This post is inspired by one of the lessons in our course for fashion professionals called How to Redesign Your Life and Live it Fully. In the lesson, we help you to recognise the toxic relationships that are negatively affecting your life and how to minimise the caustic effects of toxic behaviour you experience.
Fashion is notorious for the pressure it puts on its employees and many other stakeholders. Poor bosses, rotten management styles, and deliberate bullying can all be found in the industry.
Identifying and managing toxic relationships is important for your long-term well being.
First, some research to remind you of the potential there is for any of us to have toxic relationships. The more people in our lives, the more of a potential there is for us to be the victim of these relationships.
On average how many friends do we have?
In a study of 2,000 Brits conducted by HF Holidays, it was found that the average adult has 40 friends, including two best mates, four close pals and five work buddies.
They also have nine other friends, on top of their close ones, within their wider friendship circle, as well as 15 acquaintances and five friends outside of their immediate group.
On top of this number of 'friends', there are other individuals too. People we interact with either by choice or by necessity. There are clients, suppliers, shareholders, owners, managers, members of the press, accountants, church leaders, our communities etc.
Add all these people up and that's a significant number of people that can affect how you feel on a daily basis because of the style of relationship you have with each person you interact with.
Some people will be there to support and motivate you, to inspire and challenge you, helping you grow into a better human being.
Others you will see as competition or threats, undermining your confidence in your abilities.
Then there will be others that you feel drained by. Energy sappers that leave you feeling de-energised and possibly mildly depressed.
The study also found that 92 percent of people say their friendship group is made up of various personalities, with 43 percent saying they go to different friends depending on their mood and what they need.
"92% of people say their friendship group is made up of various personalities"
So we naturally build strategies for getting what we want from those around us. But how often do we check in to see which of the people we know are actually doing us more harm than good, so-called toxic relationships? Often we experience negative effects of toxic relationships and tolerate them, never challenging the behaviour or taking steps to avoid or minimise it.
In another long-term study that followed over 10,000 subjects for an average of 12.2 years, researchers discovered that subjects in negative relationships were at a greater risk for developing heart problems, including a fatal cardiac event, than those subjects whose close relationships were not negative.
We all have relationships that are not blissful all of the time. That's being human. But some of us have more toxicity in our relationships than is good for our health. Some have toxic partners, toxic friendships, toxic parent/child relationships, or toxic coworkers, toxic boss, toxic business partners, toxic clients and so on. In fact as you read this post you'll probably be thinking of a t least one person that falls inot this category.
So what defines a toxic relationship?
These are full of compassion, security, safety, freedom of thinking, sharing, listening, mutual love and caring, healthy debates and disagreements, and respectfulness, especially when there are differences in opinions.
These consist of insecurity, distrust, abuse of power and control, overtly demanding, selfishness, insecurity, self-centeredness, criticism, dishonesty, negativity, demeaning comments and attitudes, sarcasm and jealousy.
Toxic relationships don't have to include all these attributes as toxicity varies by degrees.
A toxic relationship with your boss will not necessarily include all of the factors above. Perhaps your he or she only shows distrust or demeaning comments. However, the result will still have an impact on your relationship, your productivity and willingness to commit fully to your work.
Compare the characteristics above with your relationships and then use the questions below to help you recognise the impact people in your life are having on you.
These are key questions to ask yourself and they begin the process of reducing the impact of toxic relationships.
There are four key steps to changing toxic relationships and reducing or eliminating their negative impacts on your life and health.
Now obviously if you are in a physically abusive relationship, this kind of confrontation may not be safe. So only use this approach if you are safe to do so. If you're not then you should contact a professional with experience in dealing with domestic violence or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information.
In our coaching program on How to Redesign Your Life and Live it Fully we are helping you develop a healthy, well-balanced life and addressing your relationships is a vital element of the work we do with you.
Download our free worksheet that will guide you through the process to identify your toxic relationships.
We'll also be sending you details of the launch date of our next group coaching program.
Take the steps you deserve to feel better in the relationships you have both inside and outside of work.
The fashion sector is stressful enough and you deserve better.
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