(This article is a two part series. To learn more about the 10 red flags that help you identify whether you or another person is toxic make sure to read Part I here.)
What to do if you are in a Toxic Situation?
You will know that you are in a toxic situation, if no matter what you try to do to resolve the issues, they are never fully resolved. They might show signs for a while straight after attempts to be honest with them, however because of the deeper issues underneath within them, their toxic behaviour will return. Decide once and for all to take responsibility for your situation.
- Firstly, start to plan an exit plan. Look to ways of becoming self sufficient in all areas of your life; financially, emotionally and mentally. This might take a few months to muster
- Secondly, gain close support from friends, family and loved ones, a counsellor about how you are negotiating your separation form the other so it is not such a shock for when it happens. Start to say things like, “I am no longer willing to tolerate this behaviour form my partner any longer. It is time for me to move forward on my own..” OR “ I am looking at ways to elevate the stress within our home, even perhaps looking to move apart for awhile.” ‘It is time for your dad and I to move apart…I am not willing to tolerate this unhappiness any longer. I know in my heart this will be the best for us overall.”
- Thirdly, start to visualise a fresh start for yourself and others in your life. What will my future look like? Where would I like to live? How can I make my life as happy and real for myself and my children? What do I want form life moving forward? How can I set us both free?
- Fourthly, have a mantra that you say to yourself when the other tries to convince you to stay. Something like.” We both know this situation is intolerable and unstainable….it’s time for me to move on and let each other free so we can both have some happiness in our lives.”
- Fifthly, concentrate on your self care/self love daily…this time of leaving a toxic situation is delicate, because you are not use to being assertive and meeting your needs. Try as much as you can not to ‘buy’ into your partner or boss’s emotional wellbeing, anger or behaviours toward you at this time. Deciding to leave someone who is toxic is about learning to be on your own with your own voice, needs and responsibilities. You are no longer responsible for this other person. You might want to suggest the other get counselling or good support but that’s as far as your support will go
- Sixthly, start to look at the bigger picture about relationships and life in general. Holding on to fairytales about how you thought your life was going to be is infantile and childlike. Accepting that life is about growing healthily personally and that there are numerous ways to live life…not just what you wanted when you were a teenager, is mature and self aware. Setting new standards for yourself and then role modelling these to others in your life is the way forward. It is being real and authentic. Letting go of the destructive parts of your past is the first step to creating a better future for yourself and others you love.
“I am leaving you for me. Whether I am incomplete or you are incomplete is irrelevant. Relationships can only be built with two wholes. I am leaving you to continue to explore myself: the steep, winding paths in my soul, the red, pulsing chambers of my heart. I hope you will do the same. Thank you for all the light and laughter that we have shared. I wish you a profound encounter with yourself.” ~ Peter Schaller
This article was written by Delappe’ Russell, a Counsellor / Psychotherapist MACA at the Vive Health Clinic. She specialises in Personal and Relationship Counselling. To book an appointment contact 07 3399 1002.