How To Deal With A Toxic Relationship
Coming to terms with a bad relationship,* whether it's with a friend, family member, or partner, is never easy, but it can be pivotal to improving your sense of self-worth. Emotional attachments are some of the hardest to untangle, but it's often the case that in the long run, making the effort to break free can do us a world of good. We've taken a look at the best ways to deal with a toxic relationship.
*If these negative feelings are stemming from physical or psychological abuse, please reach out to a professional or the police for help immediately.
Make a list.
When trying to let go of a relationship, it's helpful to focus on what you know. One of the best ways to do this is by making a list; being honest about how someone makes you feel can help you come to terms with the next steps to take, how to approach them, as well as providing clarity on a topic that can be difficult to come to terms with. If the negatives far outweigh the positives, then you know that this person is not somebody who is bringing happiness to your life.
Cutting someone off without warning is not a healthy way to go about ending a relationship, and can leave you with a number of unresolved feelings that may bubble up at a later point. With a list in hand, you can feel prepared when broaching the topic of how a relationship makes you feel - whether you want to let them know face-to-face, over the phone, or in a letter. Giving them the opportunity to respond may shine a light on the fact they were unaware of their toxic behaviours, and if you are at a point where you can still forgive them, it could help turn the tables on the relationship.
Space & distraction.
We know how hard it can be to move on from certain feelings, but giving yourself time and space in the form of distractions can be a great thing to get you out of your headspace. Reminding ourselves that there's a big wide world out there can do a world of good when you find yourself dwelling on thoughts about a toxic relationship, so invest in some self-care by switching it up and doing something which makes you feel good. Some easy distractions include:
Going on a walk
Listening to a podcast
Cooking a favourite meal
Organising time with people who make you feel good
Calling a supportive friend or family member
Cuddling a pet
Make your intentions clear.
If someone has shown that they're not willing to change their behaviour but are still trying to coax you back into their lives, it's time to cut them off. Creating distance between yourself and the other person - whether physically or online - is all it takes to indicate that you're not going to put up with the BS anymore, and that it's no longer a healthy relationship for you. It can be really difficult to do this, especially if your relationship was based in people-pleasing tendencies (we've all been there) but not responding to texts, calls, or any other forms of contact means that you don't have to worry about slipping back into bad habits until the day they show they're willing to change.
Nurture your support system.
Investing time in the people who make you happiest, help you grow, and celebrate your success are the only people you should be giving time to. Leaving toxic relationships behind can be extremely difficult - especially if it's a family member - but reminding yourself of the good you're inviting in with people who support you is one of the best ways to solidify the love you deserve. And when you do sense feelings of guilt creeping up on you, your support system will be there to remind you exactly why you made the choice you did.
Nobody deserves to feel less than worthy at the hands of someone else, and it's time we all started accepting only the love we deserve from the people we choose to be in our lives. It can be a long road to dismantling and rebuilding healthier relationships, but there's no better thing you can do for yourself in the long run.