To Err is Human: Maintaining Relationships During a Time of Cancel Culture
The idea of "canceling" someone has been around for decades. But it has gained popularity several years ago after it started as a joke for social media users.
Over the last two years, it has reached beyond social media and used a tactic of publicly calling for accountability. The debate between free speech and responsibility has been heard worldwide and was at the forefront of American politics in 2020.
Cancel culture reaches back decades to admonish the careers of politicians, celebrities, and other high-ranking officials.
Cancel Culture in Today's World: It's Impact on Teen & Young Adult Relationships
What we are finding today however is that cancel culture has now extended to teen and young adult social media use. The pressure to say the right thing, not say the wrong thing, appear "perfect" weighs heavily on our teens and young adults (and adults alike).
We have witnessed an increase in teen and young adult anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and even an increase in teen and young adult suicide.
How do we draw the line between "canceling" a relationship with someone and acknowledging human error? Cancel culture may have its place in holding politicians accountable, but what about in everyday relationships?
For example, you're a teen and make a mistake by telling an offensive joke. A young adult posts a message on social media that may not be received well. When cancel culture is applied to every mistake, it leads to hostility and hinders healthy relationship development.
Yet, there may be times where canceling a friendship or other relationship may be in your best interest. Let us review some red flags that would point to an unhealthy relationship. These red flags may alert you that something is wrong in the relationship.
Aspects of Unhealthy Relationship
The University of Alabama identifies key elements in an unhealthy relationship. Below we take a look at what some of those key elements are as well as how we can recover from conflict in a relationship.
1. Lack of Equality/Respect
People are seen as equals in relationships while understanding and respecting each other's differences. If this is not present in a relationship, it can create an unhealthy and imbalanced relationship that can become toxic.
2. Lack of Communication
Agreeing to disagree requires maturity. And it is an essential trait of a healthy relationship. Each person should have the ability to openly share their thoughts and emotions without fear of harsh criticism.
Trust and communication being the foundation of all relationships, if you can't openly communicate and agree to disagree without consequences, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
3. Lack of Trust & Support
Though trust and support may appear as clear traits, the process of developing trust and understanding how to be supportive is different for everyone. Trust development takes time for most.
Also, people speak other love languages. Learning love languages and communicating yours is all a part of healthy relationship development.
How can you have a healthy relationship when trust and support are not present?
4. Lack of Responsibility & Accountability
Acknowledging mistakes without placing blame on others. This can be challenging to admit when you may be in the wrong. However, this is one trait that helps develop a healthy relationship.
When the other person lacks the ability to be
accountable for their actions and places blame and responsibility on you, this is another sign of an unhealthy relationship.
5. No Boundaries
Respecting each other's comfort zones. Your boundaries may be different than the other person's. Learning where your boundaries begins and their ends is a key element in healthy relationships.
If someone regularly violates your boundaries after they have been told what your boundaries are, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
6. Threatening behavior
Various forms of abuse are used to manipulate or intimate others. There should be a feeling of emotional and physical safety when you are around others.
If you regularly feel threatened or intimidated verbally, emotionally, and/or physically, this is a sign that this relationship may need canceled. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity no matter the mistake.
Relationships Take Hard Work & A Touch of Grace
Relationships take work. Mistakes will be made and open and honest communication is essential. Unless we communicate our needs to the other and the other can be receptive to those needs (and vice versa), it can be challenging to develop a healthy relationship.
Some of the red flags above are not relationship breakers if you can safely communicate with one another. Some of the red flags above are relationship breakers as you deserve respect and dignity: emotionally and physically.
Adopting cancel culture each time you experience an offense can lead to poor conflict resolution skills and resentment. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to recover from conflict.
Tips for Recovering From a Conflict in a Relationship
1. After a conflict occurs, take a moment to reflect on what upset you or the other person.
2. Take accountability for your actions without deflection or blame.
3. Think about what could have been done differently and commit to change.
4. Give it time. Whether the conflict was big or small, each person heals at their own pace.
Remember, to err is human! So don't give up on meaningful, healthy relationships simply because the other person is not perfect. Work on communicating your needs with the other person and if it is received well and you receive the same from the other person, most mistakes can be worked through.
While at the same time, be watchful of red flags that may result in your need to end a relationship. It can be hard to end a relationship especially for teens though it can be a challenge for us all.
Teen Therapy, Young Adult Counseling, & Family Therapy: Katy, Tx & Houston
Setting personal boundaries is important in maintaining strong and healthy relationships. It is an element of self-care and relationship development that can be challenging.
Learning to resolve conflict in a relationship is also a part of being in a relationship. This is where teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy can help.
Our teen counselors, young adult therapists, and family therapists can help. We specialize in treating depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, trauma, PTSD, substance abuse, or other struggles.
Our Katy, Tx location is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. We are about 4 blocks behind (south) Academy Sports.
If you are ready to start your healing journey, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with our teen therapists, young adult counselors, or family therapists
Start your journey in realizing your full potential
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We provide teen therapy, counseling for young adults, family therapy, and marriage counseling or couples therapy.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Jheri Walter, LCSW-S is a seasoned therapist specializing in teen therapy, young adult counseling, & family therapy.
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to its proven effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri helps teens and young adults in the Katy, Tx and Houston area who struggle with: ADHD/ADD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, PTSD, and other challenges.
Jheri also specializes in providing therapy for women addressing a variety of issues from depression, anxiety, relationships, and other challenges. Jheri utilizes the strengths that women bring to therapy and builds upon those strengths.
Jheri is also a supervisor providing mentoring and supervision to up and coming therapists. She has taken ownership to ensure the new therapists are therapists highly trained and qualified to provide therapy to others.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Jheri, you can call us at the phone number below. You can also email us at: email@example.com