Breaking Off A Toxic Relationship and Taking Back Your Power

6 Tips For Breaking Off A Toxic Relationship:

Breaking off a toxic relationship is not for the faint of heart. These tips are a solid way to gear up and take action and make the changes that are needed to live a healthy life. You don’t have to suffer, you don’t have to diminish yourself, and you don’t have to stay when the right thing to do is  break away from the toxic relationship and the drama that comes with it.

1.      Tell someone- Telling someone that you need to leave a bad situation can free up some of the anxiety that comes from the worry associated with the situation. No longer suffering in silence is a good way to make change. From leaving a bad relationship to exiting a toxic career, telling someone will make a difference.

2.      Prepare yourself mentally- People tend to stay in toxic situations far too long. In doing so, the feelings and behaviors that come with the toxicity start to feel normal and familiar. Leaving may feel harder than staying - even though it’s the best thing to do. Prepare yourself mentally for the reality that leaving will be hard, but staying will be lethal for your spirit.

3.      Get counseling, coaching, or mentoring- Making a big change in your relationships can be overwhelming. You may need the expertise and support of a trained professional to break off a toxic relationship. Consult someone or work together with someone who can give you sound advice to make a clean break.

4.      Don’t fairy-tale the situation- Leaving is often easier than being gone. Once a break happens, the impact can diminish, and you may start to forget how intense things were.

This can cause you to regret or rethink your position. Don’t fairy-tale the significance that a toxic situation has once you have broken off a toxic relationship and removed yourself from harm’s way.

5.      Take a break- Recovering from toxic relationships is important. Do what you need to do for self-care and healing. From counseling, to taking a vacation to clear your head, do what you need to do to refresh, regroup, and re-calibrate.

6. Don't Blame Yourself -Never take responsibility for someone else's toxic behavior. You are only responsible for your actions and choices, not theirs. Your responsibility is to free yourself of this toxic situation.

Recovering after breaking off a toxic relationship and guarding against future toxic connections.

If you’ve weathered the storm of a toxic relationship, you likely need some help with recovery. Part of the problem with toxic and destructive situations is they generally take a toll on you before you either get enough gumption to leave or are forced out due to difficult circumstances.

If this is you, then you may need some special attention and specific care to get back to the you that you were before things went south.

Here are some clues that a situation is toxic:

  • One or more people is always at odds with others
  • Rational attempts to defuse hostility or confusion are spun out of context
  • One or more of the group is passive aggressive

Breaking off a toxic relationship can be hard, but it is absolutely necessary for your health and well-being and the well-being of the people around you.

Doing what's best for you and walking away from toxicity always works out for everyone in the end.

Chances are you’ve heard the term toxic people or toxic situations. Generally speaking, these terms refer to people or situations that are highly dysfunctional or even dangerous.

Toxic situations are hotbeds for strife, discord, and usually driven by people with very little self-awareness.

We are always making an impact wherever we go. How we show up in any given situation is going to affect the atmosphere, the community, and the energy among the people who are also involved.

Likewise, we are always encountering other people affecting the atmosphere, the community, and the energy. While we can’t control others, we certainly don’t have to be subjected to toxicity if it is part of the situation.

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Toxic situations are based in negativity and they are destructive. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that something doesn’t feel right; however, sometimes it takes a while for it to become clear that a situation is more than just odd - it’s toxic.

But by that time breaking off the toxic relationship may be difficult to do because you have become so invested-sometimes mind, body, and soul. There may be children involved, businesses, homes, etc. However, none of this is worth forfeiting your peace or happiness.

Some examples where toxic situations can occur:

  • Friendships
  • Marriages or family relationships
  • Work environments
  • Organizations or clubs

Recognizing a situation toxic can take time. Usually people without specialized training don’t recognize the signs immediately, but you can learn some indicators that serve as red flags.

Don't be discouraged or perplexed by the situation. It may feel confusing and the natural tendency to fix a situation, or appease the toxic person seems like the right thing to do. Especially if you are an empathic individual you may try everything to fix it before realizing breaking off a toxic relationship is the absolute best thing to do.

Truly toxic situations require professional intervention to stop the dysfunction, heal the damage, and move forward. The best thing a healthy person can do to be safe is break off the toxic relationship before irreparable damage is done.

Is it Me? How to Identify if Someone Has Toxic Traits

Deciding whether or not you really should be breaking off the toxic relationship when you don't know if it really is toxic.

Also Read: Don't Ignore The Red Flags For Toxic Relationships

It seems understandable that a toxic situation hurts the people being infected and affected by the toxicity, but it may surprise you to know that toxic situations hurt everyone whether they know it or not.

Let’s look at the obvious.

Toxic situations hurt victims- Those who are subjected to the unrest and negativity are the most vulnerable and likely to suffer. Here are some scenarios:

  • In the home: Family members who live with toxic people tend to suffer from depression, weight gain, anxiety, apathy, and much more. They may have physical and mental health issues as a result of the negativity and bullying that they live with day-to-day.

