Unhealthiness is in us and all around us. Engaging in unhealthy behaviors and leaves us empty. We become devoid of encouragement. We face the danger of being plunged into a life that models despair more then hope.
Knowing the state of your emotional health is paramount to knowing how to become more healthy in your life.
The following are what I call “marks” of emotional unhealthiness. These are signs that you could be emotionally unhealthy. Use them as a reflective tool to determine if you or the person you are engaging with are unhealthy. By no means is this an exuse to judge people, but to help people come to the realization that we need help! We need to find healing.
In my lifetime I can say I have exhibited the following things more times then I like to count. It has only been in recent years where I finally feel like I am gaining victory in my life over the unhealthiness that I have allowed to grow in my soul.
1. How people talk about other’s to you is how they will talk about you to others.
Listen up! People will share with you their hearts. They may think that they are being guarded and not really telling you anything, but the signs are all there for those who observe.
If a person is trash talking a “type” of person or a “specific” person then they are unhealthy. healthy people do not trash talk others. Healthy people state facts, engage in prayer, and seek ways to become healthy in the midst of an unhealthy situation.
Listen not only to what is being said but how it is being said. If a person is brought up in conversation and the other person only has negative things to say then there is a high level on unhealthiness there.
Now for the hard truth. If a person is very free in how they talk about people to you they will be just as free in talking to others about you. Don’t let the person fool you. They will say I am only telling you this, but in reality they are telling whoever will listen to them.
I have seen this so many times both in my own life and in the lives of others.
For example, even though I saw this sign in someone I trusted them with my heart. You know what happened? Many of those same people are now actively trash talking about me to others. Unhealthiness breads unhealthiness. Listen to how people talk about people. Listen to how you talk about others.
Hear me out. healthy people can be trusted to both listen to and talk about the actions of others. However, healthy people will not tear another person down. They may talk about how things went or how things could be different, but they refuse to engage in diminishing of another person.
If you want to know if you are someone like this then ask someone who will answer you honestly. However, don’t put them in an awkawd position. Seek truth not justification of your actions. A spouse will be the best choice for this question. That is provided that they are healthy individuals.
2. People will crucify other’s for actions that they will excuse in themselves
Guilty. When I have been hurt I have looked at people and began to pick them apart. I would crucify them in my head. They were the individuals who did this. They were the individuals who sinned. How dare they! All the while I was excusing the same issues in my own life.
It is not easy to admit, but we all do it. When something is done against us it is a huge thing. When we do something against someone else it is no big deal. What hypocrisy.
This is a sign of unhealthiness that many will not see. Why? Because this is one that is covert and often in hiding. This is the one were we think it, but rarely ever speak it. Just because you don’t say it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be dealt with.
3. Misery loves company
When people are miserable they do not want people with them who are going to cheer them up. When people are miserable they do not want people with them who will be truthful with them. They want people with them who will agree with them and make them feel better in their misery.
The trustiest sign of this is when we are offended. We do not want people around us who will help us see the truth of our own actions. We want people around us that will agree with our justification. It makes us feel better. It gives us a safe place to hide in the midst of our unhealthiness.
4. Easily Offended
If you are easily offended then you are a prime suspect for someone with an unhealthy soul. Offense will happen to us all. There is no doubt about that. What differentiates someone from health and unhealthiness is the ease by which an individual is offended.
Health individuals do not give into emotionalism. They are not led by it. They are lead by what is right. They are lead by the principal of the situation. Unhealthy people are controlled by their feelings. They are lead by what they perceived to be right and fair. This can be dangerous because what we feel to be “right” and “fair” can come from a damaged soul. My advice is to listen to what the Bible says about what is right. The Bible is never swayed by emotionalism.
If someone takes something very personally, easily and often, then it is a sign of unhealthiness. An offense is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles (dictionary.com). It revolves around what is perceived. If I am someone who has a lot of unhealed hurts then my perception will revolve around that. I will see my world through the eyes of hurt. Thus, opening myself up to easier and greater resentment against others.
5. Healthy people don’t have time for drama while unhealthy people live in it
Unhealthy people seem to be drama magnets. It may be because misery loves company or it may be that they cause it themselves. Either way unhealthy people seem to continually be at the center of drama.
Drama can be defined as a way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events. Typically “drama” is used by people who are chronically bored or those who seek attention (urbandiction.com). I would also include those who are emotionally and mentally unhealthy as well.
People who engage in “drama” will usually attempt to drag other people into their dramatic state, as a way of gaining attention, acting out their brokenness, or making their own lives more exciting.
6. Unhealthy people believe themselves to be healthy and will often refuse to admit that they need help
There is a lot that we do to convince ourselves that we are healthier then we really are. We try to live in some sort of reality that allows us to believe that we are right and everyone around us is wrong. This can be a challenge especially when we are confronted with something that we do no want to hear. Many times we ignore it, ignore the person, or leave the situation in hopes that it will just vanish.
Then we debate with ourselves and others about the level of our health. We tell others that we are very healthy. We tell ourselves that we are very healthy. The entire time was we are really doing is trying to convince ourselves of this instead of facing the issue and dealing with the problem.
What if an unhealthy person is a person full of pride. Now you have a person who is either in true denial of their plight or they are so sure that their unhealthiness isn’t an issue and that everyone around them is the problem. Either way it is a challenge and a true mark of an unhealthy individual.
We think, “so what if we have unhealthy tendencies.” The only time they become an issue is when we are not actively admitting them, taking ownership of them, and actively doing doing to try to change them. One of the saddest sights is someone who is clearly unhealthy, and everyone around them knows it, but they refuse to acknowledge it or even do anything to change it. One of the other saddest things to me is someone who acknowledges their unhealthiness, wants to get help, but never actually does anything further then just acknowledge it.
7. People would rather talk about people then engage or confront them
This my friends is called passive aggressiveness. I am going to do a whole post about passive aggressive behavior, but I want to make you aware that this is another mark of unhealthiness.
You have people that are talking to everyone else about the issue. Everyone but you. They will talk and talk about this person, their issues, their wrongs, and their ways. They will go so far as to ensure that they themselves are not talked about even though they have no problem talking about another person. Then in the midst of all this mess they never actually talk to the person about the issue.
In the midst of this mark nothing is ever solved or resolved. All that is accomplished is the knowledge that there are many people who are too scared to actually deal with the real issues.
Maturity and health tell us that if I have a problem with a person I go to the person and talk about it to them. Unhealthiness tells us that if I have a problem with a person then I can talk about them and hope the issue is handled by someone else, but never actually deal with the issue.
These marks are by no means the only marks, but they are prominent ones. Read them. Pray about them. Confront them. Don’t blame others for them. Absorb them. Then continue your journey towards health!