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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.

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    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 August 19, 2019

          How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

          How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

          We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

          When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

          In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

          Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

          If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

          According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

          No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

          When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

          Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

          1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

          When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

          Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

          When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

          Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

          In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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          It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

          You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

          Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

          What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

          You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

          That’s where we all should be.

          So, answer me this:

          How are you, really?

          And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

          Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

          Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

          Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

          Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

          It’s taking control.

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          2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

          You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

          You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

          In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

          Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

          You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

          Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

          But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

          It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

          In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

          It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

          Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

          Change will happen.

          Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

          You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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          And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

          You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

          That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

          You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

          When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

          There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

          3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

          Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

          In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

          If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

          Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

          Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

          How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

          Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

          “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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          Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

          Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

          It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

          Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

          “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

          What would you do if you felt you were enough?

          By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

          So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

          Final Thoughts

          By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

          Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

          When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

          You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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          Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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