Why do we often find it difficult to leave behind a relationship that is not working out anymore?
Not necessarily all relationships will emerge out as you wish them to.
Some relationships begin on good terms, go through trials of highs and lows, yet survive because the relationship has all the basic requirements – trust, connectivity, and respect.
But, due to a number of uncontrollable factors, both internal and external, a relationship might turn into a toxic one.
A bad relationship is one that is long dead, has no spark, is filled with miscommunication, or at times a complete lack of communication, repeated conflicts, and arguments, and an absence of empathy, respect, and understanding.
A relationship that hinges on abuse and manipulation is the worst kind.
But surprisingly, people keep dragging a relationship on, even after knowing that it is not yielding any good results for either of the partners.
Some people will cross miles to somehow keep supporting an undeserving relationship.
How far will you go to save a relationship from failing?
Bad relationships are self-degrading and self-sabotaging and lead to ultimate suffering on both ends.
Even when there are numerous available opportunities in the dating world, what is it that keeps someone anchoring on to a bad relationship?
Is it love? Or is it a habit?
Let’s take a deeper look at what makes you stick to a bad relationship with all your heart and soul.
1. To avoid being lonely
Loneliness can make one feel like it’s the end of the world.
It significantly lowers a person’s self-confidence and distorts overall self-perception.
Someone who has been into the grasp of loneliness would never like to return back there.
Being in a committed relationship has a social connotation.
Some people are of the belief that having a partner and being able to flaunt it increases your social status and reputation.
The mere physical presence of your partner, no matter how abusive, how inconsiderate, or how indifferent to you that he/she is, can sometimes make you feel comfortable.
We often hesitate to let go of our ‘habit’ of the person.
The thought of waking up in the morning to emptiness can be unnerving to some.
It is not because you intensely love being with your partner.
You might as well ignore each other just after you wake up, but it is simply because staying alone has not been usual for so long.
You want to make sure that you don’t feel lonely, lost, and unwanted.
2. Low self-esteem
Functioning with low-self esteem is like fighting a battle within yourself every single moment.
You constantly keep questioning your own worth, your capacities, and what you are bringing to the relationship.
Low self-esteem fools us into thinking that we always deserve much less than what we are getting from the relationship as the significance we put to ourselves is much lower than our deserving value.
These people tend to measure their worth based on whether they have a partner or not, whether the partner accepts them or not, values them or not, or appreciates them or not.
When you have low self-esteem, you need constant validation and approval from someone.
And if that person is someone you love, it makes you feel valued and wanted.
If you are continuing a bad relationship, which has nothing to offer you, ask yourself if you are putting a deserving value to yourself.
As a matter of fact, when you start putting yourself on a higher pedestal, you will come to realize that there are innumerable reasons to make an exit from the relationship.
Codependents have an addiction to relationships, just as any addict would use substances to get that ‘high’ feeling.
Sadly, when a person is overly emotionally dependent on their partner, more often than not they have low self-esteem (moving back to point 2).
This is the reason they measure their self-worth in relation to someone else other than themselves.
Codependents usually respond to external cues more often than internal needs.
They identify themselves to be so fused with the other person that they often end up dismissing their own perception, ideas, and feelings, unless and until they are validated and approved by someone else.
Getting out of a relationship, even if it is harming them becomes inevitably difficult for them, because every single one of their behaviors needs to be validated, assured, and emotionally sanctioned by their partner.
These people hardly survive if they remain single.
4. Comfort in familiarity and fear of uncertainty
Some relationships are a mere “to battle with a known devil is better than facing an unknown devil”.
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We rationalize with ourselves that we might already be getting the best we can.
The fear of uncertainty keeps us from taking a leap of faith or moving towards a better opportunity or stepping out of our comfort zone to embrace positive change.
A person familiar with comfort, predictability, and warmth of routine might genuinely feel perturbed when getting out of a relationship.
Who knows if the next relationship they pursue will put them in a more trying situation or not?
The fear of getting themselves into a worse relationship than the current one keeps them suffering in a dead relationship.
5. Rejection and failure
What if they get rejected by the next person they try to be in a relationship with?
The fear of failure, after trying so hard, keeps them trying harder to mend the relationship.
Some people cannot completely accept the fact that their relationship is on the verge of failure and that they have to make an exit.
Even if they do, will they be able to invest themselves emotionally and physically, in the same degree as they are currently doing?
All these questions make it harder for them to rationally decide the fate of a messed up relationship.
