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Have You Swallowed a Poison Pill in Your Relationships?

By Marie Burns November 09, 2022 Mindset

Have you ever been so angry or upset with someone and then realized that they either had no idea what upset you OR they acted like they either didn’t care or didn’t notice that you were upset?

Holding onto that extreme negativity and resentment and feeling like your blood is just boiling triggers cortisol, the stress hormone, to pulse through your veins. It’s a “killing you slowly” chemical released in your body as a natural response to stress.

Your Choice

I know it sounds so easy, but we DO have a choice with our mindset in those situations. We can stay furious, hurt, and stressed out or decide to do what we can control, which is our reaction and the way we choose to move forward. If we choose to hold onto the gut-wrenching feeling, that choice is no different than if we swallowed a poison pill but expected the other person to die from it!

The older and wiser we get, the more we realize that our mind is THE ONLY THING in life we can control. As we come to the end of another year, the holidays are nearing, maybe we can pause to take a moment to reflect on that fact.

Healthy Choices

My professional life has always been about helping people make healthy choices in relation to our mind, body, or money. Afterall, the more we take care of our mind and body, the less we have to worry about running out of money (since good health costs less), right?

So when I recently read a colleague’s blog, retired CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and author Beverly Bowers, I totally related to her message: your mindset is a choice so choose peace.

Whether our current stress is related to an estranged adult child, a divorce, a difficult person in a work or other setting, or conflict of some kind in another relationship, Beverly’s reminder is spot on: we all need each other so taking full responsibility for living in relationships with respect and forgiveness can help us to choose peace.

Conflict Resolutions

She shares some proven principles that bring resolution to conflict, here are just a few:

Try to Understand the Context from a Factual Perspective

Choosing to review the facts of your situation almost from a third-party perspective can actually help take the emotion out of it.

I help facilitate Financial Peace University at my church and one of their suggestions in helping people to stick with a budget is to use your own name instead of “I” or “me” when making decisions. For example, “Does Marie need that new pair of shoes?” or “Is that a realistic grocery budget for Marie?”

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

After a difficult conversation, and you are replaying it over and over in your head anyway, can you replay it from the other person’s perspective? Could what you said have been taken a different way than you intended it? Can you see why there may have been hurt or defensiveness that was experienced on the other side of your words?

Focus on Yourself and What You Have Control Over

Do you still pro-actively reach out to that person with positivity?Are you moving forward after forgiveness has been given or received? Have you chosen to live out your love for that person in your documents, if applicable?

Swallow It or Spit It Out

We all have poison pills in our lives. We can choose to swallow and be bitter because the other person isn’t suffering from it. Or we can spit it out and choose peace which also means better health for us. Life is so short, such a cliché but so true! How are you choosing to live your life?

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What has been your poison pill experience? How has it impacted your life? Any resolutions you can try to change the end of your story?

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Jane Anastasio

I think that all the comments hold value. For myself, I have found that I have often tried to see things from the other person’s perspective only to find myself accepting things that I should not have accepted. You must draw the line between understanding other people at the risk of meeting your own needs.


Our perception is our reality, same for others, hence the various comments in this discussion. As women, we often have a tendency to put others first, before ourselves. I have come to believe in the value of that old cliche “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So I am personally working harder on putting myself first as I am no good to those I am in relationships with if I am stressed. Easy to say, hard to do.


I tend to agree with the author. While it is a choice to leave, sometimes it is best to stay. There are a plethora of reasons, as we’re all different, so we shouldn’t judge another’s choice. If one chooses to stay, it is imperative to find perspective as she mentions. If one can find purpose, it can be very helpful.


Ah, such good advice to not judge another’s choice. Yet social media today thrives on judging and provides a myriad of ways to be vocal about it. Just trying to remind us that reactions are a choice and have physical consequences.

Teresita Abad

Hi! This is a wonderful article to think about. Good job!


Stimulating thinking to help women find information that may help them in their unique situations, that is my goal. Glad you found it good food for thought!

The Author

Marie Burns, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), advocates for women’s financial health. She is an author of a financial checklist book series, speaker, podcast host and partners with clients to offer friendly financial advice in her independent practice www.FocusPointPlanning.com. Visit her at Marie@MindMoneyMotion.com or https://www.facebook.com/MindMoneyMotion/

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