“Like arsenic, toxic people will gradually kill you. They will kill your positive spirit, play with your mind, and step on your emotions. The only antidote for this poison is to let them go.”Denisse Lisseth
Relationships are like flowers blooming in a garden. Some flowers make our life meaningful, while some are beautiful yet poisonous.
For many reasons, leaving a relationship and cutting a person you love out of your life can be difficult. However, the more you choose to stay, the more you’ll wither away.
Why Do People Choose To Stay?
It’s hard to leave something you have already been used to, especially relationships you have watered and tended to until they bloom. But instead of a rose, you have grown poisonous wolfsbane.
According to Sara Kuburic from USA Today, leaving toxic relationships can be difficult, especially if a person has long stayed. The fear of the unknown, judgment, guilt, and even abusive relationships prevent a person from leaving.
She said that the first reason people stay is the fear of change and the uncertainties it will bring.
Some ask if they will still be accepted and loved by others. At the same time, some fear they’ll end up in the same kind of relationship again.
Others fear being judged for their decisions, while others are suffocated by guilt even though they are always at the receiving end.
And the worst of all is when a person stays because they are conditioned that they can’t live without their abusers. They have suffered from abuse for too long that they perceive their situation as normal.
Our love and strong attachment to someone restrain us from leaving relationships that don’t serve us anymore — even if it breaks us apart.
Signs It’s Time To Walk Out of Toxic Relationships
A mistake with change is fine; however, continuous mistakes without improvement from the person are certainly not!
Admit it; sometimes, you just close your eyes and cover your ears from the red flags waving themselves at you. Again and again, you let them slide until you realize that only you exert effort to make things work in your relationship.
Yes, it’s difficult to let go; however, keeping toxic people in your life can only bring you damage. This is now your sign to get away from the negativities, manipulation, gaslighting, and abuse you don’t deserve!
1. There’s no support in your relationship.
According to Crystal Raypole of Healthline, a relationship lacks support when the people involved stop giving and taking mutually.
Healthy relationships should be based on mutual desires for the achievement of one another. However, when competition is involved, everything crumbles.
Support is missing when your time with the person always feels negative. You don’t feel encouraged and can’t trust them to be there for you in times of need.
You feel that they only care about themselves, and your needs and interests no longer matter.
2. All you have is toxic communication.
Have you noticed how respect is gone in your conversations? Instead of kind and loving words, only disdain and anger come from your mouths.
You and your person might find yourselves making disparaging remarks about each other or try to avoid having conversations to avoid arguments and hostility.
This just doesn’t happen between couples. It can also happen between family members, friends, and workmates. It’s crucial to remember how powerful words are and how they can build or destroy a person.
3. You’re losing your self-esteem.
Toxic people often find joy in insulting and belittling the people around them to feel a sense of superiority.
They might always find mistakes in everything you do, point out your flaws and use them against you, and downright make you feel unworthy.
Remember, jokes and banters should be enjoyed mutually by the people involved. However, if only the other party enjoys it, it’s already an insult. Letting things get this way can often damage your self-identity irreparably.
4. You notice controlling behaviors.
Controlling behaviors can come subtly but becomes noticeable when it happens frequently.
Yesh Sewdayal from Supportiv explained that a person is controlling when they expect, force, and obligate others to cater to their needs, even at others’ expense. They often target people closest to them, those who trust them, and those with submissive tendencies.
The author added that the subtle signs of controlling behaviors are:
- Seeking or giving more attention than normal.
- Putting you down when things don’t go as they want.
- Intimidating you with ultimatums.
- Making you feel worthless.
- Embarrassing you in the presence of others.
5. Your relationship becomes stressful.
Toxic relationships can feel like a prison rather than a sanctuary. You might find yourself running away from it instead of towards it because it’s your stressor.
Crystal Raypole explained that arguments and misunderstanding are normal in relationships; however, being constantly on edge because of it means there’s something wrong.
The constant stress you feel might threaten exhausted about everything happening in your life.
6. You don’t feel safe.
According to Dr. John Deloney from Ramsey, you’re in a toxic relationship when you feel physically and emotionally unsafe.
You cannot share your feelings and ideas with the people around you and always have to filter your words for fear of offending or hurting them.
You’re always afraid of their reactions if you give radical feedback and sentiments. You can’t stay true to yourself around them and feel like you always have to walk on eggshells.