6. New investment of time and energy
The thing people who cannot come out of a bad relationship worry the most about is already invested time and effort.
For them, it’s a shameful event to move out of a relationship that they have built for so long.
Ending a relationship just because it is not working out well is not their ideology.
They believe that sticking to the end, even if it degrades the emotional and psychological well-being of both partners, is the right attitude to hold.
But, believe me, the more you allow the negativity to affect you, the more difficult it will be in the end.
If the relationship is dead, you should end it.
And you should end it at the earliest possible time.
2. Stop believing this relationship is the best you can do.
- Why Relationships Matter
- Find a therapist to strengthen relationships
1. Admit that the relationship is toxic.
If you are experiencing a toxic relationship, then you likely move in and out of a state of denial about how unhealthy it truly is. At one moment, you feel revulsion; at another, you are making excuses and justifying a partner’s intolerable behavior. Most people will let certain issues go from time to time in long-term romantic relationships, and it is important to be willing to accept your partner as they are. They likewise need to do the same for you. But there are certain things that a person should never dismiss in a relationship. You are sowing bad seeds in infertile ground if your partner lies, cheats, humiliates you, exploits you for money or other resources, or emotionally or physically abuses you. If your partner causes you chronic pain and does not hold themselves accountable, end it.
2. Stop believing this relationship is the best you can do.
If you are in a toxic relationship, as described above, then you probably have stopped confiding in friends and family. You keep your relationship separate from others, because you are afraid that loved ones will see how unhealthy it is. Or, you feel that your toxic partner is the only person who will ever understand and love you. Withdrawing from others and avoiding face-to-face intimate interactions with others reinforces the idea that you will never be known or cared for by anyone other than your toxic partner. It keeps you in a panic-like state of thinking you will find yourself alone. This desperation will prevent you from drawing boundaries and wholeheartedly holding your partner accountable. Before doing anything, work to build up your support system: Join a gym, participate in a hiking or book club, start a new hobby, meet friends to exercise, eat with different acquaintances. You need to start letting others get close to you so that you no longer feel as if your orbit will collapse without this toxic partner at the center of your life.
You are deluding yourself and wasting precious time if you believe that you can somehow still be friends or have a phone relationship with a toxic ex-partner. These people have a way of manipulating and getting others to feel sorry for them. If you keep contact going, then you enable this individual to continue to work to draw you back toward them. As I describe in my workbook, Toxic Love: 5 Steps , The only realistic way out is to stop all contact, so that you can start anew. And, too, time away helps positively enhance perspective.
4. Pursue self-growth.
Change will not be instant, and you won’t meet Mr. or Mrs. Right immediately. Take all of that time you spent trying to better understand your toxic partner, or to fix the flawed relationship, and invest it in yourself. Use your energy to pursue self-growth. Start meditating or journaling, read self-help books, or take up weekly psychotherapy. When you do date, thoughtfully consider those you have gone for before, and work to engage new and different types of personalities. A strong, immediate attraction can sometimes mean trouble ahead for a relationship. Hold back and wait a few beats. This tactic will help you avoid another disappointing relationship.
Even if a pattern of toxic love describes your relationship, there is a way out of the spiral. In my workbook, Toxic Love: 5 Steps , I describe specific strategies for how to overcome this pattern, and to start attaching with healthy romantic partners.
How To Prevent toxic people from stealing your happiness
“Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends and family.” — Unknown
Don’t Let Toxic People Steal Your Happiness
Getting rid of a toxic friend is one thing, but what can you do about a toxic person that you can’t avoid?
We all have them.
The toxic people that we can’t avoid in our lives.
It might be a parent, a sibling, a friend, or even a co-worker.
So, how do you deal with the person that you want to avoid at all costs?
“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ― John Mark Green
The word ‘Toxic” is used a lot in relationships these days, but what exactly is a toxic person?
According to the Urban Dictionary:
“Basically an individual (or individuals) who has a very negative and self-entitlement disorder outlook in life. They are never happy and always want more and more…You can literally die from these people, they will lead you astray.”
According to Juanita Fourie, on Quora these are the most recognizable traits of Toxic people:
- Toxic people are manipulative and will play the victim to make you feel guilty so they can get their way. For a toxic person, only one person’s needs will ever matter and that one person sure ain’t you.
- Do not expect to ever hear the word “sorry” from a toxic person’s lips, as they are emotionally immature and therefore incapable of introspection and taking ownership of their mistakes.
- Having compassion for a fellow human being and their thoughts, feelings, and circumstances is something far from the heart of a toxic person and their lack of empathy.
