It can be easy to miss the signs of a toxic relationship, because we can be blinded by love. We don’t always recognise the signs, because we don’t want it to be true. This is a case of denial.
Related article: Why Bonding is so Important in Staying Together
We have to admit to ourselves that this person is not good for us. That is the first step to ridding yourself of a bad relationship. Acknowledge that there is a problem. Need more info?
We need to remember, this doesn’t have to be a partner who subtly controls you. It could be a work relationship, where you are undermined or belittled. It could be a parent who constantly makes you feel guilty or a friend who drains your energy. It can be any relationship.
Once you have diagnosed and admitted you have a toxic relationship, you need to:
Reflect on yourself. Firstly we need to realise that it is not entirely that persons’ own doing. You have control over your own life, and somewhere along the line we have given them the idea that the way they treat us is acceptable.
We need to love and respect ourselves before we can expect another being to love and respect us.
Most people with low self esteem find themselves in a toxic relationship because they believe it is what they deserve. That they can’t find better. So they just accept the behaviour. They are more easily influenced due to their lack of confidence. Don’t be the victim!
Stand up for yourself! Love yourself! Respect yourself!
Cut them off? Trust your instinct – even if you feel you are being judgemental, listen to your gut. You don’t have to cut them off entirely, but you can put them on a “watch list”, where you monitor their behaviour with the signs we learnt.
You need to make up your own mind, do not be influenced by them. Take a step back and let them reveal their true colours.
If you are happy that you have diagnosed the relationship as toxic, and there is no reconciliation, let them go. It is healthier for you to let go of what is hurting you. As the saying goes, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Unless they are willing to acknowledge that they have a negative influence on you, that what they have been doing is wrong, and seek professional help, cut the cord!
1. Love and Respect yourself. Build up your self-esteem.
2. Spend time with people who do not drain your energy.
3. Have boundaries that you adhere to with your relationship/friends/colleagues. Let them know what you are about, that you respect yourself enough to know how you wish to be treated, and what you don’t like. Be clear about what you want from a relationship.
4. Trust your gut
5. Do not compromise yourself or compromise how you should be treated. Know your value!
6. Reflect on previous relationships and figure out where things went wrong. This is self reflection, not a time to blame yourself or them. It is time to teach yourself more about YOU, and the people you need/want in your life.
7. Equip yourself with knowledge on the signs of a toxic relationship.
8.Know when to let go. If they are doing you no good, do yourself a favour and move on.
Megan Mc Kinlay