How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship For A Happier Life

how to let go of toxic people
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Being stuck in a toxic relationship 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.

letting go of toxic friends

Why You Need To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships

Letting go of toxic people is healthy.

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.

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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.

So exactly how do you let go of toxic people?

In my post today, I’ll break down 6 steps to follow and allow yourself to heal.

glasses and a plant on a book
let go of toxic people

Stop Staying In Draining Relationships

Get your free checklist of ways to let go of toxic friends and relationships. Start living a more happy life now!

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. 

girl with a cup reading a book

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?

let go of toxic people from your life

Free Yourself Of Toxic People From Your Life

Grab your free checklist of the steps to follow to get rid of toxic relationships – straight to your inbox!

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.

cup with a book and hand cream

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.

let go of toxic relationships

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.

let go of toxic people

Stop Staying In Draining Relationships

Get your free checklist of ways to let go of toxic friends and relationships. Start living a more happy life now!

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:

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.

cup of coffee with a book on a bed

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 or network with other people in your social group who you feel share more of your current interests.

Don’t forget to also strengthen your current relationships with people who do make you happy.

Journal To A Happier & Healthier Life In 30 Days

Need more guidance on how to work through and let go of mental blocks that are keeping you stuck in a negative space with toxic thoughts, habits, people, and behaviors?

Start feeling more positivity and happiness with the 30-Day Self-Care Habits Journal And Workbook.

30 day self-care habits journal and workbook

  • Journal prompts and self-affirmations to help you work through past traumas, mental road blocks, and hurts
  • A roadmap to setting up boundaries with your relationships and how to let go of toxic people
  • Calendars to help guide you to achieve your exercise, healthy eating, hygiene, and sleep goals
  • Tips on how to create a healthy and clear space at home to facilitate a clear mind
  • Two lined journal pages (print as many times as you’d like)

Wrapping Up

Sometimes letting go of a toxic person is all you can do to keep your respect and sanity.

Remember that life is never static 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.

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.

I hope these tips will be able to help you navigate through difficult relationships so you can be on your way to a healthier and happier future.

let go of toxic people from your life

Free Yourself Of Toxic People From Your Life

Grab your free checklist of the steps to follow to get rid of toxic relationships – straight to your inbox!

More Wellness Tips

how to let go of a toxic relationship

Have you ever had to let go of a toxic person from your life? Let me know your experiences in the comments!


  1. I’ve dealt with toxic people, and a lot of what you say rings true! It’s hard to be in a relationship for years, and then come to realize that it’s been toxic all along. Sometimes it takes time to even realize the effects someone else has on you.

  2. This year I really had to cut toxic relationships for my growth and it was well worth it. Great post

  3. This is such a good post. People don’t realize how draining toxic relationships are. Surprisingly they’re not easy to walk out of. Thanks for sharing ❤

  4. This is all great advice! I just went though this, not in the traditional sense, but with a toxic boss and a job I had been at for 14 years. It’s surprisingly similar and everything you wrote applies perfectly. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. This is so important. Getting rid of toxic people can be such a breath of fresh air. While I still care about them, I can love them from afar and not poison my own life by keeping them around.

  6. These are such great tips!! I remember struggling at first when I ended a toxic relationship. If I had focused more on myself, it would have been a little easier!

  7. I actually am in the process of this right now, I am a teenager with divorced parents and my mom has gotten such a bad place for herself that it’s affecting me and I can’t be happy, or healthy when I am with her. So I have worked it out with my dad and sometime within the next 2 weeks I’m going to tell her that I want to move in with my dad and tell her some of the reasons. I’m sure they will end up going to court, and technically it’s not my decision as to where I get to live but the state I live in basically says that if the child is old enough to decide for themselves, and there are no problems with that other house then they’re going to let the child decide. That’s kind of a lot, but it’s what I’m going through right now. Thank you so much for this post!

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