favor, money, etc.No matter how many times you help her or what you have given her, she never reciprocates.


You find yourself reacting to demands by engaging in passive-aggressive behavior, going along with the other person despite not wanting to do so, because it is easier than the confrontation which would ensue if you stood up for yourself.


Dealing with this person leaves you feeling drained, physically and emotionally, and doubting your own self-worth.
If you identify with any of the scenarios listed above, you may be part of a toxic relationship.


Is Your Relationship Toxic?


A toxic relationship is one in which one partner controls the other via physical, mental, or emotional manipulation. Instead of exhibiting the equality, caring, and mutual self-respect of a healthy relationship, these dysfunctional relationships are characterized by an imbalance of power in which one partner uses a variety of methods to insure that her needs are always met, often at the detriment of the other.


When one speaks of abusive relationships, many immediately think of romantic partnerships. While this is certainly a problem in modern society, toxic relationships are not limited to those who are romantically entwined.  They also include friendships and working relationships. Any situation in which one individual abuses the bonds with others has the potential to be toxic.


As illustrated by the situations listed above, there are a number of characteristics which are common in a toxic relationship.  While not all of these symptoms need be present, many will be.


One partner is in control of the relationship.  She decides where they will go, when they will get there, and what they will do upon arrival.


This individual makes sure that her demands are met using a number of techniques ranging from physical abuse and the threat of physical abuse to verbal bullying, from mental and emotional manipulation.


The individual not in control feels powerless to confront or contradict the one in power.  She will acquiesce to the demands of her friend, despite a lack of interest in the proposed activity.


The relationship is a “One Way Street,” with the person in control receiving all of the benefits of the relationship.


The powerless individual may find herself acting out in uncharacteristic ways as a result of feelings of helplessness and lack of control.  She may participate in activities in a minimal way, performing poorly because her heart is not in it.  She may agree to activities, but then complain throughout the time together in an unconscious attempt to shorten the activity.  She may engage in passive-aggressive behavior in an attempt to make the person in control uncomfortable.


Interactions of this sort often leave the powerless partner feeling emotionally and physically drained.  During the activity there may be a component of fear as she tries to avoid angering the person in control.  Fear of retribution, once it has dissipated, leaves one exhausted.



The Toxic Friend — Recognizing Bullying


The most obvious type of bullying, the one which is most identifiable, is one which carries with it the implied or overt threat of physical violence. This has become a well-recognized topic, often associated with romantic relationships as well as other interactions. Physical bullying, however, is by no means limited to these areas.There are many instances of friendships which carry with them the threat of violence.


It is important to note, however, that there are other, more subtle, types of bullying.  These may be more prevalent in friendships which meet the definition of a toxic relationship.  As with romantic relationships, bullying in a toxic friendship can, and often does, include an element of emotional manipulation.  The techniques of  mental and emotional manipulation can vary widely.


There is the friend who belittles someone, constantly pointing out her flaws and shortcomings, be they physical, emotional, or a lack of other companions.  This person makes her friends feel like she is doing them a favor by participating in activities with them.  Without the bully, they insist, you would have no one.  “Your choice is to be with me or be alone.”


There is the friend who guilts others into being with her and doing what she wants to do. She may insist that “We always do what you want to do.”Even though this is not correct, it implies a give and take which does not exist.  It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking “If we do what she wants to do this time, we can do something I want to do next time.” Unfortunately, there is no “next time” that fulfills this wish.


There is the friend who may acquiesce to other’s wishes, only to make their lives miserable.  She may allow someone else to choose the restaurant, but will complain about the service, the food, the atmosphere, the parking, the other diners, and anything else which comes to mind.  One learns quickly that there is no point in trying to do anything other than what she wants to do.  Anything else will simply be a miserable experience.


Why are these toxic individuals the way they are?  Why are they self-centered, unreliable, and manipulative?  It should come as no surprise that there are a number of answers to this question as well.  Bear in mind that the following descriptions do not seek to excuse toxic behavior, only explain it.


Some individuals are reacting to stressors in their own lives.  When one feels out of control in one aspect of life, due to other relationships, occupational demands, poor physical health, or any one of a number of other reasons, she may seek to exert control in another aspect of her life.  This may be a temporary solution to a personal feeling of powerless and could be easily redressed.


