How to manage toxic relationships during a pandemic

Presently, there are many sources providing information about coping with mental issues closely connected to the ongoing pandemic. We all know that somewhere someone can tell us exactly how to deal with our concerns and fight with our anxiety. But we prefer not to. Instead, we try to handle our problems by ourselves. And we actually can.

For instance, we can do a news-detox, we can share our worries with someone we trust, we can seek help from a professional, or we can start practicing self-care and focus on our mindfulness.

However, if you’re in a toxic relationship during these mentally exhausting times, things are a lot more difficult to handle.

Considering the tremendous efforts you put into coexisting with a narcissistic or an overly-obsessive person, having to do it under quarantine can become incredibly challenging.

Usually, going to school, work, or even the gym can be a little escape from the negative influence of toxic people in your life. Unfortunately, as most of us are currently locked down between the walls of our homes, you may have to spend the majority of your time with the person that hurts you the most. You may have to deal with someone whose toxic vibes increase your anxiety and drain all of your energy. And all of this is happening amid an immensely dangerous worldwide pandemic.

The harsh truth is that under these serious conditions, this emotionally exhausting person may behave even more intensely than usual. Instead of helping you cope up with your mental struggles, they might intentionally add up to them. What’s more, they may be even playing their nasty little mind-games out of boredom, as there is no one around to praise or obey them but you.

Instead of taking it easy on you while you’re stressing over the current mini-apocalypse outside your home, this person can be much more intolerable than usual.

They might gaslight you, undermine your opinion, or even ignore your concerns in the face of the epidemic. They may even try to blame everything on you as if you were the reason you need to stay home and follow the government’s restrictions. Moreover, while undermining your anxiousness, they might even call you ‘crazy’ for frequently washing your hands and wearing a protective face mask while going essential-shopping. And as you try to explain to them why these measurements are important for your safety, all they do is mocking you or insisting you’re being a little too stressed lately.

On the other hand, they may use the coronavirus pandemic in their favor. While making everything about themselves, as usual, they may force you to help them take care of their anxiety, as they don’t even consider you might need someone’s help too.

As scary as this may sound, all of this might get you to a point where you think to yourself you would cope up with the virus easier than handling another day stuck with such a self-centered person. The constant emotional abuse may crush your spirits to a point where anything that gets you outside the house feels like a dream come true.

What you can do to escape from this toxic person’s unpleasant clout for a while is using the social distancing to your own advantage.

If there’s enough room at your place, spend more time in a different room. Furthermore, try not to engage in a long conversation with them. Focus on your work, your studies, or anything that enhances your personal growth. And if you don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, and where you live is not overcrowded, get out of the house and take a walk. Spend more time with yourself than with them.

In case the ones who bring toxicity into your life are your parents, make sure they’re feeling physically and mentally well, and ignore their usual nonsense as much as possible. If you’re dealing with an ignorant boss, make sure you’re doing your job professionally, and whenever you need to make an important decision, always take into account your health first.

Since millions of people have already contracted the terrifying virus, no one is really immune to it. The level of seriousness of the pandemic is incredibly high. Therefore, we need to take it seriously and make sure that we and the people around us are safe.

But what if somehow you become a COVID-19 patient?

Unfortunately, it’s in the self-absorbed people’s nature to be completely inconvenient while someone close to them needs to be taken care of. If your condition requires someone’s supervision, they may not be willing to help you. In case you are in a similar situation, be sure to keep in touch with your healthcare provider. Moreover, if possible, ask someone else to get you your essential medications, and always have clean water and nutritious food nearby. The situation may get quite serious, so try to be mentally prepared to deal with this on your own.

Generally, narcissistic emotional abuse is very specific. Not every resource aiming to help you deal with anxiety or other mental health issues will speak to you. That’s why you need to find what works best for you, and to spend more time with yourself, than with the ones that aim their toxicity towards you.

Unfortunately, since the beginning of the ongoing outbreak, concerns have been raised about an increase in household aggression. If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to reach out to the correct authorities.

In the U.S., the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. You can also visit their website.  

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