Advertising
Advertising

7 Reasons Why You Need To Let Go of A Toxic Relationship

7 Reasons Why You Need To Let Go of A Toxic Relationship

Everyone loves a happily ever after. I have more reason to know this than some because of my occupation. In the romance world, sure, the characters go through Hell with, for the sake of, and because of each other, but there’s always a subconscious assurance that everything’s going to turn out okay at the end. The happy couple will mount their magic unicorn and fly away on a cloud of pixie dust to live “happily ever after,” etc.

But this is the real world.

In the real world, people are not nearly as idealistic, idealized, or just plain ideal as they are in the pages of your favorite novel or on the silver screen. People have bad habits, attitudes, and problems that prevent a relationship from becoming everything it could be. It’s easy, in the throes of romantic love, to take the Barbara Cartland approach as summed up by Mercedes Lackey in Children of the Night: “Anything He does is okay as long as He loves you.” In reality, when we take off the rose-colored glasses, this is a warning sign of a relationship that, if it isn’t already, is about to become toxic. And, pro tip: This is not exclusively relegated to women’s dealings with men. Both genders and all sexual orientations are equally subject to this phenomenon. The possession of this or that genitalia does not predispose one to or make one immune from being a jerk.

Advertising

Walking away is hard. Why? Because, let’s be real here, being alone is a scary proposition for most people. Even the most cloistered introvert longs for human interaction, affection, and contact sometimes. But when a relationship turns toxic, especially if you have kids in the mix, the best thing you can do for you is get out. Here are 7 reasons why you need to let go of a toxic relationship for your own health, safety, and sanity!

1. It’s better to be alone than in bad company.

bigstock-Couple-Having-Argument-At-Home-16858187

    Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. Staying in bad company can actually be more hurtful and harder to bear than being by yourself. When you’re out of the relationship, you can look back and analyze what happened and what warning signs you should have seen coming. This can help you be prepared if the next relationship starts taking the same turns, so you can either correct it or get out before you become utterly miserable.

    Advertising

    This is especially difficult when the toxic party in the relationship is a family member, such as a parent, sibling, or close relation. However, the same basic principles apply. Toxic people tend to stay toxic, but there’s no good reason for you to put up with it. If they want to be miserable, that’s their choice and their problem. You deserve to be happy, even if that means cutting them out of the equation of your life.

    2. Holding onto a toxic relationship prevents personal growth.

    One of the key signs of a toxic relationship is one party always heaping blame on the other. “You didn’t/You should have/Why did you…?” is an oft-heard refrain. This kind of constant browbeating prevents personal growth because it makes the person on the receiving end feel smaller and like their opinion and feelings don’t matter. This, in turn, leads to a stifling of personal growth, or even reversion back to older, less sophisticated forms of dealing with stress. A healthy relationship encourages growth and dialogue on both sides.

    3. Letting go of a toxic relationship creates room for a healthier one.

    Toxic relationships by their very nature push aside other relationships, such as with friends, family, and even co-workers. A toxic relationship is less than a step away from outright abuse, if it isn’t there already. By being willing to let go of a toxic relationship, you are subconsciously telling yourself and the world that you’re ready for something healthier and better with someone who loves and cares for you as much as you do him or her.

    Advertising

    4. Toxic relationships often become abusive ones.

    abusedwoman

      I hammer on this point because it’s important: toxic relationships don’t have far to fall to become psychologically, emotionally, physically, or even sexually abusive. Especially if you have kids, you owe it to them to show them what an open, loving, caring relationship can be. Your children are going to follow your example, and if they see Mommy or Daddy staying with someone who constantly says she or he’s worthless or strikes him or her, your kids are going to fall into the same trap as adults. Brazening it out is your right as an adult, but you need to bear in mind that if your partner is willing to strike or emotionally hurt you, it’s likely only a matter of time before they start doing the same thing to your children because your partner doesn’t think you have the courage to stand up to them or leave.

      5. Walking away from a toxic relationship shows personal strength.

      “You couldn’t last one day without me.” “If brains were dynamite, you couldn’t blow your nose.” “You made me do that, you know.” All of these are flat-out lies, told by a toxic partner because your partner is trying to convince you it’s true precisely so you don’t walk out. Do not believe the lies or the hype here. Walking away shows personal strength and the courage to stand on your own two feet, without someone else rubber-stamping your daily activities or life.

      Advertising

      6. A toxic relationship is unhealthy.

      Toxic relationships lead to social and emotional isolation. They can also cause anxiety, depression, physical illness, or even lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. This ignores entirely the possible emotional and physical harm an abusive partner can perpetrate on you. You’d be surprised just how cheap walking away is compared to therapy and anti-depressants, especially when children are involved.

      7. You are worth more than what a toxic relationship can offer.

      alone

        A toxic relationship is extremely one-sided. It’s all about one person to the exclusion of the other. This can leave you feeling worthless, hopeless, and helpless. The reality is, you are none of the above. You are your own person, with your own unique value and things to offer the world. Anyone who tells you otherwise is doing so precisely so they can keep you under their thumb. You know you’re worth more, so be worth more. Walking away from a toxic relationship is the first step to finding something beautiful with someone who will love and treasure you because of everything you are, not in spite of it.

        Prison Door

          No one should ever feel imprisoned in a relationship of any kind where their peace of mind, emotional and physical health, safety, or security is or could be compromised. You are a unique and beautiful individual with a lot to offer, and you owe it to yourself (and your children, where applicable) to find that special someone who sees and loves you for you, not what they think you should be. If you or someone you love is in a toxic relationship, and you can access a computer where the toxic partner cannot see your history, visit the National Domestic Abuse Hotline Website for advice and tips on how to get out of a toxic or potentially dangerous relationship. If you cannot, or if you need to talk to someone right away, call 1-800-799-7233 in the US for a voice line or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY users. In a worst-case scenario, dial 911 or your locally appropriate emergency services number. Don’t let someone else hold you prisoner in a toxic relationship.

          More by this author

          20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You 25 Things to Sell to Make Extra Money Easily 10 Things That Healed My Loneliness — from Someone Who Hated Being Lonely 7 Reasons Why You Need To Let Go of A Toxic Relationship How Being Independent Can Keep You From Breaking Up

          Trending in Communication

          1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on March 30, 2020

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

          Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

          You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

          This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

          What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

          According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

          Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

          There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

          How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

          When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

          Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

          Advertising

          1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

          One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

          The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

          Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

          2. Be Honest

          A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

          If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

          On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

          Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

          3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

          Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

          Advertising

          If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

          4. Succeed at Something

          When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

          Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

          5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

          Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

          Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

          If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

          If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

          Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

          Advertising

          6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

          Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

          You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

          On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

          You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

          7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

          Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

          Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

          Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

          When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

          Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

          Advertising

          In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

          Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

          It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

          Final Thoughts

          When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

          The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

          Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

          Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

          Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

          More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

          Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
          [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
          [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
          [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
          [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
          [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
          [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
          [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

          Read Next