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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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      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.

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          Last Updated on April 11, 2019

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

          I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

          I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

          Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          How Communication Skills Help Your Success

          Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

          Create a Positive Experience

          Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

          When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

          What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

          Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

          As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

          Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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          Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

          Help Leadership Skills

          It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

          Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

          As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

          Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

          If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

          Build Better Teams

          Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

          In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

          If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

          When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

          Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

          Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

          1. Listen

          Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

          Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

          People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

          Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

          Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

          2. Know Your Audience

          Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

          Here is a good way to think about it:

          Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

          You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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          3. Minimize

          I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

          He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

          Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

          State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

          The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

          4. Over Communicate

          So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

          What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

          Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

          Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

          Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

          There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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          5. Body Language

          The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

          When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

          In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

          When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

          Conclusion

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

          Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

          There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          Now go communicate your way to success.

          More Resources About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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