People are so complicated that most of us don’t even understand our feelings and thoughts half the time. Yet, here we are. 7.5 billion of us stuck on this rock, having to interact with each other, everyone with different goals and values and beliefs, and we all gotta try and get along. And also some people have knifes and no emotional reaction to murder- Well, that’s not the point. When I say relationships. I’m talking about any type of interaction between people. Friends, Family, Colleagues, When you do the kisses with someone ;3 Red flags are a term that everyone’s familiar with. That person cheats on everyone they’ve been with? (flirty flirt) RED FLAG.>:( That person only uses people for their personal benefit? RED FLAG. That person doesn’t wipe off the knife after spreading butter on toast, and when they go for more butter, little crumbs get stuck in the tub? (I’m looking at you joe) R e D f L a G. (get outta here you stupid butter) But what about red flags that only start revealing themselves once you’ve built trust with someone and have a connection with? :/ When your opinion of someone is positive, those flags can start being overlooked or you start saying, “Oh, but they’re a good person. I trust them!” “Oh-” hehe “I mean, they wouldn’t want to hurt me on purpose.” (or would they??!!) It’s easy to rationalize warning signs of a bad relationship when you have a positive view of someone. But it doesn’t mean they’re not there, or should be ignored. They’re still being a jerk. It’s just complicated by your history together. I think the majority of people tend to be too nice or passive or overly understanding. It’s really common, and easy to do. :/ Because of that, toxic relationships are much more prevalent than you’d realize, and it can be difficult to know what to look for. (true) There’s a chance you’re in a hurtful relationship right now and don’t even realize it. (a butter knife.. WitH CRuMbS oN iT!?!?) The term, “manipulation” gets thrown around a lot. And because of that I think a lot of people would feel they would be able to identify manipulation if it happened to themselves. But it’s not as easy as, “Chad and Sally are dating.” “Sally wants to go out with friends.” “Chad forces Sally to stay home with him. Chad’s a manipulator.” (dang it chad) FBI OPEN UP! Yeah, that’s actually a super common manipulative situation. (ye) But the way manipulation works, is that it builds up slowly over time and is almost entirely emotional. Chad might instead start isolating Sally from her friends by nitpicking things he doesn’t like about an individual person at a time. (frick chad) Chad: I don’t like how Nick talks to a lot of girls. It’s kind of weird. Chad: Don’t you think Don drinks too much? It’s not too responsible of her. Little implants like that can make Sally view her friends not as highly one by one and start trusting Chad more. A few months of this go by and Sally’s not hanging out with any of her friends anymore. (Poor Sally) and Chad successfully isolated her which means he has much more control over her thoughts and emotions. (friggin chad) You still might think that’s easy to see through and some people are better at picking up on warning flags and others. I think it’s important to keep in mind that everything in real life is much more humanized than when we talk about ’em. For example, we’re raised to believe that drugs are awful. It’s pretty much brainwashed into us. *flashbacks to health class* You’re at a party, the lights are blaring and someone comes up to you and goes, “Hey kid… wanna do a drug?” (epic time slowing noises) Time slows down.. The cigarette is glowing with evil energy… You look up and all of a sudden they’ve grown horns and fangs and OH MY GOD IT’S SATAN! No, it’s not what happens. (yes it is) Realistically, you’d be at a small get-together with close friends. You’ve had a nice night with them so far. Laughing and having a good time just like normal. One of them just takes out a little sandwich baggie and it’s like, “Hey, I’ve got coke.” There’s no time slow-mo, or sirens It’s a completely normal feeling situation and all of a sudden your brain is confused. “Drugs are bad, but this is my friend.” “We’ve known each other since fifth grade. He’s just a normal dude.” “He’s not bad.” “Are my other friends gonna do it?” THUD *friends plop on the table* Your brain thinks of any excuse it can to rationalize behavior from people you trust or think highly of which applies to relationships. It can be difficult, but you need to define how people should treat you and respect yourself enough to not let people maneuver you into bad situations. Emotionally abusive and manipulative relationships are super frickin’ common. And it’s tricky because they jostle with your head feels and can make you feel like a squashed fly on a window. Stuck, powerless, sad. If like corpses even feel sad, I mean, I guess they’re just dead (Or are they?) Emotional blackmail is a way to control or manipulate someone by using guilt, fear, and obligation against them. Is someone passive-aggressive, overly controlling, do they use threats like, “Do this or I’ll hurt you”, or even, “Do this or I’ll hurt myself”. That leads to another difficult situation. If someone ever belittles themselves, “I’m pathetic, you should just leave me.” “I’m gonna hurt myself” It puts you in a complicated position because it can feel like there’s a responsibility to provide this person with whatever they need, because obviously you care about them and you don’t want them to feel this way or even do something bad to themselves. But this is a hard pill you’ve got to just swallow. *Drumroll* You are not personally responsible for anyone’s happiness. “But they’ve got really bad self-esteem, and I’m worried that…” NOT responsible for anyone’s happiness. “But they’re really depressed and can’t help it so I feel like if I just…” NOT responsible for anyone’s happiness. Santa: “But I’m Santa Claus.” All right, gray area. Responsibilities shouldn’t be assigned to you. Even if it breaks