Being in a toxic relationship can have not only harmful effects on your romantic relationships but it can spill over into other areas of your life such as work relations and relationships with your family and friends. It can stifle your creativity, causing you to become unmotivated about your own goals and it can be detrimental to your self-esteem. Often times, toxic relationships are hard to recognize because they are usually accompanied by extreme physical attraction, intense sexual experiences and the illusion of “chemistry”. In case you are wondering if you’re in a toxic situation, the guide below will prompt you of any behaviors in your current relationship that you should heed.
I’ll take “You’re as beautiful on the INSIDE as you are on the outside” any day over “You’re so pretty”. . .
Being pretty is nice, but for me, the greatest compliments come from people who speak to my character. My mama always taught me that it’s what’s INSIDE that matters anyway. . .
Growing up, compared to my sisters, I was considered “dark-skinned” & I think I had somewhat of a complex about it. Not in the beginning, because I didn’t notice this from within my family, but it was from outsiders, strangers, that I noticed a difference. I’ll never forget one day being at a store called Holidays in Jefferson Square (in my hometown) just me & my sisters, I had to have been around…14 & my older sister introduced us to a friend of hers. “That’s your baby sister, I can tell, ya’ll are twins. She’s so pretty”. I don’t even think she looked at me. It was like I was invisible. . .
For years, I tried overcompensating my abilities & my character because I knew that if I was a good person then people would have something nice to say about me. Or, I thought so, anyways. . .
My mother says this phrase to me often, “DeJ, you’re as beautiful on the INSIDE as you are on the outside.” And I love that because she knows me better than anyone. But sometimes I feel like she kinda has to say that because she’s my mom, lol, right? So when someone else says it, a perfect stranger, it makes it that much more special. And that’s the ultimate compliment.
For a more in-depth look at my experience, please read my extended article For Colored Girls.
Although we’ve never met, I feel like we know each other. Probably as much as anyone can know through the superficial scrubbing of one’s social media profile. I made judgments about you based on your name, pictures & posts, the same way I’m sure you did about me. I clung to assumptions of who I imagined you to be. I side-eyed your pics and trolled your comments. And I questioned some of your hair pieces, as well. And I know that may sound like shade, but it’s not.