Toxic relationships are the human interactions that cause us to feel inadequate, useless, put down, and unheard. These toxic relationships are emotionally draining and often lead to physical abuse. While physical abuse does not always occur, it’s the emotionally abusive relationships that are, more often than not, harder to spot.
Toxic relationships aren’t just the romantic relationships we have. They can be between parents and children, best friends, siblings, or even a boss and an employee. Furthermore, toxic relationships are the terrible relationships we have with ourselves. A relationship in which we think we deserve ill-treatment or half-hearted love. A relationship that negatively impacts us mentally, physically, and spiritually.
When you find yourself in a bad relationship, you think more about agreeing to something society anticipates from you instead of concentrating on your joy. You may wind up disregarding yourself and your goals because you’re more concerned about what your partner, friend, or boss thinks. Going forward, you compromise your dreams, you forget your sense of individual purpose, and lose yourself.
These toxic relationships are like an addiction. You find yourself making excuses, saying things like: “this is the last time”, or “it’ll get better” and it never does. What you don’t see though is how much this affects you. How one single relationship doesn’t just change you but changes every relationship you have. You expect people to mistreat you and anticipate the worst of people. You distance yourself, don’t let anybody in, and essentially become numb to the world because of how you were conditioned.
So how do you know when to let go? Sometimes the signs are apparent – from emotional and physical abuse to lying, cheating, and constant criticism. The emotional starvation you feel is clear. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel right. Whether it’s in the loneliness you feel around your significant other, a lack of security as an employee, a gentle but constant ache in your heart, or a lack of connection you feel with a family member.
Whatever the signs are, they are negative. The toxic relationship only exists, nothing more. It doesn’t flourish, and it doesn’t nurture. It is kept up, not because of adoration and intimacy, but because of habit. Sometimes your circumstances make leaving difficult. However, sometimes you are the only thing standing in your way. Recommended by CapeTownInsider.
Listen to your inner voice
The first step to letting go is listening to your inner voice. That intuition that keeps nagging you, telling you it’s better to let go than to stick around. Recognize the problem, educate yourself, and consider talking to someone about it. Awareness is a powerful tool.
Allow yourself to grieve
Letting go is painful. It’s never easy walking away from a relationship you tried so hard to build. Allow yourself to grieve, to feel the emotions. Invite them in and sit with them. Never allow anybody to tell you to “get over it”. Suppression will do more damage than crying yourself to sleep.
Don’t blame yourself
Don’t blame yourself. The abuser will often play on your fears, manipulate you, and control the problem. Don’t sell yourself short. As you learn to trust your gut, you become more aware and realize that no one can tell you that you gave up too soon.
Focus on empowering yourself and rewrite your story. Consider making a list of what you need in a relationship, not just with other people but with yourself. Shift your focus from the negativity of the past relationship to the positivity of self-love. Assess your story and rewrite it for you.