So how do we get out of toxic relationships?
In this pared-down version of Theresa Borchard’s steps to ending toxic relationships, she shows how it is possible to leave the pain and live a freer life. The ability to ask and answer questions honestly provides the truth we need in order to make changes that benefit us.
- Step out of denial (review past negative behaviors) – Are you energized or drained after spending time with X? Do you want to spend time with X or do you feel like you have to? Do you feel sorry for X? Do you go to X looking for a response that you never get? Do you come away consistently disappointed by X’s comments and behavior? Are you giving way more to the relationship than X? Do you even like X?
- Identify the perks (discover how you feel in the present) – All relationships, even toxic ones, have hidden benefits. Or why would you stay in them? So identify the perks. Determine what, specifically, you are getting from this relationship. Does X make you feel attractive and sexy? Does helping X with her kids even though it exhausts you relieve your guilt in some twisted way because you feel like your life is easier than hers? Even though X doesn’t treat you well, does she remind you of your verbally abusive mom, and therefore bring you a (toxic) comfort level?
- Fill the hole (practice selected present hedonism) – Find alternative sources of peace and wholeness – nourish yourself. In other words, do things that make you feel better and in ways so that you don’t have to rely on others. For instance, revisit that project you put on the back burner, learn meditation or yoga, call friends, and remind yourself that you won’t feel this way (sad, angry, upset) forever.
- Surround yourself with positive people (be pro-social) – Hopefully these folks are working on their boundaries as hard as you are; they are enmeshed in their fair share of toxic relationships and therefore become somewhat toxic themselves. The stuff is contagious. Be smart with whom you choose to hang out.
- Heal the shame (replace past negative with a bright future positive) – Work toward healing the part of yourself that may be attracting toxic relationships. This may mean exploring past toxic relationships, forgiving yourself for the part you played and realizing that you deserve the right kind of love and attention in order to create a brighter future for yourself.
Let go of the negative past and give love permission to enter your life
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.”
by Maya Angelou.
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/03/15/you-deplete-me-10-steps… by By THERESE J. BORCHARD , www.Worldof Psychology.com