your heart to step back, people normally aren’t equipped to be able to help someone with their issues anyway. So it’s best to encourage them to see a professional who’s been trained to know how to handle things. Someone might be struggling with their own personal stuff, but mental illness doesn’t negate their responsibility to maintain a healthy relationship. It just means they need to work on themselves, which is okay, but you don’t need to be a part of that. You’ve got your own junk. They’ve got their junk. You need to decide how much of their junk you want to help with. Don’t let them forcefully shove their junk on you. I like to imagine I’m my own little ecosystem and I do my best to maintain it every day. If there’s a person or a relationship I have that just feels like pollution in any way, maybe it started off well, but slowly started feeling damaging. Then I’ve got to just step back and ask myself if I need to kick them off my planet. It sounds harsh at first, but you really can’t drop your responsibility to maintain your ecosystem in hopes to improve someone else’s. Who’s gonna watch your ecosystem? No one. Because that’s your responsibility. Communication is the most important way to know if you can work on fixing the relationship or need to cut it. “Hey, dude, can you stop dumping toxic waste into my ocean? You’ve been doing it for a while and all my cute little dolphins are dying.” “Oh, geez. I didn’t even realize I was hurting them. I’m sorry what can I do to be better?” Not only have you communicated that there’s a problem, but the person takes full responsibility and is willing to work on getting better. But if they say “Look, how was I supposed to know? I was just trying to help! Why are you being so sensitive.” “That’s toxic as shii-!>:D” Shifting blame, gas lighting, guilt-tripping, Cassius deportation. Let them know how they’re affecting you. Set boundaries on how much you can give and make sure you both have your own support system. So you don’t have to just rely on each other. If things don’t change, *Splat* Look at your behaviors as well. You feel like you need to justify or explain their actions too much. Do other people you trust not like them? People can get stuck accidentally blaming themselves or over rationalizing things that are just not right in the first place, and don’t forget that you can also be doing things wrong too. Self reflect a bit, verbalize your feelings. Ask yourself, “Am I being an a**hole?” Why are you doing things out of spite? Anger? Jealousy? It’s tough to admit your faults, but it’s more important to be 💯 percent real and brutally honest with yourself. If you’re gonna maintain a 💯 percent real relationship. People who manipulate most often don’t realize they’re being manipulative. No one wakes up and is like, “haha I’m gonna be super manipulative today.” Think about your contributions to your relationships and how they affect things. It’s okay to admit when you’ve messed up. It’s more messed up to turn a blind eye and keep being a jerk. It takes a lot to break off any sort of relationship because it can feel like a defeat or like you’ve given up but sometimes that’s just straight up the best and healthiest solution for both of you. Two people can be great but just not mixed well together and if you feel like leaving is dangerous for either you or them, ironically, that’s a pretty strong reason to leave in the first place. Someone shouldn’t ever need you. They should want to you. Your ecosystem should be able to sustain itself and relationships are just the little sprinkles of fertilizer benefit.. for it if you feel like you’re not strong enough to break something off, a good way to work on that is to build confidence, build a good support system, journal your thoughts, practice positive self-talk, “I aM a GoD-” alright not that positive. Treat yourself as a friend. It’s not selfish to want the best for yourself. Especially when someone’s over here being a happiness vampire. When you break something off with someone, remember why things didn’t work. Repeat it in your head if you need to. A lot of people try and rekindle relationships when the initial problem hasn’t been fixed. People need time to change. You don’t owe someone a second chance if they haven’t put in the work to fix anything and you can’t force someone to get help. If you’re unsure about a relationship think about these questions, Do you put off seeing or responding to them? Do you feel worse after spending time with them have they threatened you or themselves in any way? Did they make you feel like you can’t do things on your own or you can’t make a single decision without them? Do they ask for a lot of favors or money and don’t pay it back? Do they talk badly behind your back? Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them? Do they put you down? If it’s a yes to more than one of those, then you should start considering either ending it or try to communicate and resolve the problems. Don’t tolerate any pollution. You’re the one who has to live in it, and you deserve clean air. Big thanks to my friend Kati Morton for helping me out with the writing this video. I wanted to make sure I didn’t say anything inaccurate and she’s a licensed specialist with this type of stuff and I trust her a lot. Of course, I hope you’re able to take this advice and interpret it to situations in your own way. If you want to put a lot of energy into trying to help or be there for someone that’s completely fine. I just want people to know it’s okay to think about yourself as well in situations I’ve met and I’m friends with so many great people who tried to help someone they care about but it ended up being too much. And starts dragging them down too, like once you start talking to people about it. It’s like holy crap! Literally everyone’s gone through something like this and it’s so easily preventable if you know what to look for. Anyway, thanks for watching. Hope this helps someone out there. You’re great. Talk to you later. Bye. Ari says bye too.