Letting go of toxic relationships
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Basia Spalek Accredited Member MBACP, PhD, MSc, Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy
1st April, 20160 Comments
Sometimes we can get involved with people that harm us, psychologically, emotionally and even physically. We may not always see this coming because when we first meet a person they may show us their best side - the funny, easy-going, even sexy side to their personalities. We may at first experience a lot of attention from them that we really like, unaware that the person who we are attracted to has deeper complexities. As the relationship progresses we can begin to experience control, abuse, rejection, even betrayal from our partners and this is very difficult to come to terms with because we can find ourselves looking back and craving the relationship that we used to have, before the toxicity set in. This is even more difficult when we feel alone because our partner has helped to isolate us from our family and friends. It becomes very easy for our lives to then become dominated by a toxic relationship. We can find ourselves constantly thinking about our partner, what they did and said and how bad this made us feel, rather than getting on with leading our own lives. We can lose sight of who we are, our dreams and hopes for the future.
If we find ourselves in a toxic relationship it is important to seek support from another person, and this can be found in a good counsellor. Counselling can help us to explore what the toxic relationship is about, how it is sustained, and how we might try to move out of this. It may be that we have developed an anxious attachment to our toxic partner, whereby we believe that we need our partner, that we cannot continue with our lives if abandoned by them, even though they are not good for us.
Counselling can help us to build a secure base from within our own selves, so that we no longer fear abandonment or rejection. Counselling can help to make us feel independent rather than co-dependent, where we feel we are able to live our lives independently of a toxic partner. Self-compassion is key. We must not blame ourselves or be filled with remorse. It is important to build our own self-confidence and self-worth so that we can let go of any toxic relationship.
About the author
Basia Spalek is a practising psychotherapist, and is a professor in conflict transformation. Basia enjoys walking and running in nature and is interested in helping people to grow therapeutically.
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