Another great article I wrote for the Wellness Universe blog back in 2018
The Big Takeaways on a Toxic Relationship:
- Staying in a toxic relationship makes the stress continual, whether it’s a toxic love relationship, a toxic friendship, or a toxic parent.
- Try to talk to this loved one to improve the relationship and put a plan together. If it can’t happen, walk away. It’s literally killing you.
- You need to turn your loving attention to yourself to achieve and maintain wellness.
- Reach out to close friends for support if you have ended a toxic love relationship. You need unconditional love right now to improve your health.
- Walk away with no regrets.
- Make a list of all of the amazing qualities you have and read them every day. Have close friends help you.
You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, a childhood friend, or a new acquaintance, you don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change, but if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and ‘continues’ to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go. —Daniell Koepke
Let’s define what a toxic relationship is. They don’t have to be love interests, they could be friends, a parent or relative, or even a toxic employer, but they need to be repaired or purged. Your health depends on it.
Any of these issues are toxic, and you need to think about the relationship in these terms.
Signs of toxic people:
- They are never wrong.
- They love the drama, or are completely shut down and show no drama at all.
- They are constantly critical.
- They like to talk and interrupt.
- They lack compassion.
- They love to gossip and talk badly about others.
- They are into negativity.
- They isolate you from others.
Signs of toxic behavior:
- They are passive-aggressive.
- They display jealousy and play the blame game.
- They show criticism and contempt.
- They exude tons of negative energy.
- You can’t seem to do anything right.
- Neither of you are happy anymore, but they are making no effort to improve things.
If it is a toxic friendship consider your feelings about your friend and the time spent together, and ask yourself these questions:
- Is this something that your friend has just started to do, or has it been going on for a long time?
- Are you defensive or upset when you spend time with your friend?
- Do you feel unhappy after spending time with them?
- Do you spend time justifying your own behavior around your friend instead of it feeling “natural” to be together?
- Are you happy being with this friend?
- Do you feel belittled, attacked or used?
- Is the friendship hard work?
- Does your friend try to make you feel at fault for things that happen to them? Do they constantly play the victim?
- Has your friend betrayed your confidences?
- Is your friend in competition with you instead of being caring?
Ponder these questions:
- Is the pain too great to allow it to continue?
- Is it like pulling teeth to find out what is going on?
- Are they closed down and uncommunicative?
- Are you in your head picturing an alternate reality?
- Do they hear you?
- Is it practically impossible to make boundaries and when you set them, do they ignore them?
- Are you the only one that is willing to meet in the middle?
- Is getting an apology (when it’s truly deserved) like pulling teeth?
- Does this relationship take more energy than it gives?
- Is the blaming and complaining getting really old?
- Are you exhausted when you are with the person and energetic when they’re gone?
These are words of wisdom from Kris Carr of Sexy, Crazy, Cancer, on her website blog: “How to Identify & Release Toxic Relationships.”
If it’s a romantic relationship:
- “Are the sparks between the two of you dead— end of story?”
- “Do you smile when you want to yell, and then yell at the wrong people?”
- “Is the only thing holding you back a fear of newness?”
- “Are you afraid of what people will think of you if this relationship ends?”
- “Does this person make you feel like you are lost without them?”
- “Do you find yourself missing the old you?”
- “Are you lonely even when you are with him (or her)?”
If you are in a toxic relationship, you deserve more. You must reduce your stress, so choose to be with people you are grateful to have you in their life.
8 Tips for Repairing or Purging a Toxic Relationship:
- Sit down and talk to the toxic person whether they are a friend, a lover or a parent.
- Set boundaries, and see if you can save the relationship. If not, you need to walk away. If you are in a toxic relationship with a parent or relative, setting boundaries is crucial.
- Talk to them about the relationship and what YOU need.
- If it is a toxic employer, ask for a transfer or find a new position with a healthier environment.
- If you decide to end a toxic love relationship, reach out for support. You will need unconditional love while you go through the heartbreak. No matter how difficult the relationship has become, if you love him (or her), it will be very painful to pull away.
- When you end any toxic relationship, walk away gracefully with no regrets. No accusations. No, if only you had done this. No manipulation, no finger pointing. And if leaving toxic employment, no bridge burning.
- Once free, write down all the things that you are truly grateful for from being in that relationship and set those memories free. Holding onto grudges does you no good and does them no harm. Let it go and start to heal. Life has many wonderful adventures waiting for you, but you have to be free and clear to pull them in. When you are free, they will appear.
- Write down all of the things that are wonderful about you. Ask your dearest friends to help you make the list. What happened isn’t your fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s time to move on. Read this list every time you are feeling blue. Keep it close
I learned a long time ago, that sometimes there is an Angel’s hand on my back leading me from one place to another, which is where I am supposed to be, a place where I can find joy and happiness. Getting out of any toxic relationship is an angel’s hand on your back moving you to a better place where you can find health and happiness.