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Yesterday, well early this morning, I wrote a post dealing, in part, with those internal dialogues that so many of us have. The post was called “Encouragements from not a weirdo!” and the title was resultant from those internal dialogues.

But what about those external dialogues? Those messages that we receive from others – especially those closest to us?

I found these images of posts made by folk, over on tumbler.

negativity 2negativeSad aren’t they?  But what is even sadder perhaps is just how much you and I can relate to them.

The truth is that some relationships are just toxic aren’t they?

toxicrelationshipAnd we need to be very careful about them and about the messages that we take in from such relationships.

Puppet master-chanOf course not all relationships readily appear to be toxic or harmful and indeed some are so very subtle in how they harm us aren’t they?

Sometimes it is as much about how someone treats us as it is about what they actually say to us, or what kind of activities they lead us into rather than anything spoken or readily identifiable.

I think that is why I like this image (featured left) which I found (here) so much as it reminds me that sometimes folk seem to want to “pull our strings” (so to speak) for their own advantage without us even knowing.

But this just adds to the need to be cautious and to review the relationships that we have and the kind of influences those relationships exert on us, doesn’t it?

One way in which we can keep a check on this is to take an audit of all our relationships and to determine if their communications,  their effect on us, their influences and attitudes are positive or negative.

positive_negative

Why not give it a go?

Write down all the names ( on separate scraps of paper) of the people you spend time with and then set two pile markers.  One marked “positive” and one marked “negative”.

Take each scrap of paper in turn, look at the name on it and then – objectively and honestly considering their; messages to you, communications with you, treatment of you, place them in the appropriate pile.

(If you are just not sure about someone place them to one side and come back and look at them in more detail.)

You may be surprised by the result!

For those you are not sure about get another piece of paper and consider them in more detail.

It can be an interesting exercise to do and when you have got your two piles think about what needs to change in order to bring those relationships on the negative side to the positive side.

And of course this is not just a one way street!

No_two_ways_about_it__by_KennoliWe also need to consider the messages we give them, our communication with them, how we ourselves treat them.

After all, aren’t we all potentially just as fallible as the next person?

As someone who suffers from poor mental health and yes those voices and internal dialogues that I spoke of earlier and in yesterday’s post, I think this is such an important thing.

And as a Christian I have found it equally important!

2745033280011182551ROfXmY_phEven within my relationships in church and with other believers I have needed to be careful and I believe the bible encourages us to be so.

So even with my relationship in church and with other believers I review and audit those relationships.  Do they glorify God, encourage me, inspire me, motivate me?

Are the conversations that they invite me to be a part of positive or negative, do they glorify God, spread love and understanding and wisdom?  Do they encourage and build or tear down and destroy?

Likewise, the activities that they are encouraging me to be a part of, are they glorifying to God, draw me closer to God or attempt to pull me or take me away from Him?

i truly believe that this is an important consideration not only in respect of our mental health but also our spiritual health and I look forward to your feedback on it!

 

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