Dealing with a toxic person can be really hard, no matter if it’s in a romantic relationship or platonic friendship.
Maybe they’re manipulative, they use you, or they’re a negative Nancy who constantly complains.
Why You Need To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships
We only have a finite amount of energy and time on this earth so it’s important that we put that energy into things that matter to us and make us feel positive and happy.
When the negativity from a toxic relationship becomes too much, it sucks out all of the energy that you could otherwise be putting into another more productive area in your life that you can never get back.
And if you’re already experiencing your own stress and problems in your life, that unnecessary added stress can be a huge burden.
This is why it’s so important that you selectively choose who you let into your life and invest your time in. If this person is no longer able to bring positivity and light, you need to think long and hard if they deserve a spot in your life.
How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship
It can be really hard to cut someone out of your life entirely. They can be someone who you’ve known for the majority of your life or who has been there for you in the past, through thick and thin. They can be family members, a best friend, or even your parents.
Despite all of that, it’s important that you think about your own current mental health and practice good self-care habits everyday. After all, you’re the one who has to live with the consequences of your own behaviors and actions for the rest of your life so it’s important that you put your own happiness first.
In my post today, I’ll break down 6 things you can do to let go of your toxic relationships and make sure you’re looking after yourself and allowing yourself to heal.
1. Figure Out What You’re Feeling
Sometimes you don’t know why you feel a certain way about a person.
You might feel uneasy when they’re around, like you’re walking on eggshells, or you get a sense of dread even from the thought of seeing them. You might even be in denial that you feel this way towards this person because you love them as a human being.
Think back to your past interactions with this person and try to analyze and write down your honest thoughts and feelings when they did something that you didn’t like. This will help you give you a clearer understanding of what you take issue with.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Why are you not happy with them? Is it the way they behave or what they say?
2. Are they constantly negative and complaining about everything?
3. Do you feel like their problems and behaviors are spilling into your own life?
4. Is it possible for them to stop this negative behavior?
5. Is this likely just a temporary problem due to certain events going on in their life?
6. Do you feel like you’re being used?
7. Do you feel obvious physiological changes whenever you’re around them such as a sinking feeling or a pull in your stomach?
8. Do you disagree with their values?
2. Set Your Boundaries
Next, you’ll need to figure out your boundaries, which is all about respecting yourself.
Setting boundaries is healthy because it sets the tone of your relationships and friendships. If you often have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people who you care about or you bend the rules at the expense of your own happiness, it will help you to know where to draw the line so that you don’t get walked all over by others.
Once you know what and why you feel a certain way about this person’s toxic behavior, ask yourself what are your dealbreakers. These are things that you just can’t accept that you absolutely need to see changed or else you can’t continue on with the friendship or relationship.
3. Communicate Your Feelings
If you think their toxic behavior is something that they can change, have an honest talk with them and communicate how you feel about it in a nice way.
The point is to not bash them but to tell them in a truthful but loving way so that they can gain self-awareness about the issue. They might be oblivious to the way that they act because no one has ever told them the truth and you telling them now is the big wakeup call they need.
Then, give them some time to figure out how to fix the problem depending on what it is. You can’t expect everything to always be an overnight fix. No one is perfect and it takes time to change a habit especially if they were formed during childhood.
In the end, if they end up changing, great! Sometimes becoming self-aware of the issue is all they need to fix it. However, that’s not always the case so you’ll have to brace yourself for the next step if it continues on.
4. Cut Off Your Ties
The good thing about relationships and friendships is that you are in control of who you surround yourself with. You get to choose whether you want to involve these people in your life or not so ultimately, your happiness is in your own hands!
If you’ve communicated what you feel to them and they still don’t change their toxic behavior, it might be time to let go and distance yourself from the relationship.
You can either give them closure by telling them straight up that you can’t be in their life anymore because of how they make you feel. This should be a given if this person is your romantic partner or a family member!
Another option is to distance yourself by making yourself more scarce. Personally, this isn’t my favorite way of ending any sort of relationship because it doesn’t allow closure for both sides of the party but ultimately this decision is up to you. Relationships and friendships are two-way streets so eventually they will naturally fizzle out if they aren’t nurtured.
5. Focus On Yourself
It can be hard to let go of these toxic people from your life especially if they are important to you and helped shape you to be the person you are today. So if you feel sad, depressed, empty, or down in the dumps, allow yourself to feel those emotions and grieve because they’re totally normal.
Just like any breakup, take time to focus on your mental health by focusing on self-love during this hard time and learn to enjoy your own company.
Here are some things you can do to center yourself and give yourself some TLC while injecting positivity back into your life:
- Get into fitness
- Find creative ways to boost your own mood
- Go on dates with yourself
- Read self-help and personal development books
If you’re looking for more ways to bring positivity, check out my post on 15 self-care practices you can add to your every day routine to have a more joyful and happy life.
6. Find New People Who Align With You
Once you allow yourself to let these people go from your life, surround yourself with like-minded and positive people with similar values to you.
You can join a group or sports team to explore new hobbies, network with other people in your social group who you feel share more of your current interests, or strengthen your current relationships which do make you happy.
Remember that life is ever revolving and everyone isn’t meant to permanently stay in your life. Some people are only meant to come into your life to teach you a lesson so don’t feel guilty or bad that you have to let them go, even if they were once very important and dear to you.
Instead of feeling bad, feel grateful for the positive memories that you both experienced together and allow yourself to be open to the possibilities of new friendships and relationships.
Have you ever had to let go of a toxic person from your life? Let me know your experiences in the comments!