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Why do we always go back to toxic people? Let’s find out

Published on:8 September 2021, 19:26pm IST
How many times have you found yourself aching to go back to toxic people - an ex or a friend who always puts you down? Read on to know if there's a reason.
Geetika Sachdev
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toxic people
Toxic people are nothing short of magnets, but stay away from them. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Imagine a relationship in which your partner gaslights you almost all the time. He never pushes you to do better, and doesn’t support you in your professional or personal growth. And when you call out these issues, they put it all on you. And yet, you find yourself staying on in relationships with toxic people. Why?

Well, before we delve deeper into the subject, let’s first tell you something — you are not alone in toxic relationships. It could be your partner, parents, siblings, friends or anyone else, but it’s hard for you to walk away. But remember, these people are not good for you in the long run. They cause severe emotional damage (sometimes physical), and prevent us from realizing our true purpose in life. The feeling could also be suicidal sometimes.

toxic people
Stay away from toxic relationships. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It’s extremely attractive to return to the old places, but you can refrain from doing so by being more accepting and trying to re-shape intense thoughts and emotions that you are dealing with. 

These are a few things to keep in mind when in a toxic relationship:
1. You can’t change anyone

Our heart always hopes that the person who we love will change for us. But the fact is this doesn’t really happen. If there’s someone who is unable to fulfill your needs, it is better to cut them off.  Don’t run back to someone who isn’t meant for you. It might be hard, but it’s better to build more fulfilling relationships. And yes, let your exes or any other toxic people at bay!

2. Don’t lower your self-esteem

Sometimes, we don’t realize but the actions that we encounter by our partners or someone else (who you deem close) might actually be toxic. They almost always bring down your self-esteem and trust us, it’s really not worth it.

3. Power imbalances are negative

Most of us have a skewed idea of love, which is why one person generally assumes control over a relationship, while the other suppresses their needs. The power imbalance can sometimes instill fear and coercion too. With time, they can get even worse, and fill you with contempt and resentment. 

Also Read: Parents can be toxic too! Here’s how they can take a toll on your mental health

toxic people
A good relationship always has a power balance. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
4. Abuse is never acceptable

Whether it is physical or emotional abuse, it isn’t acceptable. In most cases, this happens when you are involved with a narcissist. Violent behaviour can also leave you hurt and scared, and if that’s happening with you, leave right away. Toxic people don’t deserve you.

What happens when you endure a toxic relationship?

Unfortunately, a lot of people stay in a toxic relationship, and undergo abuse for years. The damage inflicted upon them is almost irreparable, and they sometimes, even turn suicidal. But how can we prevent suicide? Is there any way to identify the signs?

“We can’t predict suicide, but we can identify certain signs if we are aware and mindful. When a person has suicidal thoughts, their behaviour and way of talking is disturbed. They don’t feel sleepy, there’s loss of appetite and laziness, plus no there’s no effort towards personal grooming. They don’t do what they like, and they think of themselves and others negatively,” says renowned clinical psychologist Bhavna Barmi. 

Also Read: Identify toxic friends in your group and learn ways to maintain distance from them

toxic people
Always be empathetic to people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts as a result of a toxic relationship. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In case you have a family member who has suicidal thoughts, there are ways to help them out, says Barmi. “The family members must be empathetic and aware. There’s a difference between listening and hearing. It is important to remember that suicidal people don’t say much about how they feel. So, it is important to be an active listener, and if you don’t really do that, it can negatively impact them. Try to motivate them and be there. Therapy can also be suggested,” she adds. 

Last but not the least, Barmi says that even if someone has attempted suicide in the past, they can move ahead in their lives, with the right kind of support. 

“It can happen if they retain optimism and positivity. There should be a certain purpose in life, or a passion that motivates them. We must also be there to help them increase their self-worth,” concludes Barmi. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.