Avoiding Toxic Relationships

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* Image via Elle.com

I’m in the middle of a very difficult transition: adjusting to college. Let me warn you now that this is one of many future blog posts about transitioning to college and maintaining healthy habits as a college student. Even if you’re currently in college or have already graduated, I still think these tips can apply to life after university, so tune in!

Let me start off by saying that I am beyond fortunate to have the friends that I do; I made friends in high school that I know I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life. I’m attracted to people who have positive energy, motivation, and a zest for life. This is not easy to come by, so when I do stumble upon people with energy and passion, I hold onto them for dear life. College is a completely different playing field than high school. My goal during my four years in college is to expand my cultural and social perspectives and to embrace my challenges and fears. Like many other students, I want my college experience to be fun-filled, not pressure-driven.

One major aspect of college is developing new friendships. Although I’m lucky enough to know many people from my high school that will be attending my same university this fall, I still want to expand my social circle; you can never have enough friends, am I right? 😉 I’ve encountered many toxic relationships in my life, and I will say with complete honesty that they are extremely difficult to let go of. For one, I’m the type of person who struggles to bring up important issues because I’m afraid that the other person will immediately resent me. However, I’ve learned in past experiences that it’s much better to be honest about your issues than to cling onto unhealthy relationships. Today, I’m sharing my best advice for avoiding toxic relationships:

1. Find like-minded people: I gravitate towards people that share similar interests, as I’m sure most people do. However, just because I develop friendships with like-minded people doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate people whose opinions contradict my own. Find friends who share a similar interest but are also able to expand your perspective.

2. Engage in positive activities: If you’re looking for honest, wholesome relationships, engage in honest and wholesome activities. I’ve made great friends through the Leadership program at my high school in addition to participating in my community through service events. By engaging in activities that have a positive effect on me, I have met many humble and down-to-earth individuals.

3. Acknowledge and address warning signs: If a friend has engaged in a negative activity that puts you into a difficult situation, it’s likely that a similar situation might happen again. Address warning signs, especially in the early stages of a relationship in order to avoid a toxic friendship.

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