We are back with another post for #DEMentalHealthMondays segment!
For today’s topic, we are going to touch on relationships and mental health. As you may already know and have read if you’re subscribed to DE, we post about mental health every Monday of the week to shed light and bring awareness to a growing epidemic of mental health related problems or issues specifically in the African American community.
But of course all races are welcome to give input and enjoy our readings.
Relationships. Even saying the word relationships brings a big weight onto my shoulders and heart to be honest. In general, I can say that I have had some wonderful relationships growing up. Some have lasted since kindergarten of elementary school, totaling close to 30 years worth of friendships and I cherish those the most. You don’t find too many people that you can maintain great friendships for over 5 years let alone over 20 in this day and age compared to past times. When I say relationships, I want you all to know that I’m not just limiting this post to romantic based relationships. I’m speaking on all forms of connections including friendship based relationships and family relations.
Birds of a feather flock together.
The saying is true birds of a feather flock together.
To me, personally, this means that you are who you hangout with or you’re around on a regular basis. How you act is determined by your exposure to the things around you. If you’re shy, you probably hang around shy people. If you like music, you’re going to pull more towards a music based crowd and there’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t really build connections to people whom you don’t have anything in common with them. But some of those common connections could be a huge part in your mental health battles if you aren’t careful about watching the company you keep.
Transfer of energy is real. Even if you’re not a big believer in energies and spirits, they are still there and prevalent in your life. Negative energy will travel through that bad company. Bad company will make their problems your problems, causing again more mental health issues for yourself.
One thing I always make sure that I constantly evaluate with the people I choose to hang around or have apart of my circle is how they make me feel along with what they have going on in their lives separate from our friendship. Three questions asked include:
- How does this person make me feel? Am I always happy around them while I’m in their presence, or does my mood always change or decline into a negative slope when I’m around them?
- Are they truly on the up and up? Does this person that I choose to hang around have anything good going for themselves, or are they playing in a fantasy world to make it seem like they have something going for themselves just to keep company around?
- Does this interaction benefit me? Can I gain anything on a positive note from me having them in my presence, or am I losing out on valuable opportunities by keeping this connection alive?
To me, having someone around you that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or who you are as a person is a big no-no when it comes to having a healthy mental state of mind. You need folks in your life that will uplift you no matter what is going on around you. If you come around someone and just become agitated and aggravated all the time then more than likely they are no good for you. Now, sometimes this may happen vice versa. You may be the cause of the agitation due to you not being supportive of that particular person or you’re just not bringing good vibes. You still have to be good to people in order for them to be good to you at the end of the day. If your mood always changes towards negative feelings while around someone then that is a sign that they are no good for you overall. Having a person who doesn’t have anything good going on for themselves in life will cause endless amounts of problems and drama for everyone around them including you if you’re not careful. People who have things going on will be focused on those things so much that they won’t have time for drama and pointless chaos. People who don’t have anything going could cause a lot of mental turmoil for you. They may complain a lot more than anything, ultimately leading to discouragement for you and what you have going on. Then you end up becoming the company you have kept, you begin to slack off on what you’re striving to do, ultimately ending up like them….not doing anything nor having anything going for yourself anymore. Whomever you’re hanging around on a regular basis should be of some benefit for you. Now this doesn’t mean financially. You should never look for someone to financially support you above your own self. That’s not how life works and manipulation financially is not cool at all, it’ll only lead to bad karma for you as a person. What I do mean, is that you have to have people around you that will help you in your time of need and be there to positively support you overall. They should be bringing good vibes mentally and emotionally at all times no matter what.
