Let Go of Toxic Relationships
Let Go of Toxic Relationships
Toxic relationships are those human interactions that make us feel constantly put down, worthless, never good enough, unheard and, in general, emotionally drained. Toxic relationships are also the ones where a physical abuse happens. While the latter are obvious and visible, the emotionally toxic ones are harder to be aware of and understand, and therefore they’re more difficult to end, avoid or change.
Toxic relationships are not just the ones with a life partner, they can be between mother and son or daughter, boss and employee, best friends, and even between a waiter and client. Toxic relationships are those relationships that give you the feeling that you’re not taking care of ourselves the way you’d love to, mentally, spiritually, and physically. When you’re in a toxic relationship, you think more about complying with something society expects from you rather than focusing on your own happiness. You might end up forgetting about yourself and your goals and confusing them more and more with what the relationship or the society demands of you. And this can be ok… for a while. Till you realize you’ve just spent too much time away from who you truly are.
These relationships are toxic mainly because they drain the energy out of you, directing it towards things and purposes and compromises that are not fulfilling you as individual. That’s why the suffocating and empty feelings that accompany people in such relationships. They’re under the impression they cannot do much being stuck in someone else’s approval. Love, friendship or business relationships, they all have the potential to become toxic.
With very little exceptions, the relationships where our intuition keeps telling us that it’s better to let go instead of staying around are toxic ones. And we should learn to trust that inner voice rather than follow our logical, society influenced mind that tells us we should stick around, keep those people in our life and fight so that no one can tell us we gave up too soon.
Toxic relationships signs
While there are many and very diverse signs of a toxic relationship, below are the ones you could relate to in case you question whether a relationship in your life is toxic or not. It is quite sure a toxic relationship if:
It always seems like you don’t do anything right: yes, you are always mistaken, or not doing things properly, or you tend to have so much more to improve all the times.
It is always about them and almost never about you. It’s the other person opinions, feelings, thoughts that need to be acknowledged and understood, while you almost never feel heard or really taken into account. It is also more important to respect the socially-acceptable norm, and not what’s really important to you.
You don’t feel free to speak your mind with that person, you’re just uncomfortable being yourself around him or her. Even when you do speak openly, it’s still you the one who ends up feeling guilty in the end.
You feel like the direction of your growth, and most of the things you do need to be approved. You just don’t feel at all free to decide what you want and how to act on any situation without being criticized.
Insecurity, not doing things right, feeling invisible or restricted are the most common signs in all toxic relationships. Of course, these signs matter less in a waiter-client relationship in a restaurant where you can never return again, but when it comes to the relationship with your best friend, mother or spouse, things get more complicated and much harder to deal with.
Toxic relationships: how to let them go
Taking action is much needed when dealing with a toxic relationship. Choose to speak up, in an attempt to be heard, or put some space between you and the toxic partner. You need the freedom to grow, you need to trust your intuition and allow yourself to just be. No amount of constant compromise will do you any good long term, for neither party involved in the toxic equation.
Get out of denial
The first step is to ask yourself in all honesty if this relationship is toxic, and get out of denial for good. Think about how you feel after spending an hour with this person. Do you feel energized or drained? Do you feel that spending time together is a drag or rather something you look forward to? Do you constantly tell that person something and each and every time feels like it’s in vain? Are you always disappointed by that person’s comments or behaviors? Do you feel you are investing more into the relationship than the other person is? Do you always feel bad, not good enough and overall unhappy with the way things go?
In the end, if you are to imagine that you don’t know that person, would you like to be her friend or life partner by only taking into account how she behaves and interacts with the others?
Identify the good and the bad
In most cases, staying in a toxic relationship is a result of the safety feeling it brings. It’s also a matter of the perks you’re getting out of it: social status, looking good compared to others, feeling comfortable and stable, and even sexy, appreciated and looked up to. It can be also about the good feeling of being in a mission to change the other and turn him or her around. Identify these benefits or positive things you’re getting out of the each particular relationship you’re in that you believe is toxic.
Identify how you feel in this relationship, especially when and why you feel negative or bad. Log these emotions, keep track of how often you feel the way you’re feeling. If it happens most or all the times you meet a certain friend, let them go or meet them less frequently.
Replace the toxic with the good
If one or more honest conversations about the relationship and your desires don’t change anything, if the patterns that put you down repeat again an again, don’t be a part of that relationship just to save the other. Trust your intuition and leave, before you break yourself… even more.
As you’ve identified the good and the bad, letting go of that toxic relationship means you’ll get rid of all the bad things and feelings associated with it. What you need though is to find other relationships or activities that can give you the good things and feelings that the relationship you just ended used to give you. Friends, family or a lover can all help you as long as they are the right ones. It’s useless to replace one toxic relationship with another.
If letting go is about a romantic relationship, trust the right one is on its way. But question yourself first if you are the right one for this partner? Give yourself time to pursue your passions, feel whole again and learn to be happy with how you’re building your life, on your own and by your own choices. This will give you the right energy to find, and keep the right person.
It’s obvious you can’t just let go a son or parent. But as you both grow and change, you need to put some physical distance. Move in another place in a different neighborhood, maybe even some other city or country. Whatever is needed to give the relationship a different dynamic. Of course you’ll keep in touch, but you need to be on your own in order to have the space you need to grow. And the conversations and attitudes that were drowning you are going to change, freeing you up.
A toxic relationship keep you being who you are today, and you need to become more. Hope these lines gave you some inspiration to start and how to do that. Go now, and allow yourself to become who you need to become!
Written by Teodora Chetan