Unhealthy relationships can take everything out of you. They will drain you of joy, confidence, hope, and anything remotely close to happiness. These unhealthy relationships are known to destroy your soul—to destroy your spirit. They are the relationships you will never forget just because of how much pain and agony you went through.
You got out. You’re free. The healing process felt like death, and you felt so weak along the way. But here you are, standing tall, and feeling stronger than ever before. You swear that you will never end up in a similar relationship, but how can you be sure? Dating can be deceptive, as the deeper you get, the clearer someone’s personality becomes.
Even though you would give everything to stay away from future relationships that resemble those destructive horror shows, it’s not always guaranteed. What is guaranteed, however, is not allowing another human being to make you experience those awful feelings again. What is guaranteed is never giving another person the power to hurt and control you again.
How is this possible? What does it have to do with power? Well, a lot, actually. Your power is knowing how valuable you are, and saying no when you are not being treated well. It’s being aware of your worth, and no longer making excuses for another person’s inappropriate, hurtful behavior.
Whether currently in an unhealthy relationship that is bringing you down, recovering from one, or starting a new one, you can always take your power back…
Here’s how to take your power back:
Know your worth
Know that you are worthy of love, and worthy of good treatment. You deserve a healthy relationship in which you are happy, and you should not settle for anything less.
If something you are not okay with is happening, speak up. Say no. Make your voice heard, and do not allow for anyone, no matter who, to treat you in a way that makes you feel small, disrespected, or hurt. Remember, you deserve better.
Along with not accepting inappropriate behavior, demand more. State your expectations and set a timeline. If things don’t improve, you may need to reevaluate your relationship and if it’s turning into one of those horror shows you previously experienced.
Pay Attention to Red Flags
Be aware of any red flags. You’ve been through this before, so keep an eye out for any strange, inappropriate behavior. Unhealthy relationships are not the business.
Listen to your gut
Always, I mean always, listen to your gut. You know when something is wrong, so be sure to pay attention. Learn how to decipher the difference between butterflies and anxiety. Learn when to call it quits, and when to stick it out just a tad longer. Connect your mind and your intuition; don’t use one to fight the other.
Express your expectations
Make it known early on what you will and will not tolerate. Explain that you need from a relationship, and do not accept anything less. This sounds like a potentially aggressive approach, but I think if presented appropriately, it can be very effective.
Give yourself permission to be vulnerable
It’s okay to put yourself out there. It’s okay to learn to trust again. It’s okay to let your guard down. Being able to let someone in is also part of your power source.
Feeling happy in a relationship is wonderful, however, it does not coincide with relinquishing your power. Even if you have been blessed the greatest, most supportive partner, keep your power. It’s a tool. It’s an instrument. It’s a means of strength that you can forever lean on. You never know when you’re going to need it next…
In a new relationship and not sure how to open up? Check out these tips on how to safely let your guard down…