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Free Yourself from Toxic Relationships: Step-by-Step Guiding Journal Challenge Yourself to Get Rid of Toxic Relationships, Transform Existing Ones & Clear the Space for the People Who Are Right for You

Often, when we hear the term toxic relationship, we think of marriage or significant others. But there are many other types of relationships that can be toxic; parent to child, friend to friend, boss to employee, coworker to coworker, and so forth.

The goal of this journal is to help you do some soul-searching and analysis of your current relationships which you feel are taking away more than giving. Use it to help you determine if your relationship is toxic and how to handle it if it is.

Dealing with a toxic relationship:

Step 1: Make sure you are not part of the problem. Are you catering to their demands? Are you apologizing when you did nothing wrong? Are you self-sabotaging (if you don't respect yourself, you cannot expect others to respect you). If you improve yourself, it may automatically improve the relationship.

Step 2: Realize you cannot change a person and it isn't your job to. Only when they want to change, will they put forth the effort to change. They must value the relationship enough to want to do better, to improve themselves and work hard to improve the relationship.

Step 3: Find the courage to talk the person about your feelings and concerns. Do so in a calm, non-confrontational manner. If you fear for your safety, discuss it in a public place so you can leave if it gets out of control.

Step 4:  Be clear and firm when restating your boundaries. Leave no room for negotiation.

Step 5: Do not let emotions get the best of you. Don't argue, cry or otherwise get emotional. Generally, toxic people want the upper hand, especially when they are being confronted about something they know they are doing wrong.

Step 6: If this is a working relationship, speak to your supervisor. See if you can get a mediator to work with both parties to find an acceptable solution.

Exiting the relationship:

Sometimes it is not possible to salvage a relationship. When this happens, it's time to create some distance. Some ways to help you do this:

1.    Understand that it won't happen overnight.

2.    When leaving, keep the explanation short and sweet. You don't owe them anything more if they aren't willing to also change for the better of the relationship.

3.    Remember, they may try to win you back by sharing sob stories, asking for favors, wanting to talk, etc. but those are manipulation tactics.

4.    Block them on social media and in your phone. Delete their emails without reading them. Remove yourself from places they hang out. This may mean mutual friends need to be put on the sidelines until things calm down

5.    If it's a working relationship, ask your boss about other opportunities within the company where you can transfer. 

6.    Reconnect with people who make you happy

7.    Practice gratitude. There are so many positive things in your life if you look for them.

8.    Make time for yourself so you can heal.

9.    Seek support from friends, family or 3rd parties as needed.

10. Take your time before starting a new relationship

On the following pages, list the relationships that you would like to explore. Be as honest as you can. Sometimes we are not ready to deal with some relationships and it’s ok. Give yourself time. You may want to start and leave it for some time until you are completely sure that you don’t want to continue with it. Becoming aware of its nature is a big step already. Time will come when you will decide that you either want to give it another chance or break it for good.

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