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How to Remove Toxic Relationships from Your Life and how to realise you are in one!

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Relationships are not easy whether it’s with a romantic partner, parent, child, friend or co-worker. Sometimes we get into bad habits with certain people in the same way as with food, activities, substances and even thought patterns.

We can fall into unhealthy relationship dynamics anywhere we interact with other people. This could be at work, home or in your community. We can avoid some people, but with others like partners or family members, it’s trickier.

And although you have your part to play, let’s face it, there are some people in your life you would be better off without.

What is a Toxic Person?

A toxic person is someone unable to respect you as an individual and repeatedly violates your boundaries through their actions and words. This causes you to feel negative emotions when you interact with this person. Over time this can even inhibit your growth and affect your health. Actions that have a negative impact include undermining you through belittling comments, encouraging unhealthy behaviour (like drinking too much alcohol when you’re trying to cut down) or trying to manipulate you for their advantage.

Toxic people focus on the negative in every situation, or worse when something good happens to you they find it impossible to share in your joy. The accumulative effect wears you down causing emotional and even physical damage over time.

Toxic Relationships

All relationships take work, but a relationship that takes up an excessive amount of time and energy is unhealthy. Everybody goes through periods of being down and it’s important to help a friend in need, but when you are in a toxic relationship often the other person demands more than you are willing to give, causing you to feel as if your boundaries are constantly being violated and your resources drained.

So Why Do People Stay?

There are many reasons for staying in a toxic relationship. Humans are social creatures and we need relationships for survival and it’s not so easy to walk away from a spouse, family member or close friend. Attachment runs deep.

Also, our brain likes the familiar, and if dysfunction is the norm then you will be used to it. For example, if growing up you experienced unhealthy patterns of relating with parents or caregivers you may feel uneasy in a healthy relationship built on trust and mutual respect as this may be unfamiliar.

Unhealthy dynamics can be hard to change, but if you experience dysfunction in any relationship – at home, in your community or at work – it is possible to find freedom from dysfunctional patterns of relating and, if needed, eliminate toxic people from your life.

Of course, everyone experiences unhealthy relationship behaviours at one time or another. We all act out, say stupid things or are insensitive to the ones we love at one time or another. However, in a toxic relationship, the person refuses to take responsibility and may even blame you.

The difference in healthy relationships is that you are able to self-reflect, recognize your bad behaviour, and focus on the repair. That is your responsibility.

Find Freedom from Toxic Relationships

If you feel dragged down into dysfunction there is a solution. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away, but only you can decide if that is right for you.

8 Steps to Removing Toxic People from your Life.

1 Identify the Problem

If you don’t like how someone treats you and you feel as if their behaviour is unacceptable you have to be honest about it. Recognizing there is a problem is the first step. If they are in the wrong, they must be held accountable but before you start attributing blame you have to focus on what’s going on objectively.