Toxic Situations Entangle Everyone Involved

It may not seem like it at the time, but breaking off a toxic relationship benefits everyone in the end.

  • At work: Employees and co-workers who are forced to co-exist with toxic people have a higher rate of absenteeism, businesses have a high rate of turn over, and overall morale is generally lower, causing low productivity.

  • In Friendships: Friends who continue toxic relationships may bring their anxieties home. Unaware or unable to understand the impact their toxic friendship is having on them, they may have angry outbursts or other uncontrolled emotions that leak out when they should be enjoying their family time.

In each of these situations, being subjected to toxic people or toxic cultures can cause a multitude of problems from mental to physical and takes a toll on livelihood and general well-being.

While most people would agree that this toxicity hurts those subjected to the poison, they may not see the impact it is having on the perpetrators as well. When toxic situations and/or toxic people are not held accountable, all parties become contributors to the problem. There is no longer a line between villain and victim.

Aggressive or Bullying Behaviors In The Home

Toxic Employees and Disgruntled Clients

Let’s look at the not so obvious toxic relationship dynamics. Those situations are less known so breaking off a toxic relationship like this is even more difficult.

Toxic situations hurt perpetrators- Those at the root of the problem dishing out the toxicity are also being negatively impacted by their own behaviors. Here are some scenarios:

In the home

People who bully, play the victim, and demand unreasonable amounts of attention are creating dynamics that they fear the most.

Generally, people who operate in dysfunction are coming from a place of fear.

They often bring the things they fear most- alienation, distrust, abandonment- into their lives themselves.

At work

From management down, toxic employees drive away good people. If a business owner is toxic, they likely won’t have staff long enough to make a profit.

 If a toxic employee is not managed or eliminated, they can not only cause productivity to diminish, they can cause lawsuits brought on by affected employees or disgruntled customers.

In "friendships"

Toxic friends who do not face their demons can find themselves at risk of being abandoned or, at the very least, subjects of gossip and fodder.

Men and women who lack awareness or accept responsibility for their destructive behavior can be at risk of dangerous self-harm or outward harm towards others.

Breaking off a toxic relationship is for the best for everyone involved, including the toxic individual.

So, why do people stay instead of breaking off a toxic relationship?

Frankly, toxic people are oftentimes in authority and resist being called out on their behavior. The risk isn’t worth the reward to the victims and the price of change isn’t low enough to the perpetrator, so the cycle goes on and on.

The best thing for all in involved is requiring that perpetrators be held accountable and victims require health above all else - in all situations and at all costs. Toxic situations hurt everyone involved and must be managed for the health and welfare of the group as a whole.

Wanting to leave a toxic situation is the easiest part. Knowing how and taking the steps to breaking off a toxic relationship is the hardest.

Many people stay in bad situations for too long and end up succumbing to secondary issues as a result. Things like:

Before a toxic situation becomes out of hand, taking steps to begin the process of breaking off the toxic relationship off is the best course of action - but how?

Also Read: Breaking Free From A Toxic Relationship Is Difficult But Once You Get Free You Will Not Regret It.

Recovery after breaking off a toxic relationship. Learning prevention will keep you from falling into the traps again.

Recovery mode- Recovering from a toxic relationship - whether intimate, familial, or work-related - is tough. Breathe! If you need outside help, consider getting counseling or coaching to help you process and retrain your brain to function without the dysfunction. You may need a physical break from stress to recover and nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Whatever you need, it is not selfish and it is not too much to ask.

Psychological fallout can include PTSD, aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Things may trigger your emotions for a while as you purge the toxic memories from your body. If you allow the feelings to come forth and manage them, you can expect to come out the other side better off after breaking off a toxic relationship

Physical fallout can include weight loss or weight gain. You may have experienced emotional overload that resulted in poor eating choices - too much or too little food or the wrong sorts of foods.

This may have created a residual issue that remains even after the toxicity is gone. Be kind to yourself and find a way to re-calibrate your physical health.

Spiritual fallout can be an issue when recovering from toxic relationships.

If you’ve been the victim of gas lighting or other forms of verbal and emotional abuse, you may wrestle with some faith issues. Find comfort in nature, the Bible, or your favorite spiritual texts.

Consult a clergy member or leader in your faith community for healing and tips to move through your recovery after breaking away from toxic entanglements.

Guard yourself against future toxicity- Once you’ve experienced the effects of a toxic relationship, you have the unique advantage for the future.

You have first-hand knowledge and a clear understanding of what the red flags are. Be sure to press into your knowledge base to guard against going around that mountain again.

Heal the wounds of the past. Do the work to get yourself healed from the effects your suffered. Breaking off a toxic relationship is a process and leaving is just the beginning.

Get to the heart of what happened and what you need to do differently when faced with the same situation, should it come up again.

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  • National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255


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