As social human beings, being in a relationship provides us with support, love, comfort, and an idea of a good life. This relationship can be a romantic one, a one with friends, or even familial bonds.
But what happens when one feels like an outsider in their relationship?
Does the relationship make you feel disrespected and unloved?
Does it demand more mental and physical time than you can provide?
Does it make you feel as if you are not good enough and unworthy?
And, do you have to think before you act/say anything to the other person?
If your answer to the above questions is “yes”, then probably the relationship you have in your mind is moving towards being toxic. These relationships can exist anywhere, from the bedroom to the boardroom and even in your own house. Metaphorically, a toxic relationship might feel like being suffocated in a packed room.
As all relationships have ups and downs, such feelings can be natural. But if the bad outweighs the good in the relationship, it’s a threat to your overall well being. Apart from physical abuse, there is emotional and mental abuse involved by being a part of a toxic relationship. One starts feeling used, unworthy, and “the bad person” in the relationship. The toxicity feels like a space of negative thoughts and behavior, acting like a burden in normal life. The toxicity in the relationship can make you stressed, decrease your concentration and motivation in both personal and professional life. It can make you upset and unstable emotionally and fearful of the other person, too.
For example, if a rock is hampering the growth of a plant in your garden, you can solve the problem by just removing it. Moving away from an existing relationship can be tough. It can bring a void. But removing the rock to make space for healthy growth is needed. At this stage, we need to fill this void by focusing on ourselves.
You can do so by:
Focusing on your mental and physical health, and indulging in self-care activities.
Exploring old and new hobbies.
Connecting with people who make you feel alive and fresh.
Accepting and expressing your positive and negative feelings during and after the breaking of the relationship.
Forgiving yourself rather than indulging in self-blame.
One might also think that leaving a relationship is like giving up and being weak to handle it. What we miss out here, is how being a part of this relationship was affecting us. It was hindering our overall growth. So walking away for us is to flourish.
Though in reality, not all toxic relationships can be removed from life or avoided, especially the ones with family members and co-workers. With these people, it is likely to be more difficult or impossible to getaway. In this situation, consider decreasing the time you spend with the toxic person. It might be offensive to do it right away, so cut back your visits over a period of time. You can:
Create healthy boundaries in the relationship. Treat yourself with respect and let them also treat you that way.
Be assertive in your communication - be assertive and clear about your needs and feelings. Using “I” Statements will allow you to express your stance, and also keep them from being defensive.
Use conflict resolution, when needed.
Bringing a change in any relationship can be difficult, especially in the one which is toxic. To start, it is important to believe that you deserve love, care, and compassion. Coming out of a hard shell may also require professional help. Considering therapy will help you bring a change in your thinking, cope with the loss, and add the aspect of self-acceptance and self-love.
Every time you would think about the relationship, ask yourself “Is the compromise worth the benefit?” “Would I like to treat someone the way I am being treated?”. You may get more insight into your next step.
Written by - Ruchika Jain
If you feel like you need some professional help with redirecting your mind to more positive pursuits, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Book your Initial Consultation on www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation.