Everyone has a moment when they realize they’re fed up and fed up for good. They’re done taking shit from people, they’re done being stepped on and disrespected. They begin to see that no matter what they do, it’ll never be good enough.
Whether it’s a friend, employer or significant other, each individual in a relationship has the power to decide when to stay or go, whether to work things out or to just cut their losses.
Toxic relationships come in many forms – some are more obvious than others. From my own personal experience, here are a few things I’d consider before making any decisions:
1. They’re less helpful, more hurtful
Does this person treat you in a manner that is encouraging and empathetic or do they belittle you and question your capability? If they repeatedly try to make you feel incompetent… it’s time to move on. A true leader and a good partner see no benefit in stripping you of your confidence – they believe in positive reinforcement.
2. They’re in your ear all the time
Usually, these people are extremely manipulative. They love to create drama and can skillfully turn you against yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers etc. They learn your insecurities and then they exploit them, feeding into your fears. This might sound like, “Your boss doesn’t seem to like you much” or “I feel like she’s lying to you, do you really trust her?” Just when you’re drowning in doubt they swoop in to save the day offering advice, words of wisdom and a shoulder to cry on. This procures their role in your life as the one who always has your back. In reality, they are the one provoking your paranoia, systematically isolating you.
3. Hocus pocus, they shift the focus
Everything is your fault. It’s your fault they cheated! You’re too insecure – When you asked why they were texting their ex, you practically pushed them to cheat. It’s your fault that you weren’t invited to that party, your work schedule is too demanding. If you acted more like them, things wouldn’t be this way but sadly you are you, how unfortunate. You don’t expect them to accept you for who you are do you?
4. They’re always right and you need to know it
Misunderstandings are a part of every relationship however, even when you agree with them they still seem to be attacking you, they can’t communicate for long before they begin to get heated. They insist they know more than you, they need to win or their head will explode. Argumentative people will find anything to bicker about, they raise their voice because they need to be heard over you and everyone else. The adrenaline of needing to win raises their blood pressure and their body language becomes tense, coiled, if you challenge them they are ready to verbally strike. You walk on eggshells, avoiding controversial topics and stop stating your opinions, you choose your words carefully because you’d rather not start a debate.
5. They guilt trip you
This behavior is common in people who always need to get their way and they will pull out all the stops to get it. They play on your emotions to get you to comply with them. Does “If you really loved me you would”, “You never do anything fun with us anymore” or “You must not really care about me” ring any bells?
6. They are abusive
This seems obvious but sometimes it’s hard to recognize certain behaviors as “abusive”, abuse seems like such a strong word. We want to believe that we may be overreacting, that they can change and in some cases we might feel like we deserve to be treated this way. Physical and sexual abuse are usually the easiest to identify, you know right when it happens that it’s wrong. Mental and verbal abuse are harder to acknowledge, you try harder to get their approval because when they’re nice to you they make you feel like the center of the world – when they’re mean to you, you’d take your own life if it made them happy again. Mind games give mentally abusive people a sense of power over you, don’t keep giving it to them.
7. You know it’s time
If you’re questioning the relationship you probably already know the answer. Like I said, everyone has a breaking point, a moment when you say “I don’t need this shit” and leave. Only you will know when you’re ready, you’ll feel it. Staying in a relationship past it’s expiration date becomes painful, whenever you spend time with them you will subconsciously begin to withdraw more and more.
Ending any relationship is hard. Deciding to resign from your job or dropping a friend may not be as difficult as leaving your spouse or moving out of your parent’s house, but they will all affect you emotionally. I kind of want to compare it to ripping off a bandaid, you just need to do it then leave the scar alone to heal. After both parties have a chance to grow you may be able to reconvene and try again, but more often than not, you’ll realize you’re better off without them.
I’d be interested to know what made you reach your breaking point in a relationship.
Thanks for reading,
Until next time