- For the toxic, self-obsessed person, the only beauty is in the “I” (of the only beholder who truly matters).
- Expect plenty of hurtful words from the always criticizing toxic person who seems to find great pleasure in throwing the sticks and stones of their words dressed up in costumes of “Geez, you are so sensitive! I was only joking!” and “I was just being honest!”
“The more you stay with and/or complain about a toxic person, the more you’re merely delaying doing the important inner work you need to do — to heal your wounds, expand your limiting beliefs, and show yourself far more love and respect.” — Karen Salmansohn
You will never be able to change a truly toxic person. Their behavior will bring you down to their level. You will become bitter and angry, and their toxicity will be spread to everyone you come in contact with.
Once I was in a situation where I had a toxic boss. Their behavior ended up making me irritable and bitter. This began to rub off on my team members, and they became irritable and bitter too. To make matters worse, I brought the anger and bitterness home to my family causing more bitterness and pain.
Toxic behavior is like a contagious virus that spreads like wildfire. That is why it is so important to remove toxic people from your life as soon as possible.
A truly toxic person is like cancer that can destroy your life, and the best way to deal with them is to cut them out of your life before they cause more damage.
“Toxic people can try to cling on — sometimes for years! They can make you feel guilty and because of that, are not always easy to remove from your life” — Tara Mackey
Moving past toxic relationships requires you to accept that toxic people will never change. They may promise to change and they may truly want to change, but this almost never happens. Toxic people don’t care about you, they only care about their own needs.
So, how do you remove them from your life?
- Make A Clean Break — It’s unfortunate, but sometimes you will need to cut someone out of your life. You need to do this for you and your own personal wellbeing. Just cut them out, make a clean break and move on with your life.
- Be Firm — It’s likely that the toxic people in your life will not just go away. They may even dig their heels in and refuse to leave you alone. Don’t let this happen. Be very clear about your decision to end the relationship and don’t give in.
- Set Boundaries — Set clear boundaries and stick with them. Once you make the decision to end the relationship you need to make sure that you keep your boundaries intact.
- They May Resist — Toxic people will resist your efforts to end the relationship. They will continue to attempt to manipulate and control you, but if you remain strong and continue to resist they will eventually leave you alone.
- Forgive But Don’t Forget — Forgiveness is about letting go and moving on with your life. It doesn’t mean that you approve of the behavior or forget how it has affected you in the past. It doesn’t mean that you are giving them another chance. I just mean that you are letting go and moving on with your life.
“Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.” — Travis Bradberry
You must remove toxic people from your life before they steal your happiness.
They will keep to coming back if you let them, so make a clean break once you decide to cut them out of your life. Also, make sure to be firm and set clear boundaries so that they don’t continue to manipulate and control you.
If you remain strong and continue to resist they will eventually leave you alone.
The key is to not let them back into your life.
Shelby Sells is an artist, photojournalist, and sexologist known for her exploration of modern sexuality. She has produced numerous videos, interviews, and articles on the subject, and is a sought-after speaker on matters of love, sex, and relationships. Sells is finishing her degree in Psychology with a Human Sexuality focus in hopes of becoming a sex therapist.
We see it time and time again in media, in our friend and family groups, and sometimes even in our personal decisions: The resurrection of painful and toxic relationships. The question is, “Why do we go back to people who hurt us?” From a third-party perspective, it’s easy to point the finger and identify the harmful patterns in a person’s behavior, but is it that simple from an insider’s perspective? Not always, and here’s why.
We, as humans, are creatures of habit, meaning that once we develop a routine, it can be hard for us to break free from it.
The instability of an unhealthy relationship provides some folks with a sense of ease, and that’s why they’re drawn to it. There’s nothing to risk or lose when you know the end game is always the same.
For some, familiar pain is a source of comfort, so it comes as no surprise that those people find themselves in a constant cycle of hurt. Where this pain pattern stems from is unique to each individual. It can be related to childhood traumas or variations of abuse at any age. When pain is all you know, it can be challenging to seek alternative behaviors.
There’s also the instances in which we are blinded by love. It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship, even when it’s toxic. Later, we’ll tell ourselves “Maybe they’ll change” or “Maybe things will be different this time” in order to justify going back. Frankly, the drama itself can be addicting for some people. One friend told me that she gave her ex another chance because she believed he had to make up for how he had mistreated her in the past. While people do have the capacity to change, more often than not a person won’t change their innate nature.
Another reason people go back to partners who have hurt them? Because it’s easy.
