Useful Tips

Toxic relationships: 8 ways to deal with them


There are two ways to end a toxic relationship. The first is to break with a partner and build a future life with someone else. The second is to consider problems in relationships as an opportunity for your own spiritual growth.

Despite the fact that in such relationships you are on opposite sides of the barricades, the couple can still have a future. And a good future. But this will only work if you acknowledge the problem and both are willing to learn to understand and respect, accept each other for who they are. If not, very quickly from the “hold hands” phase, we will go to the “point at each other” phase.

If you are choking on the "proximity" of a partner or are tormented by the fact that you are deliberately ignored, the best thing you can do is calmly and frankly talk about it. Together, studying the moments that cause one of you pain or discomfort, you can not only get to know each other better, but also better understand what everyone really needs and whether you are able to give it.

Exercise # 1: Talk

This is not banal advice. If one of you or both has a bad relationship, first of all, discuss the experience with a partner.

There can be no right and wrong answers, everyone perceives the situation in his own way and has the right to it. The essence of the exercise is not to come to a consensus, but that you can hear and understand each other. If you have different points of view, this is normal, both points of view have a right to exist. As long as we believe that the truth is only on our side, we will not be able to hear and understand the feelings of another person. But assuming the idea that the partner may also be right, we will open for ourselves a new path that will lead to a joint search for a solution. Each conflict has two sides. As soon as we accept this thought and cease to consider ourselves the ultimate truth, it becomes easier to understand the partner.

How to do the exercise:

Remember the last quarrel and rate the feelings on a scale of 1 (“this is what I felt”) to 5 (“I did not experience anything similar”):

· I was sad.

· I felt misunderstood.

· It hurted me.

· I felt criticized.

· I felt rejected.

· I felt that my opinion does not matter.

· I was lonely.

Ask open-ended questions so that the answer allows you to better understand each other.

Think about what caused these feelings. Evaluate the reasons that could cause them, on a scale of 1 (“this is what I felt”) to 5 (“I did not experience anything similar”):

· I felt unimportant to a partner.

· I felt cold in relation to the partner.

· I felt rejected.

· I felt too demanding of me.

· I felt that my partner was not letting me in.

· I did not feel intimacy between us.

· I did not feel attachment.

· I felt that my self-esteem was impaired.

· I could not attract the attention of a partner.

· I felt that the partner was trying to dominate.

Adjust your expectations

The best recommendation when dealing with toxic people is to set normal boundaries and abide by them.

If you already understood that the person with whom you have to communicate is complex, do not tune in that suddenly he will become simple. Will not. Slightly change your expectations about him - and the next time you will not be unpleasantly surprised or shocked by his next "trick".

Remember that when you provoke anger or irritation - It can be not only your problem, but also the problem of your partner. It often happens that people, trying to blame everything on you, actually hide the lack of their experience, knowledge, or that they did not succeed. Thus, they seem to want to distract your attention from their person and their part of the responsibility for what is happening.

Speak correctly

Do not interrupt, let him finish his speech. When it is finally exhausted, try to direct the toxic person into a constructive channel in the dialogue. For example, like this:

  • Sorry, but could you please repeat what you want to tell me, only in a more relaxed (friendly) tone. Because of this, I listened to what you just said.

Always use self-messages or DEAR MAN. For example, say this:

  • I feel that ... I need to ... I want to ... I tell you all this because I (value our friendship, love you, want to improve our relationship, etc.)

Set boundaries

Borders, borders, and again - borders! When dealing with such people, this is the most important recommendation: to establish normal boundaries. Remember that you set boundaries not from them, but for yourself. You kind of write your own laws regarding your his behavior your interests and desires. And you are determined to abide by them. Apologizing for their borders is usually not necessary. Take care of yourself more.

"No, I do not want" - this is normal

Do not be afraid to say "Not"And"I do not want". It is not a scandal, it is not a conflict, it does not look stupid, and so on. This is an absolutely normal human condition: not wanting something and protecting oneself. Remember that people need relationships with other people, but they do not need in all, in any relationship. Some relationships can and should be terminated or reduced to a possible minimum that does not hurt you.

Do not try to catch up and do good

Do not even think about remaking or re-educating a toxic person, leading him to mind. Firstly, this is generally an ungrateful task, with any people, and secondly, this will lead to the fact that you will become even more bogged down in toxic relationships. It’s like in a swamp: the more active movements you make, the deeper and more hopelessly you plunge.

Get out of your head

If we are talking about colleagues whom it’s impossible to say goodbye, or about a boss who is impossible to talk heart to heart, but they have to be endured every day, then you will have to learn as soon as possible not to give these people a place in your head. You cannot control their behavior, but you can 100% control what and who occupies your thoughts. As soon as you again catch yourself thinking that you think of a toxic colleague, scroll through your head how he offended you or hurt you, immediately stop this stream of thoughts. Do something socially useful instead.

