How Taking It Easy Can Prevent an Abusive Relationship with Yourself

Violence is one of the key signs of an abusive relationship. Other toxic indications include psychological and verbal abuse. Celebrity cases pop up in the media from time to time educating everyone via a ringside seat. Therefore, it’s normal to expect at least some awareness and understanding of abusive relationships.

Nevertheless, one of the most overlooked abusive relationships can be one with ourselves. Clear cases involve addiction but what about less obvious examples? Where does overwork to the point of illness sit? Extreme moodiness and anger in a partner would easily be considered abusive but what about when our own behaviour makes us unnaturally angry, impatient and depressed?

Looking After #1?

We’d never condone an expert manipulator distorting reality for an ulterior motive. But we do this all the time to ourselves. In small doses it’s fine but setting goals so tough to achieve and using affirmations so blatantly untrue can be severely counterproductive. The desire to advance is universal. And thank goodness we’re not all stuck doing the same things for our entire lives. Yet balance is a vital ingredient so easily overlooked.

It’s so easy to be carried away by events then end up helpless as the bandwagon you created speeds out of control getting ever faster. The 5% inspiration gets sacrificed to improve the already 95% perspiration. Burning the candle at both ends can’t last. Real enduring success takes sustainable effort because great success takes time.

Bobby J Mattingly wrote an excellent short story about toxic relationships that’s worth 2 min of anybody’s time.

As I read it, I saw advice on how to leave or prevent toxic relationships even when we are the cause of our own hurt.

So if the hot tub no longer floats your boat and the RV is driving you to distraction, perhaps it’s time to reflect. Is busy really the same as effective? Are your goals truly soothing your soul?

How to Return to Normal and Still Stay Motivated

Have you noticed how when we’re stressed and under pressure we’re more likely to make mistakes, forget things and get annoyed? Effective time management helps in the normal zone but doing less is a far better option. The most successful, and often happiest, people use constructive disengagement. Ignore anything you can’t change and that doesn’t significantly affect you (or only have a passing interest in).

Coach class air travel has become a quality of life lottery where the experience depends a lot on how busy the airport and flight is, how pleasant and compassionate airport security staff are (are they ever not?), and even whether you are hungry enough to pay 50% more money for food you’d probably not buy in any other circumstances.

Even information overload is a peace killer. We need ‘Focus Assist’ for our day-to-day lives. One click to turn off the news, mute the ads and hide all the social media notifications.

Adding it all up, intelligently doing less adds up to a lot more quality of life. It’s the essence of less is more.

Just as eating double quantities of a healthy diet defeats the purpose and accomplishing your relaxing Sunday morning walk 16.2 minutes more quickly than last week misses the point, so too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

If all the effort put into achieving and feeling good is making you feel bad, maybe it’s the effort itself that’s too much? So follow the example set by The Eagles and take it easy.


You might like The Misdirection of Self-Improvement

Follow us at


Writer & Coffee Drinker. Authenticity is the new zeitgeist.