This article was published on December 22nd, 2020
Relationships are undeniably a considerable component of our mental and emotional wellbeing. Having someone in your life to share thoughts, experiences, tears and laughter can help make for a healthier life. But sometimes, the cost of having such people around us can be relatively high. It becomes an uphill battle when the relationship is toxic.
In a toxic relationship, you feel threatened. It is an affair where you are frequently insecure, anxious, depressed or manipulated by another person, whether your partner, family member, friend or employer. And it is challenging to realize once a relationship becomes toxic. However, when it involves emotional and physical abuse, cheating, lying, and persistent criticism, something is not right.
It is often difficult for non-toxic people to step away from such relationships, perhaps owing to misplaced loyalty or out of a sense of love. They will stick around for some time and strive to make things work. This may, however, end up morphing them into less confident individuals and wounding their character. It is critical to know when someone’s presence is taking a toll on your mental health and leave.
How to recognize a toxic relationship
Toxic relationships are often characterized by feelings of anxiety where you experience periods of panic or a sense of unease and tension. It robs your joy and crushes your true feelings.
You dread seeing your boss check into the office or raising an issue with your partner, who may end up breathing fire on you. But understanding the implications this anxiety has on your relationship should be the first step in determining whether to end the affair.
Even if you decide to fight hard to amend the toxic relationship, it is only right to walk away when there is no fight left. Here are several tips to consider if you’re stuck in a toxic relationship and steps to end it.
Exiting a toxic relationship
Many people often find themselves tucked deep in a toxic relationship, much to their unknowing. It could be that fiery boss who’s always yelling at you at the workplace or that partner who’s continually manipulating you.
Thus, the first step in dealing with a toxic relationship is recognizing that you are in one and identifying the person behind it.
If such a person is always draining your energy or making you doubt your self-worth, then you are better off cutting them out of your life.
Express how you feel
Some people may choose silence as a weapon in toxic relationships, but it may only end up being detrimental to their mental health. Speak up, instead, and tell your partner that certain behaviours directed at you are hurtful. This is the case, especially where physical or verbal abuse is involved.
While you cannot control how your toxic partner responds, it could be an opportunity to see him or her leave the relationship or try making amends.
Make the decision
Once it is clear that you are better off without your partner, then simply decide to leave. It doesn’t seem easy. However, accepting reality starts the change process. Be firm in your decision and make your intentions clear for moving on with your life.
Set clear boundaries
Moving on from a relationship is no easy affair. Sometimes, you’ll begin missing that person and even get tempted to bring them back to your life. Please don’t! It is crucial to set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Remember, it took you a long and thoughtful process to cut ties with your partner. You can reach out to your support system to keep you accountable.
Seek your support system
Moving on from a toxic relationship can be difficult and emotional; thus, seeking a support system is vital. Reach out to your supportive friend, family member or mental health professional for a word of encouragement. Likewise, stay positive and practice self-care. Do whatever replaces those negative emotions with happiness.
If a relationship feels hurtful, it’s time to walk away. A toxic relationship not only takes a toll on your body; it also negatively impacts your mental health—Acknowledge when a relationship becomes toxic and dare to end it. Ultimately, a clean slate and less mental or emotional baggage give you the space you need to start healing from your anxiety.