When you sit in an uncomfortable position and your leg gets numb, after a while, you get used to the feeling. To be honest, you don’t even realize how much pain you are in. Well, a similar thing happens when you stay in a negative relationship for too long. After a while, you can’t really tell how bad it makes you feel.
The chances are that you’re so used to the feeling of being with someone who no longer makes you happy that you don’t see the changes you’re going through. You’ve adjusted to the whole situation both emotionally and mentally, and you’re living through the days without enjoying them.
Now, you can only imagine how much this affects you. Even though you’re not aware of it, your negative relationships have changed you completely. To be honest, if you were to meet the old version of yourself, it would be hard to recognize the person standing in front of you. That’s how different you are now.
You may think that I’m overreacting, but negative relationships truly have long-term effects on our bodies and minds.
Are you willing to find out what’s going on within you while you’re pretending that you’re okay? Do you wish to know how all of your negative relationships have affected you? Then keep on reading.
What are the long-term effects of staying in negative relationships?
There are different reasons why people choose to stay in negative relationships. Sometimes, they’re blinded by love and don’t see the truth for what it actually is. Other times, they’re so used to the feeling that they don’t know how to live without it.
But no matter what, one thing’s for sure. Negative relationships take a toll on our mental health. They change our perspective on life and make us feel like we have no right to take control into our own hands.
When you’ve been in negative relationships for way too long, you start to feel like a puppet in your own life. You feel like your only task is to make others happy and do as they say.
This bare realization is sad, but unfortunately, there are some other things as well that happen to you after years of negative relationships. Here’s the bitter truth.
1. You start to choose your words carefully
At one point in your negative relationship, you forgot who you actually were. Your only task was not to disturb the other person with your words or actions.
Once that happens, you’ll start choosing your words carefully. It will start to feel that your life consists of walking on eggshells around other people since you don’t want to say something that’s going to upset them.
After many days, this behavior will feel almost natural to you. You’ll get used to keeping your opinion to yourself and saying out loud only what you assume the other person will approve. And just like that, you’ll live your life struggling to impress others and ignoring your own beliefs and thoughts completely.
It may sound like I’m over-exaggerating, but that’s the bitter truth that you must be aware of, even if you’re not ready to hear it.
2. You become insecure
Your negative relationships have changed you. You’re no longer the bubbly one in the group, ready to tackle the world. Right now, you’re just a shell of the person who existed before.
Your self-esteem has dropped, and you no longer know how to stand up for yourself and set boundaries. Instead, you accept the way others treat you because you don’t know what to do about it.
You’re no longer the brave one; you’ve hidden that part of yourself deep down because others made you feel that you should stay quiet and do as they say.
3. You’ve developed anxiety (or even depression)
After being surrounded by negative emotions all the time, you start to worry about your future. You start to worry about what the next day will bring and how you’re going to get through it.
These feelings have made you develop anxiety or, in some cases, even depression. The constant anticipation and fear of the future have made you lose your calmness.
You used to be able to sit down with your thoughts and look at things objectively. You used to protect yourself from the things that did you harm and no longer served you. But your negative relationships have changed you, and you got so used to this anxious feeling that you now feel like something’s wrong if you don’t wake up nervous.
It’s sad to know how much effect some people have on us. Most of the time, we don’t want to accept the truth that they’re controlling our lives. But once you take your rose-colored glasses off, you’ll realize just how little say you have in your own life.
4. You lose your sense of self
The chances are that you no longer feel like a person. Instead, you’re just an extension of your partner.
When we spend so much time in negative relationships, we forget how to fight for ourselves. We stay quiet for way too long, which then leads us to the feeling that we’re not important. And once that happens, you simply ignore your existence.
You’re aware that everything you say will be criticized. Your opinions no longer matter, and what you’re expected to do is to fit into someone else’s mold. That’s when you start changing.
You lose your sense of self completely and rely on other people. They shape you however they want, and expect you to follow them blindly. So, you do that perfectly. Not because you like it but because you feel like you have no other option.
You’ve been stuck in your relationship for a long time, and it feels hard to change things. You have no energy to do it, so you decide to simply go with the flow. But deep down, you hate the person you’re becoming because you know that’s not who you actually are.
5. It impacts your other relationships
Let’s say that you have a history of ending up in negative romantic relationships. What will happen after that is that you’re going to take those toxic patterns of behavior and introduce them into every other relationship of your life.
You’ll no longer know how to set boundaries with your friends, so you’ll let them treat you however they want to. You won’t be able to stand up for yourself in front of your family and will allow them to talk nonsense about your life while you listen quietly.
Even when you break free from your partner, the chances are that you’re going to end up with someone similar to him. You’re so used to this life that you won’t know how to prevent the same cycle from happening all over again.
At one point, you’ll just give up, thinking that you deserve to live your life this way. But what you should do instead is get up and do something to change your future for the better. There’s a way to break free from all the negativity that was once a regular part of your life. You just have to be willing to do it.
6. You forget what love is supposed to feel like
After everything you’ve been through, you’ll start to think that love is supposed to hurt. You’ll assume that love is supposed to be tough and that you have to fight for it. And you’ll walk into your every other relationship with this state of mind.
You’ll convince yourself that things that are worthy aren’t easy and that sometimes, you have to stay quiet to make others happy. You’ll change everything about yourself simply because you’re used to believing that this is the right thing to do.
In the end, you won’t be happy with the person you become. You’ll resent and blame yourself for everything you’ve allowed others to do to you.
Once that happens, you’ll need to take a step back and realize that sometimes we all allow others to treat us worse than we deserve. But what matters the most is to become aware of the issue and to be willing to change it.
Yes, your negative relationships have indeed changed you, and now when you look at yourself in the mirror, you don’t recognize the person in the reflection. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get yourself out of this toxic cycle. As long as you’re willing to grow and heal, there’s still hope that you’re going to save yourself from this.