5 Signs a Person is No Good for Your Mental Health
- Drug Use – Hanging around people that are heavily on drugs should be a big no-no for anyone trying to keep their mind stable and on track towards positivity. Drugs won’t help you towards better mental health unless they are legal drugs prescribed by a licensed physician or a legal and licensed counselor, and this includes alcohol as well. Some don’t realize that heavy alcohol use is no different from illegal narcotic use. Many think that by them using drugs they are helping to heal and fix their problems when in reality they are actually making things worse for the long run by masking and covering up their true issues. Some street drugs mask your initial issues so you may feel better for a couple hours or so, but after those drugs wear off you’re back to where you started at and in the same position of having the same problem you initially had in the first place. Say no to drugs and say no to the influences around you pushing you towards drugs to cope with your mental health issues.
- History of Abuse – If you’re in a relationship or pursuing someone for a relationship please make sure you know exactly the type of person you’re getting involved with. Your significant other is someone you will be around on a regular basis, sometimes more than your own childhood friends and family members, especially if you’re close to that significant other and have been dating for a while. Some end up marrying their significant other and of course that means you end up moving in together and building a lovely life together as a couple and even as a family. But all romantic relationships don’t lead into that lovely life that everyone truly dreams of. Know the signs of an abusive person and take heed. Being in an abusive relationship will tear your mental health apart bit by bit. Most abusive relationships begin as emotionally abusive or psychologically abusive so it is highly important that you know the signs of these forms of abuse and avoid people who practice them no matter how much you may love them. Check out my article with Medium on 12 Signs You’re Dealing with a Narcissist.
- Constant Absence – You ever have a friend that is just never there to show love or support for anything you have going on but you often notice they always make time for everyone and everything else? Well that my friend is not a true friend and not someone you need in your life to maintain good mental health. They are being selfish and using your presence to fill voids in their life. Their absence can cause a lot of emotional stress that you can definitely do without as an adult. Quite frankly, we are not 12 years old anymore so this sign right here should be an automatic sign for you to not even take the friendship serious. Now most selfish friends like this will try to manipulate your mental when you bring up your dislike for this type of action. They’ll attempt to say, “well I’m busy”. Everyone is definitely busy as an adult but please believe people make time for what they want to make time for and if they can’t make time to check on you and most importantly to show up when it’s needed the most then you should stop wasting time on them. Same goes for romantic relationships. If your partner doesn’t even show up for you or you find yourself having to beg for it then leave them. There are other potential partners out here where you won’t have to beg for time or attention at all. Sometimes you’ll counter this action by treating them how they treat you by becoming absent in the friendship or relationship and trust and believe they will notice it and try to say this is why they haven’t been around but that’s again a mental manipulation. Leave them alone. It’s not worth the stress you’re being put through.
- Degrading Comments – A real friend or partner would never talk to you any kind of way. That’s verbal abuse and yes friendships can become abusive too. Your friend or mate should be there to help build you up not tear you down verbally. That’s childish and just foul as a friend of any kind. Words can hurt just like physical hits can and sometimes worse.
- Manipulation – You ever have a friend that just seems to get their way all the time? Even when things aren’t going how they want they’ll make some very drastic and disturbing moves to make it happen even if it destroys the people around them? That is a very dangerous friend to have. Get rid of them immediately. No one should have to manipulate anyone to get anything out of them. That’s a sign of poor character which will not only affect you mentally but your livelihood as well. Eventually that manipulation will end up happening to you in the end.
Your friendships and significant others should be healthy for you, not a hassle or burden. Of course, everyone won’t always get along all the time and there will be disagreements from time to time that you can get through on a healthy note. Some things can be forgiven, but not all. If anyone you’re around makes you feel bad constantly then you should not be around them at all. There shouldn’t be a relationship there period. Don’t think that everyone is a bad person either. There are still good folks out here that you can build a great and stable friendship with at no expense to your mental health. If you are the cause of someone’s mental turmoil that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily a bad person either, you may just have a bad sense of actions or habits and again that can be changed if you recognize the problem you have and at least try to fix it. You only become a bad person mentally for others when you know you are the cause of a problem, can see how it negatively affects someone you’re close to and just don’t care to change anything about your actions at all.
Suicide Hotlines: 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) and 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)