‘Toxic’ was declared the word of 2018 by Oxford Dictionaries. Apparently its search had increased 45% compared to the previous year. An analysis by Oxford found that 3 of the top 10 words that followed the word ‘toxic’ in conversations online were ‘work environment/culture’, ‘masculinity’, and ‘relationships’.

Toxic work environments

A toxic workplace is the one where the company or your colleagues make you feel that the only reason you continue to work there is because you have to pay the bills. This affects your well-being, and you shouldn’t continue working at such a place at all.

Toxic masculinity

This is a phrase that evokes a heated debate. Some are enraged by the description that states masculinity as toxic, and others label it as a product of years of patriarchy. Keeping the provocative terminology aside, the masculinity is the normalization of violent behavior or binding boundaries on ideas of ‘macho’ men.

Toxic relationships

All the relationships have ups and downs. These can be romantic or others. But when the sorrow lasts for so long that it becomes exhausting to be with the other person, you should question the relationship.

Ending ties with a person who has a toxic relationship with you is not always the right solution. Much like others, we also come with our baggage. Relationships evolve when both parties acknowledge they have problems and help each other out. The first step is to start by being true to yourself. This helps you be more honest in your relationship. Examine if your defenses are sabotaging closeness.

Try to communicate with the concerned person and share your own experiences and try to understand theirs. Getting professional help from a therapist is advisable. If the other person is not receptive, it is always better to let go then hold on.

You should introspect to see if there are patterns in your relationships that result from deep-seated insecurities. And remember to set limits for what kind of behavior is unacceptable to you and for the future.

Center for Mental Health is a leading mental health center in India. We offer services like psychotherapy, counseling, neuropsychological assessment, individual, couple and family therapies, etc. Center for Mental Health was founded in the year 2018 by our chief psychologist Nupur Dhakephalkar to make expert and holistic mental health care available for all while creating awareness and reducing taboo and stigma around mental illness.

Author – Nupur Dhakephalkar