Are you wondering how to let go of toxic people who are holding you back?
Do you know that some people in your life just aren’t good for you but you are finding it difficult to let them go?
Fortunately, there are ways to let go of toxic people but first let’s examine why it’s hard to let go of one.
For many people, staying in a toxic relationship is better than being alone.
We often don’t feel so good about ourselves and the other person feeds our feelings of insecurity with their toxicity.
Sometime we feel like we think we are the only person who can help/fix this other person so we are hesitant to step away from them, even if they are sucking us dry.
And, finally, we are often stuck in patterns with these people, patterns that we are incapable of breaking for a variety of reasons.
Now do you see how letting go of toxic people can be very difficult? Understanding the ‘why’ can often make the ‘how’ easier.
#1 – Make a decision – and stick to it!
Before you begin any life changing process you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it. On a scale of 1-10 how close to a 10 are you? Because without steadfast determination you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as letting go of a toxic person in your life.
So, are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could work out? Do you feel like you aren’t strong enough to do this yet?
If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, then perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great healer and with some time you will get stronger and be ready to take on this challenging task.
Either way, ask yourself some tough questions about this relationship and make a conscious decision to stay or go. Doing so, making a purposeful move, will help you start respecting and loving yourself again which is a key part of letting go of toxic people and moving on.
#2 – Take inventory.
One of the first thing I tell all of my clients when they ask how to let go of toxic people is to make a list – a list of all of the reasons that they need to walk away from that person.
When we spend time with someone, we are regularly exposed to those things that remind us that we need to walk away. When we finally get away from that person, those things tend to recede into our memory. They get replaced in the forefront of our mind with the good things, the good times, all the things that we loved about that person.
And, with the good things at the front of our minds, we are vulnerable to returning to the relationship that is causing us pain.
So, make a list. Make a list of everything that you can think of that is making you walk away from this person. Keep that list close and refer to it when you are missing him.
You left this relationship for a reason. Keep that reason in mind daily going forward.
#3 – Disappear.
I know that we all think that we need “closure” at the end of any relationship, that final conversation where everyone gets to say what they want to say and you understand each other and walk away as friends.
I am here to tell you that closure is a myth. What closure really is is one last chance to spend time with and talk to that person you care about. Because really, if you could have a conversation and finally understand each other why couldn’t you make it work as a couple or as friends?
So, when you have decided to let of of a toxic person is over, cut him or her off from any contact with you. Block them on your phone, disconnect on social media, stay away from places where you know they will be.
Why? Because what you need to do is break the addiction you have to this person, to change your habits.
Think about Oreo cookies. You know how hard it is to eat just one? It’s the same with your person. Even one point of contact can draw you back into their circle, the circle that you have decided that you are determined to break yourself out of.
So, cut off all contact right away. Don’t let them have access to you in any way. It will make the process way easier!
#4 – Choose love.
For many of us, being in a toxic relationship can mean that we have disconnected with people who might previously have been a big part of our lives. None of us do it intentionally, or with malice, but it does happen. And those friends are still out there.
Make an effort to reach out to those friends, the friends who knew you ‘before.’ They will be happy to have you back and happy to support you getting through this time.
Also, now is a great time to make new friends. I have a client who is using Bumble BFF, an app for women to connect with other women, to find some new friends, ones who are single and want to get out and do things like she does. She has connected with some amazing women in just a few weeks.
Also, make an effort to spend time with your family if they provide love and support. Nothing can help you replace the empty space left by your toxic person then those who love you more than anyone else in the world.
People are a great way to get you through a tough time. And you have lots of people. Reach out and find them again.
#5 – Live.
Another thing to do with all of that free time is to start doing something that you have always wanted to do. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for your empty space – do something with it.
When a client of mine left her toxic boyfriend she was a wreck and feeling lonely as hell. I asked her if there was anything that she had always wanted to do, something that she hadn’t done because she was in a relationship.
Without a pause she said YES – she had always wanted to learn Italian and spend some traveling in Italy. Could she do that now? I asked. And she said, Why the hell not?
So, my client downloaded a language app and set out making plans to travel to Italy in the spring. She researched tour groups, found a few friends to come with her, worked to get in shape and ultimately went on the trip of her dreams.
The planning kept her occupied instead of focusing on her guy and the trip changed her life, making her realize that if she could do that she could do anything.
What is it that you have always wanted to do? Pick one thing and start doing it. You have the time. Life is short. Don’t waste it!
Knowing how to let go of toxic people who are holding you back takes awareness and determination.
We are so scared of being alone or making someone else unhappy that we often sacrifice our own health and well being. It’s important to stop that NOW.
Take stock of your determination to get out of the relationship, take stock of why, disappear completely, reach out to others and live your life.
Life is too short to surround yourself with toxic people. Choose yourself for once and get on with living your best life!
Are you struggling with a toxic person in your life?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before your life gets completely derailed!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.