If you're stuck in a bad relationship, whether it's with a family member, friend, or partner, the prospect of breaking free isn't always as simple as it might seem. The world can be a tough place when you're on your own — but there are ways to break the patterns of toxic relationships.
With these practical steps and strategies for identifying and escaping from toxic relationships (whether they’re in your past or present), you can change your life for the better.
1. Look back to see where and how you ended up in a toxic relationship
First and foremost, take a step back from the situation and look for the factors that led you into it. This will help you identify where things started going wrong and how you can avoid slipping into those patterns again in the future.
Many of us make mistakes — but not all of them are big ones. In order to prevent yourself from ever having to deal with a repeat performance of a toxic relationship again, take some time today to identify what went wrong the first time.
This step is often difficult because we don't want to admit that we could have done things differently. But if you're currently in a toxic relationship, it's time to be honest with yourself about how you got there. It's not enough to simply put the bad relationship behind you — if you don't take the time to learn from your mistakes, you'll likely fall into them again in the future.
2. Understand why it happened
Once you've identified where and how things went wrong, try to understand why a toxic relationship took form in the first place. What factors may have led to it? Take a look at your family history and even some of your own personality traits that might have contributed to the situation.
Understanding why things went bad will help you recognize the patterns that are typical in toxic relationships and how to avoid them for good.
3. Break the cycle of bad behavior — instead of trying to fix it
The first and most important step towards breaking toxic relationship is to stop the cycle of bad behaviors. Once you recognize where you made mistakes, it's time to break free from their effects — instead of continuing to deal with them.
The best way to do this is by learning how to build better relationships with those around you, so that your future relationships stay positive and happy even if they're not with the person you're currently in a relationship with.