Standing on the outside
Being in a toxic relationship is one thing all on its own, but I’m wanting to talk about being the friend or family member of someone who is in a toxic relationship. I myself have grown up watching my mother be in one and then grew up to end up in not one but two toxic relationships myself, so I feel I have a pretty good understanding of what makes a relationship bad and what it feels like to be in one. Usually you feel stuck and this could be for many reasons; such as you are truly in love with the person and just want to fix things with them, or possibly even that you have fallen victim to abuse and now have issues with leaving. I’m not going to get into the abuse part of a toxic relationship right now but focus on the support that a person needs when they are in a toxic or abusive relationship.
As a friend or a family member its hard to see someone you care about going through something that is breaking their heart and in some cases their spirit too, changing the person you once knew into someone you barley recognize. I see two things happening after this. Either you just walk away completely from the person and tell them that they are stupid for staying and they are making a big mistake or you keep your mouth shut and you let them go on making their own decisions because really, its their life, right? So this is the touchy part. I don’t think its okay to just snip someone out because you don’t condone their choices in life, but I also don’t believe you should hold onto people who practice in toxic behavior and allow themselves to be put through such negativity in life. I find there is a fine line and of course you must use your judgment but first when doing, so start off remembering that this person you care about IS just that, a person you care about. So what can you do to help? You can be supportive!
Showing support and letting someone know that you care and are there for them in the decisions they make can help someone, who is feeling really down in a bad relationship, to build up confidence. Usually when someone is stuck there is a broken down self esteem that makes them feel like they are damaged goods or that no one else will want them, causing the person to feel like they are better off in the current crap relationship they are in. You want to be empathetic and compassionate when telling your friend or loved one that they deserve to be cared for and loved and in a healthy way. Try telling them all the great things that you love about them, chances are they have forgotten. Let them know that walking away will be hard but that you will be there to help them in any way that you can. They need to feel strong again in order to set themselves free.
That being said, there is also a time to walk away from these people. Yes even if they are a good friend and yes even if they are family. I won’t tell anyone what to do or how to do it but I know that I also have to live my life in the best way that I can and try to stay on a positive route. So if I have been trying to be there for someone so that they can leave a bad situation and get into something more positive for themselves and they don’t want to follow through and help themselves then there really is nothing more for me to do. No amount of support or love will make that person leave or make them see their worth if they don’t love themselves or are accepting to the help they need to get out. Its a hard thing to do to walk away from those you care deeply for but I feel like I’m also being a good friend/family member by showing them that I won’t allow them to be abused and that I don’t allow room for toxic relationships in MY life. I will always let them know I love and care for them and when they are ready to love and care for themselves too I will be waiting right here for them with open arms.