Others may show the lack of empathy and awareness of others that are traits of true sociopathy.  There is no changing these individuals.  In fact, any attempt to do so may result in an escalation of toxic behavior.


Finally, there are those who bully, manipulate, and engage in other negative behavior for the simple reason that they have learned that these actions are rewarding.  If they push hard enough, they will get what they want.  Why bother to enter into a reciprocal exchange when one can act in such a way that they achieve their goals without having to give anything up?


Does It Take Two To Tango?


Those who are on the receiving end of this type of toxic behavior may end each interaction with their bullying friend with the same question: Why do I put up with this?


bno bulliesI deserve it. Low self-esteem may be part of the answer.  If one is told throughout her life that she does not deserve good things, it is only natural that she will come to internalize this idea.  The toxic bully reinforces this self-image with every interaction.  The first thing that you must realize is that no one deserves to be treated poorly.


In one sense, being part of a toxic relationship is actually easy.  There is no need to plan for oneself when you know someone else is going to tell you what to do.  The rules of the relationship are spelled out quite clearly.  You do what the other person says and you avoid negative consequences.
What else is there?  If one has been constantly manipulated, whether it is physically or emotionally, one comes to question the reality of any other kind of relationship.  If you convince yourself that there is some aspect of bullying and manipulation in every relationship, it becomes easy to convince yourself that there is no reason to look for a different friendship.  You are already familiar with the devil you know, after all.


Stop The Music


If you found yourself nodding as you read the previous section, there are some important things which you must know.  First off, none of the negative things which you have endured are your fault.  The bully is to blame, not you.  Secondly, there are different types of friendships out there.  It is possible to bond with people because of mutual shared interests.  There are people who will engage in mutually beneficial relationships.  There are people who will want to be with you because of who you are, not because of what you can do for them.  Finally, and most importantly, you deserve better treatment.  This may mean confronting the other half of your current toxic friendship or looking for new relationships.


There are a number of different tactics for dealing with bullying behavior and changing toxic relationships into healthy ones.  Before we address those, we should reinforce two ideas.


Know that you deserve better.  This is the key to any potential change.  Everything discussed below hinges upon the knowledge that you are worth more than you have been getting.


Bullying, physical abuse, emotional manipulation, and other aspects of toxic relationships are unacceptable behaviors.  These are things which the bully does and they are not OK.


If you are ready for a better relationship, there are some things which you may want to try:


The simplest answer but potentially the most difficult is to end the relationship altogether.  This means not receiving phone calls, not answering texts, ignoring any of the manipulative behavior which will restart the cycle of toxicity.  It seems like an easy fix, but when one has invested time and energy into a friendship, even one which is not beneficial to one’s own well-being, it can be difficult to end.  This is even more difficult if the relationship has an element of physical abuse.  If this is the case, make sure that you are safe and there is no chance of physical repercussion.  This may involve outside assistance from family, other friends, or the authorities.  There are many programs and shelters which may also provide assistance.  Above all, be careful and act in such a way to protect yourself.


If you do not wish to end the relationship, it will be necessary to address the bully. Point out the behaviors that are unacceptable.  Again, if there is an aspect of physical abuse, take extreme care when doing so.  It is likely that the other person will become agitated, angry, or upset during this conversation.  Remain firm in your stance that the toxic behavior will not be tolerated.  It is also important to remain calm during this discussion.  The conversation may start to escalate into an argument.  Do not engage the bully in name calling, threats, or similar behavior. Simply reiterate what needs to change and why.


It is extremely important to not back-slide. If, after a few weeks of better behavior, the old methods of manipulation begin to creep up again, point them out in a calm, non-aggressive manner. Restate that these are the actions which will not be tolerated.


Regardless of how you choose to deal with the toxic person in your life, it is beneficial to find other friends with whom you can relate to.  Not only will these people provide companionship should the toxic friend exit the picture, they will also provide examples of how a friendship should work.  Moreover, they will reinforce the idea that you can be part of a healthy relationship and deserve to have good friends.


Posted by Shenita Etwaroo

Dr. Shenita Etwaroo is an author, artist, animal advocate, activist, and a vegan, who has devoted her life to helping the voiceless for the glory of God.In memory of her beloved Neo and animal companions, she has been aligned with animal rights groups and human rights groups, and shelters to spread awareness and protest injustice.Her works of fiction and non-fiction alike are homage to an active voice for the innocent, oppressed, and vulnerable everywhere.                

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