Investing time and energy into a relationship is a lot of work, and the thought of starting over can seem daunting. Dating takes a lot of effort. Opening ourselves up to someone new inevitably comes with the potential to be hurt again. It’s scary, and that fear alone is enough to keep people at bay. Plus, why start over with someone new when our hurtful partner already knows us so well? It’s especially easy to run back to someone familiar if we are going through an emotional rough patch. When we’ve made ourselves vulnerable to someone and labeled them as a person who knows us, it can be hard to categorize them as unsafe. When you’ve had some distance from a partner, it’s also easy to romanticize the good memories until, suddenly, the bad memories are less significant. After all, repressing negative memories is a tool we use to protect ourselves from re-experiencing trauma.
Lastly, reviving relationships with people who have hurt us has to do with self-worth issues. Trying to break free from a toxic relationship, and then returning to it, feeds and fuels an unhealthy cycle of low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. These feelings can make us believe that we are undeserving of, unworthy of, or not good enough for a better love. This idea is heartbreaking—we are all deserving of love and healthy companionship.
Sometimes we go back to unhealthy relationships to seek validation from a partner who was unable to give us what we desired.
We fight to try and gain what they could never provide us the first time around. Also, it’s not uncommon for people in toxic relationships to experience a sort of “Stockholm syndrome” in which they begin to favor their abusers. Many people in this situation are convinced (either by themselves, by their partners, or both) that this is the “best” relationship they’ll ever have. Of course, this is untrue, and a tactic used to justify abuse and neglect.
The good news is that if you or a loved one find yourself in a situation like this, there is hope.
While it may be difficult to leave an unhealthy relationship, there are an abundance of resources out there to help you through the process. Ask yourself if your needs are being met in this relationship and if the pros outweigh the cons. Therapy is a vital outlet in working through the pain, letting go, and unlearning toxic patterns and behaviors. A colleague of mine, Crissy Milazzo, created a website called youfindtherapy.com that helps people access affordable therapy.
Besides therapy, there are a number of support groups, books, and online resources available to those who are trying to make changes in their relationship routine. Remember, a healthy relationship is one where your partner brings out the best in you, where you feel safe and secure, where you have shared goals and values, and where you are both equally emotionally invested in each other and in your future together. It’s never too late to break free from pain and embrace love.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help, check out these resources from The Center For Relationship Abuse Awareness or The National Domestic Violence Hotline. You can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with a counselor online here.
A while back I found myself in a conversation with someone about the topic of being around toxic people — or, as I prefer to call it, people who exhibit toxic behaviors. This conversation led me into a place of reflection where I thought back to what my life had been like a few years ago when I had absolutely no concept of boundaries nor any idea what toxic relationships were.
Back then I was so much most susceptible to people’s toxic behaviors. I would often deal with people who were envious or jealous of me in some way, who were influencing me to feel guilty for doing something for myself, who were making judgmental or critical remarks towards me, and who were, overall, just downright negative.
Despite this being such a struggle growing up, I realized that at this point in my life I don’t experience many toxic behaviors from others. It is as if I simply announced to the universe “I am done with toxic people! I am no longer going to have any toxic behavior in my life!” — and so it happened.
Though simply making that announcement would be oh-so-awesome and oh-so-easy, it definitely wasn’t that simple. So here are the methods I used that will hopefully help you to stop attracting toxic people in your life as well:
1. Consistently set boundaries with anyone and everyone who exhibits a toxic behavior. Every time the someone says something critical or negative towards you, tries to manipulate you in some way, or seems to be envious or jealous of you rather than supportive, then set a verbal boundary to let them know that you will not tolerate their behavior.
For instance, if you’re out singing karaoke one night and your friend comes up to you and makes comment like “You were totally off key” then immediately respond by saying something like “I don’t appreciate your comment” or “Please don’t talk to me that way.” If they continue to make negative remarks towards you despite your comment then reinstate the boundary again and tell them the consequences, such as: “Please don’t talk to me in that way. If you continue to talk to me like this when I will leave.”
2. Try to avoid feeding them any of your energy. If a person is exhibiting toxic behavior, the person may very well not want to respect your boundary initially. They may try to push you to a point of starting an argument or manipulate in a way so that you feel guilty enough to give in and do what they want you to do.
It is incredibly important to not give the person any of your energy when and if this happens. Meaning, try to avoid giving their actions or words any time or attention. This is important because if they are continuing to try to push your buttons then they want you to crack. They want you to lose your composure and argue with them because then they may get their way.
