The Mighty Logo

When to Let Go of the Toxicity in Your Life

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

We all have that one friend or family member (sometimes multiple) that are always negative and continually try to bring us down. Maybe it’s a friend you have had in your life since you were little, or maybe it’s someone in your immediate family such as a grandparent, aunt, sibling, uncle or even a parent.

It might be troubling to understand why they act that way toward you, and maybe you have a hard time standing up for yourself because of this idea we all have in our heads — the idea that blood is thicker than water. That could be true, but not when it comes to putting yourself in harms way physically, mentally or emotionally.

I had to end long-time friendships and I have closed out chapters with people in my family because they weren’t good for me. I needed people in my life who would support me and lift me up, especially with what I have had to deal with on a day-to-day basis with chronic pain. It can be overwhelming, and sometimes it can be heartbreaking because there have been close relationships at times with these people.

It took me a long time to be able to prepare myself for what I was going to do. And it shouldn’t be something you are pushed into, or that you should do until you are ready. Life is a roller coaster and sometimes people are going through things and are acting out. If you don’t want to give up on that relationship, then don’t because you will just keep going back and repeating the cycle.

It’s like when people need to give up something like sugar or alcohol; they will never truly be rid of it unless they are completely ready to. If you are told you must give up sugar and you have no choice, maybe you will for a little while, but you will most likely go right back. The same thing can happen in abusive relationships. Maybe you leave for a while, but until you are ready you won’t break free 100%. We don’t just have toxic relationships with people; we can have it with substances, food, working out, gambling. Anything that you can’t get out of and is toxic for you is a relationship that needs to go at your own time.

It can be daunting to have to give something up, even when it’s what’s best. The mind loves to play tricks on us and make us feel like we are doing the wrong thing when we are just taking care of the most important person…ourselves.

If there comes a time in your life when you need to rid yourself of a toxic relationship, just make sure you are doing it for you and no one else.

Photo credit: weerapatkiatdumrong/Getty Images

Originally published: November 5, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home