7. You feel like you’ve lost your sense of self.
Toxic people ensure that everything will go as they want. They tend to gaslight, manipulate, and shape people according to their needs. They dominate the relationship and do not accept decisions from others.
If you’re in this kind of relationship, you might often find yourself doing the things you don’t want to do just to delight them. You go against your principles, endure situations you’re not comfortable with, or spend time with people who don’t respect your boundaries.
Ways to Remove Someone From Your Life
Removing a person that once meant a lot to you is more challenging than it may sound. You shared emotions and energies with this person, and there will be hurt on both sides when it is time to let go.
However, for your peace and mental health, you must take the first step of choosing yourself.
1. Don’t expect them to redeem themselves.
Katherine Hurst from The Law of Attraction explained that it’s acceptable to forgive people and hope for them to change themselves, but if you’ve long given them a chance and they are still not changing, it’s time for you to walk out now.
You might think that they can still change or you can help them redeem themselves, but saving toxic relationships often ends up in vain.
You have to accept the reality that you cannot change and force everything, and you don’t have the responsibility to help someone who’s not willing to help themselves.
2. Create and maintain your personal boundaries.
Toxic people will push you harder and harder until they have no use for you. They don’t care about crossing boundaries and will not stop until they drain you.
According to the University of Illinois Chicago Wellness Center, setting personal boundaries is a form of self-care. It will serve as your guidance and limit on how you want others to treat you.
Boundaries are a great weapon against anxiety, burnout, and stress. It helps us remaining true to ourselves.
When you show people that you have boundaries that need to be respected, you let them know what is acceptable and not when forming a relationship with you.
You have to determine if this person deserves an explanation or not when you cut them out of your life.
If yes, make it clear to the person that they have overstepped your boundaries and tell them that you will no longer tolerate their disrespect.
If not, walk out peacefully for yourself and never give them a single explanation. You don’t always have to explain yourself to anyone, especially if it compromises your self-respect and inner peace.
3. Completely block them out of your life.
Angie Won shared that after walking out of your toxic relationship, block the person from your life. Block them not just in reality but also in social media or anywhere they can access you.
Remove any reminders of them in your life, and promise yourself that you won’t reach out to them again. Avoid places where you can always meet them, and if possible, try to avoid their circle of friends.
However, if it’s impossible to completely remove them from your life, minimize your contact with them. Don’t initiate conversations with them; never let them feel you’re open to rekindling your relationship.
Always choose yourself and your healing first.
4. Let yourself feel the pain.
Sara Kuburic explained that people who come from toxic relationships tend to put themselves in self-blame. They condemn themselves for staying too long and enduring the relationship, even though they have the choice to leave.
You might feel this way, too, after ending a relationship that has a large part in your heart. However, we want to remind you that feeling this way is alright.
You have done everything you can to save everything, and you have endured much. Those can already tell how strong you are as a person. Don’t feel guilty for loving real people and for baring your heart open.
You have the right to feel the pain, to get angry, and to feel sad. But promise yourself that after you have processed and accepted your pain, you will stand up and build yourself again.
5. Slowly fix your broken pieces.
There’s a Japanese concept called Kintsugi, also known as the Art of Golden Repair. It is a 400-year-old art of using gold to repair shattered pottery pieces back together.
When we have broken objects, especially shattered glassware, we hide or discard them. However, in the philosophy of kintsugi, emphasizing the beauty of the scars of an object which are unique and a part of the design, is the most important.
Kintsugi proved that broken objects must not be hidden away but shown with pride. That breakage is a component of its history and thus be embraced.
From this philosophy, we want you to learn that your fall can lead to self-discovery. You will discover the beauty of your weaknesses, resilience, perseverance, and flaws.
Life challenges might have shattered you into a thousand pieces and filled you with scars, but it doesn’t mean your life ceases there. As long as you’re alive, you can still slowly rebuild yourself and discover other glorious aspects of yourself.
Wrapping It Up!
Our love and strong attachment to someone stop us from leaving relationships that no longer serve us. We find it hard to cut the people we love out of our lives, even if our connection with them breaks us apart.
But the more you stay and hold on, the more you drive yourself to destruction. You’ll lose your sense of self and might find it hard to trust the world again.
That’s why, if you realize you’re the only one doing everything to save your relationship, it’s time for you to stop and let go.
It will be hard and might seem the greatest challenge you have ever faced, but in the future, you’ll find out that choosing yourself first is the bravest and greatest decision you have ever made.
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