So when setting boundaries, try to appear as calm as possible. If you have any emotions that you need to deal with later on after the confrontation (which is very likely), then deal with it later on your own or with a trusted friend or therapist.
3. Create distance from people who tend to be toxic. One very effective way to get toxic people out of your life is to simply stop spending so much time around them. Perhaps this means to minimize conversation with the person or to stop spending as much time with one another.
By creating distance from the other person, we are sending the unspoken message that their behaviors are not something that we want to be around. Depending on your relationship with the person, this can be extremely difficult. Keep in mind that just because you are no longer talking with the person as much as you were, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is “over.” It simply means that the relationship is moving on to a new and different phase.
4. Recognize your own toxic behaviors. If we wish to be respected by others, then we have to be willing to be completely honest with ourselves by recognizing our own toxic behaviors and to actively change those behaviors.
For some of us, these toxic behaviors may be obvious while, for others, it may be more challenging. If it is relatively challenging, then ask yourself: “How do I try to control other people in my life? Do I struggle to except the decisions that others make? Do I try to fix other people’s problems for them? Do I ever communicate in a demeaning way?”
5. Trust that things will get better. When we’re in the midst of stress in trying to set boundaries with the people with toxic behaviors in our lives, it can be very difficult to see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” We may find ourselves wondering why we decided to even bothered to start setting boundaries in the first place because it is causing so much extra stress in our lives.
I can assure you — it does get better! So keep on doing it and, eventually, you will eventually find yourself in this comfortable place that is virtually free of toxic behaviors.
Reflect upon you current relationships and ask yourself: Is there anyone in my life right now who tends to exhibit toxic behavior? What can I say to them next time they make a remark to me that I don’t appreciate? What other actions can I take in my life to cleanse my relationships of toxicity?
Do you have bad relationship habits? Of course you do. Who doesn’t?
That’s why we asked over 100 people the following question: what are the most effective ways to overcome toxic relationship habits? The top three picks were: replacing them with more positive habits, attending couples therapy, and attending individual talk therapy.
But, those aren’t the only ways to overcome bad habits. Here are 12 additional strategies for breaking bad habits before you end up in a toxic relationship or heartbreak.
1. Get over your past.
Very often, without realizing it, your toxic relationships repeat patterns from your childhood. Look at the pattern that you’re replaying.
Now, consider what it is from your past that you’re still “working out.” Once you deal with the real root issue, you’re unlikely to get involved with a relationship that’s toxic in the future.
2. Take stock of your relationship.
Too often in relationships we wear “love goggles” that don’t allow us to look clearly at who a person really is. Take a sheet of paper and make two columns.
On one side, list the things you had hoped for in a relationship; on the other side, list the reality of what the relationship is like. Keep this list in your wallet for emergencies.
3. Imagine your future.
Nothing works as well as visualizations for the future. Start by seeing the best of you — how you walk, hold yourself, and manage yourself in all your empowered strength.
Next, visualize a partner who respects and appreciates you. After all, you become what you imagine.
4. Seek out comfort from female friends.
Form new emotional bonds and have daily conversations with female friends working through similar breakups and transitions. These supportive conversations can warm your aching soul.
5. Take good care of your body.
Exercising and massaging yourself using self-applied body butters and perfumes are good substitutes for sensual treats.
6. Learn something new.
Gift yourself some new books or magazines to fill in the void of this in-between time. Learn new ideas and concepts, which can even be sprinkled into new date conversations.
If your ears crave those masculine tones, listen to audiobooks read in baritone.
7. Identify all your bad habits.
You can’t overcome habits which you’ve not yet identified. It’s ok to have bad habits; we all do. Take an honest look at yourself in relationships and see what habits you have that contribute to tension. It’s easy to blame him, but it takes two to tango.
No matter what he’s doing, you’re responding in a way that’s at least fanning the fire of toxicity.
8. Become aware of toxic habits.
Sometimes, we know what our toxic habits are, but we don’t realize we’re engaging in them until it’s too late.
One way to become more aware of bad habits is to notice the feeling you get when your toxic habit is triggered. Keep it in mind. Then, if you find yourself feeling that feeling, you know that your behavior may begin to get toxic.
9. Take control of yourself.
Once you’ve identified the habit and have become aware of the feeling, it’s time to take control of that habit. No one can make you behave in a way you regret.
He may trigger this response, but you have control over whether you’re going to go toxic. Find a different way to communicate your feelings, one that’s kind and more productive.
