5 ways women drive toxic relationships

by Sep 9, 20162 comments

Do you know the phrase “you reap what you sow?” Many people find themselves in repeated patterns of dysfunctional and toxic relationships, whether personal or professional. Very often this is as much about themselves as it is about the other person. They just don’t know they are reaping what they are sowing.

[Tweet “The people we are drawn to and are attracted to happens for a reason.”] It’s important to look at our own behaviours, actions and needs to see what lies behind our relationship patterns.  It is about you!

5 typical profiles of toxic relationships

Ms Fixit

Toxic Relationships

Always ready and willing

You enjoy helping other people, because by getting things done you become indispensable. This can be a great source of recognition for you and gives you great pleasure from being of service.  The Fixer is attractive to others because they can dump on you. You can take-on the tasks and roles that they don’t want for themselves. You pride yourself on your problem solving skills, but it can border on interference at times and doesn’t allow others to experiment, take risks or fail. The serial Fixer eventually feels put-on as their toxic relationships turn sour.

Many Fixers think that what they are doing is good, suportive or even altruistic, but frequently their feelings are rooted in insecurity and a lack of self-esteem.  Fixers have a high tolerance of poor behaviour and will stay in jobs where they are taken advantage of longer than they should. They let abusive relationships run long past their sell by dates.  Read: How to deal with toxic people

 Ms. People Pleaser

Pleasing everyone but herself

Very similar to The Fixer/Rescuer the People Pleaser thrives in the reflected glory of serving others. There is something in your background that associates being helpful with being appreciated which results in you putting your own needs on the back burner. You will be the one who assumes all the emotional work in the office and gets lumbered with all the additional chores outside. You volunteer to work late, provide sick cover, run everyone’s kids around when they could take a bus, even have sex when you don’t want it.

This is rooted in fear failure or rejection  and because you are afraid of upsetting anyone, you may not speak out. You end up communicating via passive aggressive behaviours. Read: How to recognise a passive aggressive colleague

[Tweet “You put other people’s needs before your own and don’t practise self-care.”] You take care of everyone, but frequently no one takes care of you. Read: Practice extreme self-care to increase confidence

Ms Keep-up

Ready to take on the competition

Ms Keep-up is always looking at the grass on the other side of the fence instead of watering your own lawn. You try and keep up. You are painfully aware of how everyone else is doing and use that as a yardstick. The work or value added by anyone around you never meets your own standards. They are undeserving or lucky.  You take on projects or activities, possibly against your better judgement, just to be seen in the right places with the right people. [Tweet “You don’t rely on other people as there is something of a perfectionist in you.”]

Your need to be “better than” means you are constantly trying to improve and play one-upmanship (or womanship) games with your neighbours, colleagues or friends. People can tap into your Type A personality especially in the workplace to get things done faster. You don’t get dumped on but will do most things to prove you can do it or are better.

Ms Imposter

Toxic Relationships

Do you feel like an imposter

You struggle to internalize your accomplishments and are not worthy of success. Despite all evidence to the contrary you do not own your own achievements. You put them down to luck, or timing, or your team. [Tweet “Imposters are very common among high-achieving women.”] You don’t know how you got to where you are – but you are afraid you will be caught out and exposed. Imposters allow others to take the credit for their work and assume high visibility roles, while running the hard yards in the back room. Imposters attract toxic relationships especially in the workplace, because they do all the work and don’t expect any credit.

 Ms Dependable

Opening lines of communication is the best step

Will not let you down

Rooted in perfectionism  with an element of fixing and pleasing, your reputation is that you never let people down.  Reliability is your middle name. You can be guaranteed to get the job done and keep the show on the road. You are a safe harbour in a crisis so your goodwill is often abused by toxic relationships with Drama Queens. Read: What it means to be a Drama Queen.

Fear of failure, an inability to say no and set reasonable boundaries all fuel toxic relationships with Little Ms Dependable. Add to that their love of organisation, systems and procedures you  are  ideal targets for Chaos Makers who can suck the emotional and physical energy out of you. Read: When reliability is a not an asset

People will change their attitudes to you when they see you have changed.  Work on building your stronger self-confidence and learn to have those difficult conversations. When  you communicate constructively, set clear and firm boundaries people will they will notice. They will assume responsibility and become accountable for their own actions, as well as failures, as their boundaries will become more solid.

One thing for sure they will not do this on their own. Once you stop fuelling toxic relations the other person will have nothing to work with or on. Notice the change.

If you can’t do this on your own  –  see a coach. It will change your life!

If you need support managing your relationships – contact 3Plus for a coaching session.

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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