Say goodbye to best wishes

If, despite all your attempts to do something, the toxic person does not change (and he has the right to this, by the way, to be himself, as he is), and the relationship causes you too much pain and trouble - with all my heart sincerely wish this person love and kindness and ... let him go. Go forward in your life. After the termination of the relationship, it can be difficult for you, but always remember that by doing so you freed up a place in your life for new, perhaps more pleasant and useful people for you.

Exercise number 2: Look into the past

If you manage to understand your emotional reactions, it's time to go back in time. Unhealed wounds from past relationships or relationships with parents can affect how we communicate with a loved one, react to his words and actions. Try to find a connection between current reactions and past events.

If you have ever experienced sexual abuse, harassment or other serious psychological trauma and your partner does not know about it, now is the time to tell him everything. When we share our pain with a loved one, this helps him to understand us and our reactions much better and allows us to build communication more accurately and consciously.

How to do the exercise

Evaluate which of these statements best describes your feelings. When the partner offended you, it reminded you:

· About previous relationships that ended badly.

· About past emotional and psychological trauma.

· How your parents treated you.

· About the deepest fears.

· About unfulfilled dreams.

· About events with which you have not yet been able to reconcile.

· How other people have treated you.

· About all the bad things that you yourself think about yourself.

· About nightmares that keep you awake.

Study each other's answers, take your time, ask open-ended questions so that the answer allows you to better understand each other. This is not a competition, who is worse off or who is more right, but a way to understand the deepest fears and injuries of a partner, to give and receive support. If he is telling you something shocking, ask him to tell you more about the feelings and experiences associated with this event. One answer will work better than years of trying to figure out why he is behaving so badly.

Exercise # 3: Write down your points of view

Summarize the position regarding the quarrel on paper. Jot down your partner’s position. As soon as you do this, you will immediately see that it is precisely the point of view, and not a dry and impartial description of the facts. We are all complex people, and emotional reactions are determined by past experience, expectations and desires.

Exercise # 4: Define Your Role

When something goes wrong in a relationship, we start looking for a reason for a partner and blame him for everything. In fact, no one is to blame. In order to get out of the vicious circle of mutual accusations, both must take responsibility for what is happening and admit that they are playing a certain role. To figure out which one, use the list of reasons that could cause you to have an increased need for intimacy or, conversely, an increased need for independence.

Do not proceed to exercise if you are angry and upset. When emotions go wild, it is difficult to adequately assess what is happening and we are more likely to blame the partner. Try to concentrate on all the good things in the relationship.

The more sincere you both perform the exercise, the more you turn to each other

Step 1: Determine what you are ready to take responsibility for. Rate the statements on a scale of 1 (“this is what I felt”) to 5 (“I have not experienced anything similar”):

· Recently extremely sensitive.

· Recently, I have shown little attention to the partner.

· Due to stress, I am constantly annoyed.

· I often criticize a partner.

· I stopped telling my partner about what is happening in my life.

· I feel depressed.

· I harbored resentment at something.

· I stopped showing love and affection for a partner.

· I began to inattentively listen to my partner.

Step 2: Write down your conclusion: “Now I see that problems in relations have arisen / worsened, including due to the fact that I ...”

Step 3: Write down how you can influence the situation to change for the better: “If this happens again, I can behave differently. For example, I will ... "

Step 4: Offer your partner a way to help him avoid such problems in the future: “So that this does not happen again, you can ...”

The sincere you both perform the exercise, the more you “turn around” to each other. You will begin to use the conflict in order to become closer, and not to move away. Your emotional connection will become stronger, and as a result, the relationship will become so strong and conscious that together you can overcome any problem. This does not mean that you will never quarrel. Quarrels will not determine your relationship and spoil them. You will learn to use them for the benefit of the union.

These exercises will help you learn a lot about your partner and yourself. This will require some courage, because such a degree of openness makes them vulnerable. When partners seek security through accusations and suspensions, they think that love is gone, but it’s not - they themselves let it go.

Kyle Benson, coach, relationship specialist. Site.

Check your decision

If you really want to end this relationship, then before you take any action - make sure that you actually made that decision.

Make sure that deep in your heart you decide to do it, and with all your heart you want it. This is important, because only confidence in what you are doing will allow you to go through this process much easier and more efficiently.

Find peace in yourself

If you have already decided to leave, in your head this union no longer exists. It is important that at this stage you understand for yourself - you are already a free person. Yes, a difficult task awaits you - reporting this fact to your already former partner - but this does not change the fact that the alliance has already been completed.

Take a deep breath and find inner peace. This will allow you to focus on this process, approach it with all responsibility.

If you need more ideas to calm your emotions, get out all day on the nature without a phone or computer.

Spend this time “ventilating” your mind, getting used to it and accepting the decision to end the toxic relationship that you have taken.

Imagine life without this person

One of the reasons why parting is so difficult for us is the general image of the future that we keep in our heads.

No matter how old you are together, a vision of a common future is a natural part of even an unhappy relationship. When suddenly this image crumbles to smithereens, what will happen in its place? A terrible, black hole.

