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We have all heard stories of it, read books about it, seen it in movies, but when it comes to spotting and ending a toxic relationship in real life, it’s no cakewalk. Dr Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert, defines a toxic relationship in her 1995 book Toxic People as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.”.
For a relationship to be classified as being “toxic”, it needs to make a person feel unloved, unsupported, feel trapped, controlled, misunderstood, subject of constant ridicule or made to feel small. Doubting yourself, making yourself believe that you deserve the trauma and blaming yourself for letting it happen are all signs of being in a toxic relationship. Don’t fret, you are not the only one. Believing that a romantic relationship was going to work out and couldn’t notice the red flags in the beginning, has happened to most of us.
And while it’s difficult to get out of abusive relationships, it’s important to learn to heal from it to move on. And if you have already crossed that bridge, now is the time to invest energies in healing. “When it comes to dealing with your emotions after ending a toxic relationship, remember one thing, every ending is a new beginning. Be very proud of yourself for having the courage to recognize the issues and then let go of the toxic relationship. It will take time to heal from your traumatic experience, but you will certainly get through this,” says Devina Kaur, a motivational author and speaker.
Emotions are sacred, pay attention to them, and feel your emotions, let it all out with trusted professionals. Emotions are neither right nor wrong, they simply exist. Spend time in stillness and silence and get to know the new you. Self-knowledge also means knowing the parts that make you uncomfortable.
(Inputs by Devina Kaur and Dr Vihan Sanyal, Psychotherapist)