It is in our human nature to socialize, make friends and eventually find a partner. But not all relationships are picture perfect. There may be a time in your life when you determine that one (or more) of your relationships could be considered ‘toxic’- meaning they affect you negatively. Experts agree that a big step in becoming emotionally mature is by identifying these types of toxic relationships and moving away from them. Here is some advice about how to do that:
1. Let them know how you feel.
While you do not owe them an explanation, this is probably more for you. After all, you don’t want to keep your feelings bottled up. If you feel like severing the relationship, let them know calmly and do not sink to their level if they fight back. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you may want to do this in a public space.
2. Put some distance between you and them.
You may want to completely put an end to the relationship. If so, you might just want to go with the pull-off the band-aid approach. This means cutting off all contact from them.
If you don’t want to go to that extreme, especially if it’s a family member, then try to put some space between you and them. Maybe you could unfollow them on social media or only plan to see them once or twice a year. If they ask to spend time with you, let them know that you have other plans, and you’ll have to do a rain check.
3. Set hard boundaries.
“Toxins have to be met with a powerful force,” says Tara Mackey, author of Cured by Nature and founder of The Organic Life. “It's likely that they won't just respond to ‘Go away,’ and will perhaps even dig their claws in deeper if you try to create a separation. Don't let this discourage you.” Be clear with your intentions and maintain the boundaries that you’ve established. “Stick with your boundaries long-term or [toxic people] will use any weakness overtime to sneak back into your life,” says Mackey. “If you told yourself you wouldn't respond to their texts, don't. Block their number and block them on all social media. Don't send them any e-mails and don't check in six months from now.”
More tips can be found at:
- Emotional Health