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10. Stop fussing and take a break from the action.
Most of us go through life on auto-pilot. Realizing how many times we drive somewhere without remembering the journey is startling proof.
Changing a bad relationship habit means you have to realize that you’re messing up in the first place. Get used to paying attention to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors about ordinary things before you tackle the harder stuff.
11. Look at your partner’s body language.
The truth is, most of our communication is done non-verbally. No matter what we say, our pose gives us away.
If your partner’s words say, “I don’t care,” but tears are falling, what’s really going on? By focusing on solving this contradiction, your anger will probably slip away.
12. Listen to what your partner is saying, not to what you think is being said.
The bad habit of being reactive comes from an interpretation of what’s being said, not necessarily from what’s actually being said.
Be sure you know what your partner is saying by reflecting back what you’ve heard. Otherwise, you’ll be building an argument based on the assumed truth.
Amanda Jennings is a counselor and therapist.
It might be one of the hardest things to do, but leaving a toxic relationship preserves your self-respect and dignity.
I have been in my share of toxic relationships in my life. In fact, most of them were like this. From the outside looking in, you might think it’s easy to leave these unions, but it’s not. Leaving a toxic relationship requires planning and tact. It’s far from easy but it’s necessary for both your physical and mental health.
Why is leaving so difficult?
Leaving a toxic relationship is so difficult because it’s usually not all bad, all the time. What I mean is that toxic relationships operate on extremes – there are really good times paired with almost unbearable intervals.
Just when you think things are horrific, your partner will switch it around and make things good again. Leaving a toxic relationship is so hard because you really don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. This type of relationship will leave you confused.
Here’s how you can break free
Breaking free will not be easy. In fact, it could quite possibly be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. All the good memories sprinkled among the dysfunctional episodes will make you question your desire to leave.
Fortunately, if you stand your ground, you can make the change. There are a few ways you can do this.
1. Keep a list
One thing that happens when you’re in a toxic relationship is your perception gets skewed. Family members and friends often notice toxic traits before you do. Have you noticed how a friend tells you that he notices negative things about your mate, but then you counter that with a random good quality in your mate’s favor?
For instance, your friend may say your girlfriend is manipulative, and you say, “Yes, but she has a good heart and I understand why she reacts in certain ways.”
What you’re doing is making excuses for her behavior. If you keep a list of all the negative things your friends and family members notice, and then be honest with yourself about these things, you might be able to see a bit clearer.
This helps you see things from a logical standpoint and not a biased perspective out of codependency. Over time, if your negative list gets too long, you will be able to make an important decision about how to leave the toxic relationship.
2. See leaving as good
Leaving a toxic relationship is not easy because, for some people, being alone is frightening. If you find yourself staying just because you’re afraid of being on your own, then you are definitely staying for the wrong reasons. One way to learn how to leave a toxic relationship is to see leaving in a different light.
Leaving a toxic relationship doesn’t always mean going through a negative consequence. Sometimes leaving means a brand new start. If you learn to see ending a relationship in this manner, you will never again hesitate when it’s time to go.
3. Fill the voids
Even toxic relationships have good sides. This is one reason why so many people decide to stay in these unhealthy marriages and such. So, in order to understand what’s going awry, you must first understand what things you can do for yourself or by other means.
Say your boyfriend is making you feel bad about yourself, but yet, he’s a good confidant and works hard to help you meet your financial obligations. Just because he has these good traits does not erase the way he verbally and mentally abuses you, and you must weigh these things fairly.
You must realize that you can find support from others and you can meet your own financial demands. All this can be done without having to endure insults and demeaning behavior from your mate. Learn to fill the voids and you will learn how leaving a toxic relationship is the best possible action.
4. Surrounded by positivity
When you realize that leaving a toxic relationship is a priority, you should make another smart move. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people to help you get through the ordeal. During the leaving process, your toxic partner may take several actions to stop you.
They may even promise to be a better person and treat you better. The truth is if they can do this now, why didn’t they practice this behavior before?
Your positive friends and family will help you remember why you are making the decision to leave. They will help you stay strong and keep you occupied so you cannot be further manipulated. This may be a fragile time in your life and you will need a good backbone of friends and family.
Support of this nature will also help you feel less alone while trying to transition to a different lifestyle.
Just in case your support team is limited, you will need a backup arsenal of positive affirmations. Yes, they do sound cheesy at times, but let me tell you something, they work! When you start to say negative things about yourself, you can transform those words into positive mantras.
