How to End a Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships can feel like dragging a heavy sack up a steep hill: the longer you try, the heavier the burden becomes. When you realise you’re in a toxic relationship, take the necessary steps to relieve yourself of the burden by ending the relationship. Make it clear what you want so that the person understands that you want to end things. Set boundaries so you don’t get sucked back in. Then, take care of your emotional health and well-being in order to have healthier relationships in the future.

Method 1: Terminating the Relationship

1. Remind yourself of the reasons why the relationship must end. You need a strong argument for ending the relationship from the start so that you can follow through. Get honest with yourself and spend some time writing down all of the reasons why this relationship is toxic and needs to end.

One of the most compelling reasons to end a toxic relationship is that you deserve better. Furthermore, the relationship may be impeding your growth, isolating you from others, or becoming borderline or outright abusive.

2. Practice the conversation. Prepare what you want to say to the person ahead of time. This will make you appear more confident when you deliver the speech.

You can practise with a friend or in front of a mirror.

Rehearsing can help you feel more confident when speaking, but keep in mind that the conversation may not go as planned.

3. Inform the person that you wish to speak with them. Give the person advance notice that you want to speak with them and ask when they are available to speak. Consider reaching out in person, over the phone, or via text, depending on how safe you feel.

You could say, “Hey, I’d like to speak with you about something important. Do you have any plans to get together?”

4. Choose a location for the discussion. If possible, have a face-to-face conversation with the individual. Set the location based on how you anticipate the conversation will progress. If the person is likely to become angry, hold the conversation in a public place.

If you are in an abusive relationship, have the conversation over the phone or via video call for your safety.

5. Be specific and direct about what you want. Explain why the relationship isn’t working and why you’ve decided to end it.

You could say something like, “I don’t think we’re a good match.” We break up and make up all the time, and I’ve begun to alienate other people who are close to me as a result. I’d like to put an end to it.”

Another possibility is to say something along the lines of, “For me, our relationship isn’t working. I’ve given it some thought, and I’d like to put an end to it.”

6. Listen to what the other person has to say. There’s a good chance the other person will say something lengthy. Listen to what they have to say as long as they don’t respond with insults or threats.

If they try to persuade you not to end it or use another tactic, simply state your decision again. Make every effort to be as clear and concise as possible.

If they become agitated or argumentative, tell them, “I didn’t come here to argue.” I’m going to leave. Please don’t bother following me.”

Method 2: Keeping the Breakup

1. Make it clear what your boundaries are. If this person is toxic, he or she may be resistant to the breakup. Make it clear to the person that you no longer want them in your life.

For example, if they drop by your house or call you in the coming days, remind them of your boundaries.

Say something along the lines of, “I told you I didn’t want to see you anymore.” Please do not visit my home or contact me again.”

2. Remove all contact. Break off all communication with the person and follow through on your decision to end the relationship. Delete their phone number and email address from your phone. Unfollow them on all social media platforms.

If you go to the same places all the time, change your routine for a while so they get the message.

3. Keep an eye out for deceptive tactics. Toxic people can be manipulative and controlling, so you must remain vigilant. The person may try to win you back by behaving well or even ruin your reputation so that they are the only person you have left. Don’t let their scheming entice you back in.

The best way to avoid further damage is to sever all ties. Don’t respond to any phone calls, texts, emails, or other contact requests.

4. Seek the help and accountability of loved ones. If you’re having trouble staying away from the toxic person, enlist help. Explain the situation to a supportive friend or family member and ask for their assistance in keeping you accountable.

For example, if you receive a text from the person, call your friend immediately. They can “talk you down” from responding or distract you.

5. If necessary, contact the police. Contact the authorities if the person continues to contact or visit you and makes you feel unsafe in any way. You may need to seek a restraining order against the individual.

A restraining order prohibits the person from contacting you or approaching you within a certain radius of your home and other social environments such as work or school.

3rd Method for Healing Emotional Wounds

1. Discuss what happened to someone you trust. Isolating yourself from your feelings about the toxic relationship allows the other person to win. Talk about what happened and how you’re feeling about it all.

Involve a close friend or family member. Tell them how you’re feeling and seek comfort from them.

Let them know if you have any specific requests for how they can assist you.

2. Change that negative relationship with a positive one. You must open your heart to positive, healthy relationships in order to truly move on and heal from a toxic relationship. Examine your existing relationships and look for ways to strengthen your bonds with people who make you happy.

You could also meet new people by joining a club or organisation or joining a support group.

Remember that it is perfectly fine to allow yourself some time to heal. Don’t get back into dating until you’re ready.

3. Adopt a self-care regimen. You most likely invested a lot of yourself in the toxic relationship. Now is the time to return all of your love and compassion to yourself. Create a self-care routine that focuses on your mind, body, and spirit.

Give yourself the gift of healthy, nutritious meals. Do relaxing exercises such as yoga or expressive dance. Warm baths with scented oils or bubbles are recommended. Alternatively, go for long walks in nature.

You could also heal and care for yourself by keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts and feelings about the experience.

Traveling can also be a great way to look after yourself. It will provide a change of scenery and routine for you. Consider paying a visit to a friend who lives in another city.

4. In therapy, talk about your relationship patterns. If you’ve been in a toxic relationship, you may have an insecurely attached relational style that dates back to your childhood. This personality type may have made it difficult for you to recognise toxic behaviour for what it was. In therapy, you can become aware of how your childhood experiences affect your current relationships, and you can begin to heal those wounds.

Request a referral from your family doctor for a professional therapist in your area.

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