Many of us have experienced unhealthy relationships that left us wondering how to leave a toxic relationship for good. This is how to do it and still love yourself.
Toxic relationships can be found among friends, relatives, partners, and even coworkers. As difficult as it is to continue these relationships, it's even more troublesome to leave.
How do I know I'm In a Toxic Relationship?
Although we often associate relationships with romantic partners, we have a relationship with everyone in our lives – family, friends, business associates, and anyone else who we deal with on a regular basis.
This means that any of our relationships can be toxic, or even downright abusive. If you’re being treated unfairly or without respect, you’re likely in a toxic relationship.
Here are 35 Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship.
Toxic relationships can range from being mild inconveniences to physically dangerous. Regardless of the severity, one thing is certain: you want to get out as soon as you can.
How to Leave a Toxic Relationship For Good
Escaping a toxic relationship can be tricky, especially if you depend on the toxic party for any reason. The tactic that will work best for you will depend on your situation. Here are a few ways to successfully end a toxic relationship.
1. Replace Them with Self Enrichment
Oftentimes, we stay in toxic relationships because there are benefits. The toxic people in our lives might make us feel wanted and needed. When you leave a toxic relationship, you’ll undoubtedly be creating a void in your life.
Fill that void with self-enriching activities, like volunteering or picking up hobbies. When you start doing things that give you a sense of purpose, you’ll find that you don’t need toxic people in your life anymore.
2. Call a Hotline
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if a relationship has progressed beyond toxicity and turned into abuse. If you know it’s reached that point, it will be harder to leave. If you are faced with domestic violence, it’s crucial that you get out as soon as you can.
Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.
They may direct you to life-saving local resources and provide you with the advice you need to escape.
In the meantime, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a great list of resources!
3. Replace Them with Healthier People
If you have healthier people to spend your time with, shift your energy towards them.
Chances are, you’ve neglected them because of your toxic relationship – after all, toxic people demand all of our time and energy. Strengthen your healthy relationships to eliminate the need for your unhealthy ones!
4. Have an Honest Conversation
Sometimes, toxic people don’t know that their behaviors are toxic. That doesn’t mean they should get a free pass, though.
Having an honest conversation about how the relationship makes you feel can be the first step to changed behavior. If after the discussion, it’s clear that they don’t intend to change their behavior, it’s time to cut them out of your life.
This is a great article about dealing with toxic people who you can't cut out of your life.
5. Learn More About Codependency
Toxic relationships are often able to thrive due to codependency or an emotional reliance on other people for self-fulfillment. Codependency makes it difficult to leave unhealthy relationships, since it creates a sense that we can’t live without that person.
Pick up some reading material on codependency to break the cycle or attend a CODA 12-Step meeting. Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More is a popular self-help book for those looking to break free from codependency.
Toxic relationships are certainly stressful, but they can ruin your life if you don’t break free quickly. It’s important to evaluate your safety before enacting a plan for how to leave your toxic relationship. Once you decide on how to leave safely, you’ll be on your way to peace of mind.
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