For instance, if your toxic partner always said you were selfish, then counter that with, “I have a healthy love and appreciation for myself”.
Now, you must remember to check yourself when you truly are selfish, but there is nothing wrong with having a good self-image and caring about you and your possessions. So, when it’s time to go, speak only positive things over you and your life.
Write your mantras in a journal, post them on your refrigerator with a magnet, and even put them on slips of paper at the edge of your mirror so you can appreciate yourself while reading them. It works, just try it, and it can help you move on.
Just leave if it’s time to go
When you realize there is more negative than positive emotions coursing through your relationship, then it’s time to consider a new life. Don’t let weaknesses keep you bound to someone who really doesn’t care for you.
Instead, do self-inventory and find out why you’re allowing yourself to stay in an unhealthy and toxic relationship. When you see the truth, you will be set free!
“If a normally kind, agreeable person makes an enemy of you, you ought to ask yourself why.” – Joyce Rachelle
You’ve heard all about toxic relationships, and what to do if you find yourself in one. You probably know all the signs of when you’re being manipulated and taken advantage of. But what happens when you’re actually the one who’s toxic? Being aware of your own behavior and how you’re treating your partner can save both you and your partner a lot of emotional grief.
No one wants to believe that they’re toxic or unhealthy for their significant other. Sometimes, though, the truth just hurts. Being able to recognize the signs of your own toxic behavior can help you put a stop to it, and salvage your relationship – or, at least, make sure the next relationship you have can be a health and positive one.
If you catch yourself showing these behaviors, they are toxic and should be avoided in the future…
1. You feel the need to make sure your partner doesn’t “get ahead”…
Feeling proud of your intelligence or your accomplishments are one thing. But if you view your partner as inferior, it will come across in the way you interact with them. They will be able to tell just how superior you feel to them, and it can easily become degrading and emotionally distressing for your partner.
If you often find yourself thinking that you’re much smarter than your partner, you might want to take a step back and figure out whether or not you’re using them as a backdrop for your only intelligence.
2. Conversations seem to always fall away from a positive tone
If you find that you’re constantly picking fights and being a pessimist when there’s no need to, you may be feeding toxicity into your relationship. This may stem from low self-esteem and a desire to make your partner feel on the same level as you do.
Surrounding yourself with positivity will help, as well working on your own self-esteem before pursuing a relationship. Getting a therapist to help work through your problems will help you become a more positive person, and less toxic in your relationships.
3. Threats of breaking up (without meaning to follow through)
If the only way you know how to end an argument is to threaten to break up, you’re definitely bringing toxic behaviors to the table. If your partner cares about you and wants the relationship to work, they’ll often drop their concerns and stop arguing every time you threaten to end the relationship. This is manipulative behavior and can damage any relationship.
Learning to communicate and compromise is hard, but you’ll need to take the difficult steps to figure it out. Take time to cool off during an argument if you need to rather than resorting to threats.
4. An uncontrollable temper
Sometimes, things can make us angry. However, if you find that it takes very little to make you angry and you become vicious and mean to your partner during a blow of your temper, you’re going to need to work on yourself before your relationship can become positive. A toxic relationship will stay toxic when you repeat the cycle of bursts of anger, cruelty and guilt. Learn how to manage your anger rather than allowing yourself to fly off the handle.
5. A difficulty with being wrong
Squabbles in relationships happen. There are often times where one partner or the other does something careless or thoughtless that hurts the other’s feelings. In a healthy relationship, you’ll be able to apologize, admit that you were wrong, and move forward. If you can’t remember the last time you apologized or admitted that something you did was hurtful or careless, you may be the toxic one in the relationship.
Relationships become unhealthy and lopsided when one partner is always apologizing. The best way to fix this is suck up your pride and admit when you’re wrong.
6. Avoiding responsibility for words and actions…
Hand in hand with never admitting you’re wrong, you don’t take responsibility for things that you’ve done. Instead, you opt to blame your partner, or blame something else. As long as you can shift the blame off of you, you’re happy.
Taking responsibility for your own actions can be difficult, but it’s what grownups do. Learning how to accept responsibility and move forward is a step that you have to take to avoid being toxic in all kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones.
7. More than ”just joking”…
Sometimes, teasing one another can be fun. But it’s only fun when everyone is enjoying themselves. Playfully teasing your partner can be harmless. However, it starts to become toxic when your remarks are public and hurtful and cause your partner to feel shame and humiliation. Even if you defend yourself with “Just joking,” your words can leave a lasting effect and make your partner feel degraded and insecure.
