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Reassess your relationships


Just like anything that’s toxic, some people are simply no good for our souls, whether that’s at work or in our friendships, family or intimate relationships. 

A toxic relationship can sabotage our attempts at a healthy lifestyle, peace of mind and being productive. Research in the landmark Whitehall II study found that there was a link between toxic relationships, stress and overall health. 

Focus on yourself

It’s important to ditch these types of relationships because the more we associate with the toxic behaviour of other people, the more we become like them. Without boundaries to remove us from these situations, we’re constantly being affected by them, which leads to drama and at worst, a lack of total control over our thoughts, words and actions. This can be so exhausting that it actually puts your adrenal glands into overdrive. Over time, an imbalance will manifest mentally, emotionally and physically. 

When we become consciously aware of our values, beliefs, emotions and needs, we can start being true to ourselves and stop trying to rescue and take care of toxic people. It’s only when we change from within and set our boundaries that we then become empowered. 

Weed them out

To remove the influence of toxic people, it’s important to understand that they’re not motivated by what’s good for them or anyone else – they’re motivated by their own complex issues and needs. In addition, they’re projecting onto others the parts of themselves they don’t want to acknowledge 

or accept, as well as creating drama in an attempt to meet a need for either control or something to do.

So how do you deal with them? First of all, don’t expect them to change. All you can do is establish boundaries and decide what you will and won’t tolerate from work colleagues, friends, family or partners. Remind yourself that you’re enough, worthy and lovable. Begin with clear, honest and calm communication, and say how you feel, express your needs and how you want to be treated. Take ownership by replacing the word “you” for “I”. For example, “I feel this way when being spoken to like that.” 

Finding balance

It can be painful removing yourself from a toxic relationship, especially when you deeply care about the other person, regardless of how difficult it is to have them in your life. This is why it’s important to have emotional, mental and physical balance in order to maintain the boundaries you set within that relationship. 

The person involved may resist in the beginning, as they may feel like they’re being ignored or no longer have control. Don’t give in when their behaviour escalates; instead, remind yourself you’re teaching this person that their old ways are no longer acceptable. Be discerning in your response and learn to walk away, as this shows them that you’re serious about being true to your values.  

You can change the direction of the sails on a boat – you can’t change the direction of the wind. 

You have the power to manage your own emotions and choose your thoughts and words to influence the outcomes you want. Surround yourself with healthy relationships that are in alignment with your inner truth and your ultimate self. Let go of toxic relationships by setting your sails in a new direction.  

Words by Anne Toscher