Relationship & Family

Healthy and Toxic Relationships. Which one is yours?

When someone mentions the word relationship, what immediately comes to mind is the connections or interactions between family members or people in an amorous union. But relationships extend beyond family and friendships, to deep and multifaceted interactions between human beings. 

In my opinion, a relationship can exist between one, two, or more persons. 

An isolated criminal in a prison cell is in a relationship – with the cell he/she is locked in and with prison officials and other inmates. People living in a neighborhood are in a relationship – they are neighbors. Students in an institution of learning are in a relationship – they are classmates or schoolmates. Colleagues at a place of work are in a relationship. See that?

Now, why are relationships vital? 

Let us go back in time and examine the origin and importance of relationships. During the Creation, God chose to create man in his image (Genesis 1:26). He created man (male) and another man (female) (Genesis 1: 27). Why was there a need for two persons? I believe it was because God wanted them to co-exist. How? In a relationship. In verse 28 of Genesis 1, when God commanded man to be fruitful and multiply, He meant human beings should be productive. And, productivity is a function of harmonious work relationships.  

Having said this, I believe it is safe to conclude that relationships constitute the bedrock of outcomes in your life. Your relationship with yourself is evident in your thoughts, words, and actions. The decisions you make and the consequences thereof further mirror your relationships – with yourself and others. Think about it!

One vital point to note is that relationships can be good or bad, in simple terms. Relationships could be healthy or toxic. The words ‘Healthy‘ and ‘Toxic‘ define two camps. You can belong to one or the other or both. 

Therefore, ask yourself at this point which of the camps you belong to. You know best how your relationships with family and the world at large are. 

So, to make your ONLY sojourn on earth worthwhile, your relationships matter. Failing or succeeding at any career in life revolves around the health or toxicity of your relationships. 

So what now? Here are some suggestions: 

  • Esteem others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3). If you look down on anyone, for whatever reasons, then you are living a lie, even if you are making good money. 
  • Love unconditionally (John 13:34). Is there someone that you ‘don’t like’? If yes, then you belong to both camps, because there is some other person you like.
  • Give to those in need and expect nothing back. The words friends with benefits depict a toxic relationship. See what I mean? Giving is the highest expression of being human. 
  • Be sympathetic. Cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh (Romans 12: 15). It shows that you are human and in good relationships with your fellows. 
  • Genuinely seek the good of others. Share your skills, knowledge, resources, and successes, as long as someone gets lifted to a better position than before. 
  • Forgive and forget. Forgiveness will preserve your relationships. Anger destroys your health and does absolutely nothing to the one you are angry at, and also destroys your relationships and the quality of your life. 

This list could go on and on. You can personally add to this list. Striving to improve your relationships will give your life a whole new meaning and a new joie de vivre. 

Think about it. Your career will take on a whole new dimension if you fix all relationships around you. That long-awaited promotion may just come knocking. Those closed doors will open up. Most of all, your blood pressure and health issues will vanish into thin air if you fix relationships around you. I mean, if you can smile with someone genuinely, that is healthy, isn’t it?

The Creator never intended for us to be alone or lonely. He must have intended that we live and interact with one another in healthy relationships. 

The world is waiting for your unique contribution. Redefine your relationships and, you will start to impact your world. What are you going to do?



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