A toxic relationship is something that most of us have been in, at some point in our life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic one. You could be in a toxic relationship with a friend or a family member too.

So, what exactly is a toxic relationship?

By definition, a toxic relationship is one which is characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner, which are often emotionally and physically damaging to their partner.
In simple words, a toxic relationship is one where the actions or the traits of one person, deeply affects the other person in that relationship, either mentally, emotionally, or physically.

After understanding what a toxic relationship is, the next important thing to do is to identify what relationship in your life is toxic, and hence terminate it. The reasons for terminating such relationships are many and have been discussed here.

How do we identify and terminate this toxic relationship?

First, learn to recognize a pattern if there is one.

Let’s take a situation where a person that you’re close to, ends up doing something that is in your list of ‘Hard-limits’(it could be betrayal, manipulation, lying, etc), despite knowing that this would ultimately, undoubtedly hurt or affect you.

Let’s say that you have confronted them about this.

Now, they would either accept what they did and apologize or deny it (all of it or some of it) and pretend like the accusation is baseless. If they did the former, then that’s a sure fire, but if they did the latter, then the alarm bells should be going off in your head.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as this. You see, we humans are masters of manipulation and pretense (After all, we’ve had to train ourselves to do just that in order to survive this world). Due to this, we will also come across people who will accept what they did and apologize for it, while at the same time pretend like it wasn’t entirely their fault by planting seeds of doubt in your mind about the incident itself. Pretty shitty, right?
In the course of doing this they not only did you wrong once, but they’re doing it again for their own benefit. Hence, proving that they are capable of doing this and much worse in the future as well.
In this situation, it’s important for us to not be naive and to believe in what we stand for.

After you’ve recognized the pattern and accepted that this person did in fact do you wrong, the next step is to classify this into- “acceptable”, “can be given another shot”, or “simply unacceptable”.
Now, this will vary from person to person. There may be some things that I think are acceptable, but might be completely unforgivable in your books.
Which is why, although it is healthy to borrow a fresh pair of eyes to look at the situation from a bird’s eye view; it is fundamental for you to not be influenced by what someone else would do.
Once you’ve completed this process, it becomes easier for you do go ahead and cut them off.

None of this is going to be even half as easy as it sounds, but you have got to put your foot down and stand your ground. Never put up with the excuses that they give you, or make up excuses on their behalf.
I cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to put yourselves first when you find yourself in this situation, but I won’t deny that it is especially hard to do so when we’re in this toxic relationship.
Personally, I’m the kind of person that doesn’t take any crap from people, but I have also noticed that although this is who I am, there have been a few people in my life to whom I’ve granted the benefit of doubt, not once, not twice, but over and over again. By doing this, I have automatically given them an all access pass to walk all over me.
What I’m trying to say is that, there will always be a few people in your life, who will not just take you on an unpleasant journey down a path you loathe, but will also keep bringing you back in for the ride.
As I said before, this could be just about anyone that screws you over; your family member, friend or your partner.
As smart as we may be, we almost always tend to forget that we are our own person, and we do not deserve to be abused in any way, emotionally or otherwise.
But somehow, saying NO or putting your foot down in a toxic relationship proves to be harder than it should be. Once you do, you’re free.
You’re cleansing yourself from all that toxic energy that’s been pulling you down, and making you feel like you can’t breathe. You will have freed yourself from a huge amount of negative energy that was feeding on your soul and sucking the life out of you. And I assure you, that you’ll come out of this feeling like a weight’s been lifted.
Sure it’s difficult to lose people, and terrifying to feel like you could be making a mistake, but ask yourself this- Are you willing to lose yourself over them?
Once you’ve got your answer for that, your process of detoxing has already begun.

Be strong, put yourself first and do not let anyone drag you down.