It’s something that we’ve all been through, or witnessed, over the course of our lives. Whether it was that “friend,” in middle school who spread rumors about you, or the boyfriend who constantly made you feel like your emotions weren’t valid. We’re talking about toxic relationships. These relationships, whether platonic or romantic, tend to bring out the worst in both parties, causing a downward spiral and likely alienating healthy relationships in the process.
You can start to feel powerless after awhile. Maybe you’ve let the toxic party in the relationship treat you badly for so long that you’re just used to it. You might make up excuses like, “I’ve already invested so much time into this person and let so much go. It’d be stupid to turn my back now.” It is never too late to let go. Maybe it’s a fear of being alone that leads to this attachment to a person, no matter how terrible they treat you. Maybe you don’t know who you are without them. These are not reasons to continue to put yourself through emotional turmoil.
This doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. This can mean friendships, family relationships, work relationships, etc. It’s time to let go and stop letting the toxic relationships in your life be in control. Here are 3 ways you can prepare yourself for a toxic relationship “breakup.”
Look Towards the Future
Is this the way you want to be treated forever? You know there’s someone out there that would treat you the way you deserve to be treated, but you’re not sure you’re ready to be alone and open yourself up to someone hurting you. Think about it. By staying with someone that treats you badly, you’re hurting yourself every day. What advice would you give your best friend? Would you tell them to stay? Or would you encourage them to envision how bright their future could be without this toxic person in their life?
Don’t Blame Yourself
This is so important. Although you may be the person who got yourself into this situation, you weren’t the only one involved in all of the decision-making that has led you to where you are. It was that person’s choice to treat you the way that they treated you. This likely has nothing to do with who you are as a person, but everything to do with who they are and how they process their emotions.
Establish A Support System
This is a step you should probably take before cutting ties. You don’t want to be left feeling completely alone and lost without anyone to turn to during this time. It also helps to have this person, or group of people, to help you stay accountable. As they say, “old habits die hard.” Depending on how long this person has been in your life, it may be tempting to forgive them for the millionth time and let them back in. This support system can help in your times of weakness.
After everything, remember that you’re in control. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Ask for help if you need it.