Toxic Relationships can be very complicated to understand and very hard to deal with. Repairing a toxic relationship will take time, patience, and diligence.
Relationships can consume a vast amount of our mental and emotional space and when they go wrong, they can cause immeasurable pain. If you consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner, it could be a sign that things need to change.
In case you might be struggling with one, here are some points to deal with a toxic relationship:
Identify the toxicity:
The first step to deal with a toxic relationship is actually recognizing the fact that it’s harming you. In case you are wondering about how to deal with a toxic relationship, you can maybe start with identifying these red flags:
- You constantly feel alone despite being in a relationship.
- You feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner.
- Social isolation
- Negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem
- You often feel uncomfortable, disrespected or criticized by this person.
Step out of Denial:
Are you unusually stressed? Do you not feel good about yourself being in the relationship? Then step out of the river of denial that you might be in a toxic relationship.
Consider whether you should rework or remove the relationship:
If the behaviour is persistent and has been ongoing for several months, it may be best to end it. However, if the relationship is 80 percent positive with difficult moments, or the person is someone who you can’t remove from your life, you may need to rework the relationship.
Establish healthy communication:
Work on establishing the kind of atmosphere between you and the other person where you can sit and calmly converse bout the topic of concern. Be gentle with each other. Also focus on using “I” statements, especially when talking about relationship issues.
For example, instead of saying “You don’t listen to what I’m saying,” you could say “I feel like you aren’t listening to me when you take out your phone while I’m talking.”
Remember, we don’t own anybody. Whether it be your relationship with your friend or spouse. They have their own freedom of choice. Treat them as separate, respectable human beings, as you would with any other person. However, if you are reworking the relationship or want to end it gradually, set some clear rules and stick to them.
It’s important for each of you to individually determine what you need from the relationship and where your boundaries lie. If you feel like you already know what your needs and boundaries are, it’s worth revisiting them.
Work on yourself before getting into another relationship:
Pick up some hobbies that you either used to enjoy or have always wanted to try. Take some important ‘me time’ for yourself. Hobbies not only boost self-esteem, but they provide a good place to meet new partners when the time is right.
Take the time you need to heal:
Spend time with people who love you and who build you up rather than tear you down. You can also spend time with the animals since they provide a good model of unconditional love and help alleviate loneliness.
Find a supportive friend, family member or a mental health professional to help you through the healing process. Openness to therapy can be a good sign that things are mendable. Actually following through on this can be key to helping the relationship move forward.
Toxic relationships are those which have evolved into situations that could potentially be extremely harmful and damaging to our well being. Changing them into something healthy or removing them entirely requires a tremendous amount of work.
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