How to Deal with Toxic Relationships?
Dealing with toxic people can be challenging, especially when you are not even able to identify their toxicity. Instead of helping you evolve, these energy vampires bring you down and make you feel less confident in your abilities. The interesting thing is that most “victims” do not even see through what these individuals are doing.
So, they get up caught into this circle of unidentifiable pain, unable to make changes and always feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and emotions. It’s important to mention that toxic partners or friends can be highly manipulative, meaning they can affect your life in ways you might not identify as manipulation. They can play with your mind without you knowing. So, great job being here – that means you are taking the first step in the right direction.
Here are some ways in which you can deal with this toxicity.
First step: admitting it is true
The first thing you must do when you are in this situation is to realize the problem that you’re having.
Without admitting the cause of your pain, you will not be able to solve anything. To do this, you must accept that it affects you first. Denial is a pain in the bum, so make sure that what you are thinking of is actually true. Here are some ideas that you could work with, in case you might be in denial but might have not figured it out yet:
- Be patient and kind with yourself – if you are not sure where you stand or if you’re experiencing denial, being patient and honest with yourself will help a lot. However, don’t be too harsh, it will only aggravate the negative feelings you might be feeling.
- Avoid ignorance and understand how it differentiates from denial. With ignorance, you know that something is going on but choose to ignore it. With denial, on the other hand, you deny the fact that something might be going on. Make sure you have someone close to talk to about your issue.
- Remain calm. Try to meditate, do yoga, take a walk, and think about it. Do not overthink though! Relax as much as you can.
You should not get stuck, keep on moving
Toxic people will make you feel that you cannot do better than them. You must wake up! This is not the best that you can do. Usually a great way to detect whether someone is doing this or not is to ask yourself: how many (other) friends/family members are you still engaging with? Do you contact people who used to be in your life regularly now? And if not, why so? Has this toxic person influenced you in one way or another?
Understand that this feeling might come from fear and it is usually promoted by an inferior
complex. If you think you are not good enough to accept what is best for you, you might be more inclined to search for those toxic relationships. This happens because as people, we find it challenging to get out of our comfort zones, so staying in the safe areas (engaging with people who make us feel the way WE feel about ourselves) is easier than accepting healthy people in our lives.
Make sure you do not continue this ongoing circle. Contemplate on your emotions and always ask why. What is the reason you are thinking whatever is that you are thinking? What is the reason you are engaging in the same addictive behaviors that you are engaging in? Even if questioning ourselves can be challenging, not doing it makes us ignorant. So, start questioning everything.
Take responsibility for your actions
It’s important to understand that, even if you let other people help you, they will not be able to change you. You are the only person who can do that, so start taking responsibility for your actions, emotions, and thoughts. Yes, it’s true that toxic people can easily get to you, but it would be false to say that you cannot choose the way you react. You have the freedom to do it; and that is because you create your own reality.
So, if you realize that there are some issues going on with someone in your life and would like to withdraw, start making active changes. Do not wait for someone else to intervene. There are two questions we need to ask ourselves when something affects us negatively.
- Do I like the situation that I am in or would I need to change it to feel better? And if I don’t like it;
- How can I change the situation which I find myself in?
Look for the reason
If you can understand the reason why certain things happen or why some people cross paths with you, it will be easier to understand their situations and change yours. Whenever two people meet, there is a reason for it – nothing is coincidental. Why do you attract these types of people? Are you looking for something you do not have in your own life? Often, people around us mirror what we fear the most, so ask that question as well – do you fear becoming toxic, addicted, dependent? Also, what do you think their life lesson is? Why did they have to cross paths with you? What could they learn from you?
Maintain boundaries and be specific
When you finally realize that some people are toxic for you, you will want to make changes. So, the first thing you should do is draw boundaries. Being able to communicate properly is important, so try not to make the other person feel guilty. When expressing yourself, use “I” statements – for instance, “I feel that this relationship does not bring me the benefits that I thought it would”, or “I do not feel prepared to continue seeing you”. Do not put the blame on them for how you are feeling, ever. That will make them defensive and unable to communicate with. If, however, you choose to use personal statements, they will not be able to invalidate that.
Our lives are highly influenced by the people we choose to spend time with, so make sure you are choosing healthy relationships within your life. Make sure you truly connect with your peers/partner and understand that they are not your responsibility. Good luck!