From a psychological point of view, it is normal that we are afraid of what we do not know. Therefore, the key to freeing yourself from complex emotions is to create a new lifestyle - this time without a partner.

This will give you a sense of security and it will be easier to complete the following steps.

Give yourself some time in peace and quiet, sit back and close your eyes. Imagine what your life might look like when you are free from a toxic relationship.

  • How will this freedom affect your work and mood every day?
  • What will you do in your free time?
  • What will your life look like in a couple of years?

Fill your imagination with dozens of paintings from the future in which you are happy yourself or in new, healthy partnerships.

Prepare what you want to communicate

Appropriate preparation for the conversation, in which you tell everything to your former partner, is a key step in the whole process.

A clear expression of your feelings and direct communication of your decision will help you get rid of this person once and for all.

It is worth considering everything you want to say. Try not to blame your partner for this conversation, but be decisive.

Write a letter

This item is optional. Sometimes, even if you are well prepared, because of emotions, you will not be able to say at least half of the things you thought about. If this helps you, before the meeting you can write a letter.

Describe everything you feel. What are the reasons for your decision? Make an appointment in neutral territory. It is worth meeting in a crowded place to avoid screaming and loud showdowns.

Thanks to this, the subsequent conversation will already be based on the fact that the other person knows everything that you want to convey to him. You can calmly repeat what is most important for you, discuss formalities and “officially” end the relationship.

Do not let yourself get pulled into emotional games

There is a high probability that during a conversation about breaking up, your partner will do everything to keep you with you:

  • Will interfere with the completion of the relationship in all possible ways.
  • She can cry loudly and say that she can’t live without you.
  • It can make a sacrifice and kindle guilt in you.
  • It may offend you and call you selfish or selfish.
  • Maybe even blackmail.

Remember that all these are games that are designed to manipulate your emotions.

Repeat that, despite all these things, you will not change your mind. If your partner still wants to part with the scandal - accept this and endure courageously, you are no longer connected with this person - let him cope with his emotions as best he can.

Plan 2 weeks after breaking up

A good and rich plan will allow you to avoid the feeling of loss, which is often associated with a strong desire to return to a partner.

First of all, remember that after the break, have as few contacts as possible with your former partner or partner. Do everything to avoid talking and meeting.

This is very important at this stage, because every conversation can reopen a wound that has just begun to heal.

Remind yourself of the reasons for breaking up

Remembering the best moments in a relationship is what causes the most pain after parting. One small item is enough to cause an avalanche of images associated with wonderful moments in life with this person.

However, you must remember that this is a tricky way of your subconscious mind to make you return to a network of toxic relationships. Pleasant memories create an illusion, and this can damage your emotional health.

Therefore, regularly visualize the most unpleasant moments that formed the basis of your decision to part. Напоминайте себе о том, почему вы решили завершить эти токсические отношения. Благодаря этому легче будет выполнить следующий шаг.

Не меняйте своего решения!

По крайней мере, в течение первых 2 месяцев. Если позже вы решите, что не можете жить без этого человека и что очень хотите попробовать еще раз, все в порядке.

You will be able to consider this and accordingly prepare for work on relations (of course, if the other side expresses such a desire).

Too quickly returning to a partner after breaking up will almost always mean disaster!

It will probably be doubly painful, and you will probably have to go through parting again. Give yourself time to break with addiction to this person.

Give yourself time to learn how to live independently to restore balance and inner peace.

Then you can do what you want - now you are free from emotional dependence.

But, if it occurred to you to return to the partner with whom you were in a toxic relationship - think twice before talking to him.

Enjoy the freedom!

Find joy in being free from emotional manipulation, quarrel and mutual hatred. Learn to breathe deeply and focus on yourself. Start taking care of yourself. It can be difficult at first, but the more you focus on it, the faster you will remember what happiness is.

How to stop the toxic relationship, we suggested, we hope that you can handle it!

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Stages of readiness for change

Let's step aside a little. When a person matures some changes in his life, then he successively goes through different stages of readiness for them.

These steps are as follows:

  1. Not ready. She doesn’t even want to consider options that can change anything.
  2. Consideration. Thinking about whether something can be changed or not.
  3. Training. The decision has been made, mulling over an action plan.
  4. It is valid. Active changes in your life.
  5. Support. The current process, if necessary, adjustment.

Each stage will have its own special problems with motivation.

When a person says that he, on the one hand, would like or understands that he needs to break off destructive relations, but on the other hand, is not ready to give them up (or does not want), then this person is at what stage? Either the first or the second.

In terms of motivation, it is typical for these stages that a person is either under the influence of strong old motives, or he has not yet developed new ones - leading to changes. I have not yet realized what its benefits and costs are: from the old situation and from the new.

It’s still too early to move on to some kind of active actions, because the 3rd stage has not even been completed yet - preparation!

Therefore, if you have thoughts in your head that your relationship is destructive and emotionally destroying you - before you act, you must first go through all the stages in sequence.