ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: Release toxic relationships

Carlee McCullough | 1/12/2016, 12:44 p.m.
Whether in our personal lives or in business, the sooner we rid ourselves of toxic relationships the better. The first ...
Carlee McCullough, Esq.

Having stepped boldly into 2016, now is the time to evaluate those toxic relationships that have become a stumbling block in our world. On our way to wealthy, everyone may not make it to the finish line with us. We must be aware of toxic relationships that manifest in our personal lives or in business. The sooner we rid ourselves of such relationships the better.

What’s the first step? Identify the toxic behavior and its source. Here are some signs.


Instead of enjoying each other’s company, the majority of the time is spent fighting or arguing. Personal relationships should reflect comfort and joy because they are a choice, not a requirement. If the conversations are not pleasant, supportive and motivating, it may be time to reevaluate the affiliation.

Constant criticism or disparagement

A relationship with a significant other who constantly ridicules, criticizes or demeans can never be a good thing. Healthy relationships should build the parties up not tear them down. Constant disparaging comments – whether in public or in private – chip away at self-esteem and create a tense, stressful environment.

In business, the same holds true with employers and managers that issue constant criticism and little, if any, praise at all. Changing jobs is not always easily accomplished but it definitely needs to be a serious consideration.


A major indication of toxicity is name-calling or trying to hurt someone’s feelings with harsh words. If someone is calling a person out of her/his name, it is a huge sign of disrespect. The negative feelings last longer than the conversation and can touch a person’s heart. So when name-calling is present, toxicity is there too.

You’ve changed

Sometimes change is good. However, if one person is continually changing to please another, this could be a sign of a controlling relationship. The change could be in appearance, clothes, behaviors, demeanor, attitude, etc. A person’s appearance can often decline because of his/her mental state. If your friends or family mention that you don’t laugh or smile anymore, take note. While it may be hard to hear, family and friends usually have their loved one’s best interest at heart.

Controlling behavior

Controlling behavior can surface in decisions about what you wear, where you go and/or who you chose to have as friends. If the exchange does not go both ways, one party most certainly has controlling behavior. Both parties’ thoughts and opinions are important and should be taken into consideration.


It is natural to be a little jealous in relationships. However, unnecessary and extreme jealousy makes for a challenging relationship. Trust is the foundation of all relationships and without it the connection teeters on shaky ground.

Negative energy

Remember, a relationship is a choice, which means that if is not working there is an exit or an alternative. Atmosphere is a very real thing. If one is in touch, it is easy to pick up. The mood, tone and conversation are all giveaways. Negativity can be felt. Our bodies tense up when we feel and react to the presence of negative energy. One person can bring negative energy with them into a room. Do not let it bring you down. Negative energy can bring one down mentally, physically, emotionally, professionally and personally. So, if it can be eradicated, it is best to address it as soon as it surfaces.

Growth is a problem

Growth should be desired and expected. If a significant other cannot accept the other’s growth, it can become a problem. Relationships frequently face this hurdle when one party appears to be growing personally and professionally faster than the other. This can be overcome as long as resentment does not surface in the party not experiencing the growth. The parties in a relationship need to be moving in the same direction, even if the pace of one is a tad bit slower.

(Contact Carlee M. McCullough, Esq. at 901-795-0050; email – jstce4all@aol.com.)