Put yourself in your partner’s place, and imagine how you would feel if they humiliated you.
8. Leaving your partner ‘high and dry’…
If your parents or friends are constantly slandering your partner and you don’t have their back, then you’re leaving them open to feeling insecure and vulnerable. Not sticking up for your partner is letting them know that they’re not important enough to you for you to protect them.
Relationships are about partnerships, and when one partner is putting in the effort that the other isn’t, the relationship becomes unhealthy. So, stop letting your parents criticize your partner’s hair, weight or job. Stick up for them and show them that you’ll always have one another.
Coming to the realization that you may be the problem in your relationship can be hard. But it isn’t the end all be all of your worth as a person! People can change, and once you realize the things you’re bringing to the relationship are toxic, you’ll be better able to work on your behavior.
Your relationship may (or may not) be able to be salvaged, but your relationships in the future will be positive and healthy, and by changing your behavior, you’ll also be able to validate your partner’s feelings.
Last update: 17 October, 2015
Have you ever stopped to think about what someone has done or said that has left you wondering why?
When someone hurts us — hurts our children, parents, or loved ones; talks about us behind our back; or just acts really crazy — they can end up occupying our thoughts for hours, days, or even months.
We can’t stop thinking about their behavior, and we constantly remember how they looked and what they said. This happens a lot, for example, with couples who end their relationship abruptly.
This results in a cycle of toxic thoughts. And most of us know that this way of thinking is damaging, both emotionally and physically. In fact, studies demonstrate that a mind full of toxic thoughts is an unhappy and unhealthy mind.
When we recall memories of fighting, resentment, or loss, we tend to suffer from stress, which can have physical and psychological repercussions. Research even suggests that thinking toxic thoughts plays a fundamental role in illnesses like depression, cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
How can we get rid of toxic thoughts and negativity?
We work very hard to get rid of the toxic things in our lives, whether it’s buying organic products, restricting our diets, throwing away household chemicals, eating green, cleaning green, using organic cosmetics, etc. But we put very little effort into thinking green.
What is the greenest solution for toxic thought?
How can we stop thinking about negative people? How can we forget their attitudes or behaviors that let us down? Why do these unpleasant memories keep coming back to us?
These ten small but powerful ideas will help you to banish negative people from your mind, eliminating the toxic cycle that keeps happening. Try out any of these ways of thinking or acting, and you’ll be able to free yourself from that person once and for all:
1. Talk about them less and let time pass. Not bringing them up so much, along with letting time pass and act like an eraser, will get them out of your head.
2. Wait and see what happens next. We often feel the need to respond and react to difficult people or situations right away. Instead, just give yourself permission to wait and see what happens next.
3. Free yourself from blame. Thinking about past events and blaming yourself is rarely productive. Disagreements and misunderstandings just happen sometimes through a series of events, like a domino effect. In general, nobody is responsible for all of the blame.
4. Try not to let the other person think about you so much. Although really, you can’t completely control what other people think about; it’s impossible.
5. Take care of your own issues first. It doesn’t matter what happened, the biggest problem you’re faced with is your own anger. Anger creates a burst of emotions that keeps us from responding in a satisfying and productive manner.
In that sense, anger is really your biggest problem. Take care of yourself – meditate, exercise, take a long walk, whatever is necessary – before you confront the other person.
6. When you’re angry, your mind crumbles. You can’t think clearly, creatively, or thoughtfully, about the best way to manage the situation when you’re angry. If you want to think clearly, you can’t be angry about anything. Be calm.
7. Don’t believe what you think. When worry, sorrow, fear, anxiety, or anger take over, our emotional and physical state makes us think our irrational thoughts are very real, even though they might not be. In this case, we could make a poor judgement, so we must be careful.
8. You can’t control time. When we think about past events that have hurt us, sometimes we look for what we could have done differently to avoid a disagreement or unfortunate result.
What happened yesterday is as much in the past as something that happened more than a thousand years ago. We can’t change what happened during the Mayan period, and we can’t change what happened last week.
9. It’s not necessary to be faithful to our suffering; we can forgive. We tend to be very loyal to our suffering. To free ourselves from it, forgiveness is best. Forgiveness is not only something we do for the other person, we do it for ourselves, too.
10. Occupy a different mental space. Meditation, accompanied by powerful images, can help us to stop thinking in a toxic way. For example, imagine the deep blue ocean, calming your mind, leaving no room for toxic thought.
Has it left your mind yet?
Last update: 17 October, 2015