- Ankur Sachdev
Handling Toxic Relationships
Humans are social animals who function collectively to achieve a goal or to achieve the desired output. It could be running a company, winning a sports tournament, or just living life to its fullest.
Not every relationship can be kept broken if one desires to survive in this world as a successful person.
A relationship is when one person is connected to another person, or any living being, either through blood or another manner. A relationship with another person could be emotional or sexual or purely for benefit, something that is called a professional relationship.
A personal or professional relationship becomes toxic when it is ruined or poisoned. Simply put, the relationship reaches its dead-end with no revival signs visible.
The question is if a toxic relationship can be saved. In contrast to the general opinion, a toxic relationship can be saved provided all the persons involved are willing to work for it.
Ten Ways To Handle A Toxic Relationship
Let us first have a brief encounter with the signs that occur in a toxic relationship.
The other person shows a lack of support for all the initiatives that you are taking in your life. Motivation goes missing and you are ultimately bound to question your ability.
Holding a grudge against you for a long time could also be a sign that the relationship is on the edge of getting poised.
You are forced to withdraw from your social circle including friends and family members merely because the other person hates them.
Additionally, your need to have emotional or physical support could be ignored when you want them the most.
These are the early signs to know if the poison has started to infuse into your relationship. In case you miss these signs and the relationship does get ruined then comes the phase that must be handled delicately.
There are ten ways in which you can fix a toxic relationship.
1. Realize The Situation
Choices for those who have the intent to make their relationship work are limited with one being the best shot. Realizing that the situation has indeed become not up to par is that one option. If ignoring the early signs can lead your personal or professional relationship to become toxic then ignoring the situation can make it much worse with absolutely no way of returning to the normal standard.
Talk things out, accept the responsibility, and don’t nurse anxiety within yourself. Encourage the other person to set a tune with you and get things back to the rhythm.
2. Start Understanding
Blaming someone is the best way to escape from the situation; however, that is not sustainable in the long term. Blame games can continue for years. Choose to understand what the other person is going through. This would put a little more burden on you but it will all be worth it.
Rephrase your statements with more or different words while communicating your message. Your tone or words may lack magic in the initial attempts but they are sure to touch the right chord eventually.
3. Seek Help
Maybe both of you are unable to work things out. That does not bring you closer to ending the relationship on a sour note. Getting in touch with someone with an unbiased opinion could still revive your relationship. People have a way of missing the point that could very well be present only because they are in a heated argument.
In such instances, having a third person proves to be the right choice. He or she could be someone you know or a professional who specializes in couple’s counseling. The third person, especially the professional, has a way of picking the toxicity and presenting it in front of you for resolution.
4. Go With The Truth
A rope breaks when it is unnecessarily stretched from both sides. Informing that the pressure is a lot for you to take can save that thread from breaking. The case is similar to managing personal and professional relationships. Tell the other person the truth and offer them a moment to sink that in. A lie will go on to poison the relationship while the truth will only pinch for a while.
Moreover, a lie creates a fake reality for everyone in the relationship that must be lived with forever only because no one dared to shoulder off the burden with the truth.
5. Take Some Space
Take a break from the moment, not so much though that the future gets filled with the We Were On A Break argument. This will help you to breathe and relax. A calm mind better recognizes the pattern of an argument. Maybe you are unable to know that the other person is not the morning person or they are unable to know that you do not like someone bugging you during work.
Before you leave the moment, tell your partner or the other person how you are feeling and what just happened. An explanation of why you are leaving is better than slamming the door in a dramatic manner.
6. Don’t Move On From Conflicts
Having talked about taking some space, remember not to move on from the conflict completely. You still have the responsibility of returning to the other person and resolving the conflict. Another meaning of not moving on from conflicts is that you must neither ignore them nor ask the other person to move on with life.
Emotional damage is a lifelong scar that is bound to hurt the most every second of the day. Fix it with a band-aid and assure the person that everything has happened for a reason. Life is only positive from that point.
7. Choose Constructive Criticism
There is a thin line between destructive criticism and constructive criticism. That line can only be decided by the person who is at the receiving end. Your best bet is to go with the Sandwich Method where you convey your opinion between the two compliments.
For example, if your friend participated in a play but was subpar with the performance then you can tell them that it was great for them to face the audience however they can do better next time with more practice to reach for the stars. The benefit is that you convey your thoughts without hurting them and ruining your relationship with them. Speak the truth though.
8. Open Questions
It is scary to walk into the unknown and you are more bound to make mistakes that could lead to your downfall. When things don't go right in a relationship, the best practice is to know what went wrong without assuming or guessing things for a second. Open a question & answer session with a series of questions that require complex responses of at least two sentences.
Listen carefully to engage with their words. Take questions from them too but don’t brag so much that they start feeling useless in the conversation.
9. Have Compassion
Walk into the shoes of the other person and try to know the motivator behind their toxic behavior. It is very much likely that they are behaving with toxicity because something’s been going wrong in their professional or personal life. Your friend, partner, or colleague could have missed out on the opportunity to get promoted and is just trying to vent out the anger.
A common sign is that they are always blaming and criticizing others to cool themselves down. That is a destructive way of venting out anger and they must be told that with caution.
10. Trust Yourself
Don’t self-doubt because you are unable to explain yourself at the moment. Find ways to convey your thoughts. Have confidence in yourself and know that your judgments are still relevant in the conversation. Learn to be a better person. You can take notes, for instance, and find out where you went wrong or what exactly the pattern is that causes fights or arguments.
Care for everyone but always prioritize yourself. Loss of self-trust will break you before it permanently affects your relationship with the other person.
These steps, in a way, do require you to be the prime member. Consider it as being the elder one in the circle and give your best with these points.
There is a difference between an abusive relationship and a toxic relationship. An abusive relationship stands on one person’s desire for holding power and authority over the other person, ultimately poisoning the relationship badly. While toxic behavior is mostly unintentional, abusive behavior is intentional and always one-sided.