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Remember that YOU decide how you are to be treated; nobody treats you a certain way without YOUR permission! Here are three relationship patterns that people who are taking care of themselves avoid or “leave the scene” as soon as they discover it.

  1. The other person needs you to have only happy feelings.  There is no room for any negative or painful feelings.  This person wants and needs you to bolster his or her low energy or low self esteem.  You have a right to the full spectrum of human feelings.
  2. This other person cannot tolerate having to compromise or yield to your request or preference.  It is his or her way or the highway.  You deserve someone who can soothe oneself when you do not satisfy this other person.  Relationships are about taking turns, give and take and mature negotiation.
  3. The converse of # 2 is toxic as well.  This is the person who never has a preference.  What you hear a lot is- “Whatever you want” or “Anything- I’m easygoing.”  This may feel great at first but a healthy relationship is comprised of 2 strong people who express their wants and feelings and learn to deal with conflict.  If you want a relationship that is full of passion and energy for the long haul, you want someone who is a force to be reckoned with and not an emotional marshmallow.

There are many other toxic patterns that healthy people avoid and these were three that I see often in my practice. Be clear what you want, set boundaries and get out of any relationship where any of these three patterns continue.  Of course, the relationship optimist I am says- confront the person and if things change or the person gets into a therapy or coaching situation where it can change (i.e.- he or she takes your feedback seriously), you can definitely see how the story ends.  People are not necessarily chained to their toxic ways!

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