Being in a toxic relationship is difficult, to say the least. Therefore, you must know when it’s time to leave the toxic person in your life.
The word “toxic” is used quite a bit when talking about relationships. And it can mean different things to different relationship dynamics or individuals. But there is a consensus about the common traits of toxicity, and a time comes when certain signs coax people to leave relationships. It’s important to know the signs.
When it’s time to leave a toxic person
There are some situations that make it almost impossible to leave relationships, especially when it concerns close family members. On the other hand, there are other situations where leaving is the only option.
So, how do we tell the difference? And how can we get away? Let me share a few things that might help with that. Here’s what toxic people do that prove… you must find a way out.
1. They take and never give
While your relationship may not be completely even all the time, in the give and take department, it should even out most of the time. With toxic personalities, there’s quite a bit of taking and little giving. A person with this mindset may ask for money, your time, and other resources, but when you need them to support you, they’re never available.
The lack of empathy and selfishness stops them from giving of themselves. And why should you leave? Well, there’s only so much you can give until you’re tapped out. If you give too much of yourself, it damages your health, finances, and mental state.
2. They are liars
You’ll know it’s time to go when you cannot trust the person you thought you loved. It seems they’re getting caught in more and more lies. First, you caught one lie, then, as you figure out that they’re deceptive, you catch all their lies.
Suddenly, you realize they lie all the time, even pathologically. What’s worse is that they can look right into your eyes and lie with no emotion. How do you think a future will be with someone who lies to you all the time? Think about it. You may try to get them to see the wrong in their ways, but eventually, you may have to cut ties with them.
3. They make you happier when they’re absent
Let’s say you married someone who seemed like the perfect person. They were kind and loving, sharing stories and ideas with you. You loved being around them.
Over time, however, they’ve changed, like rust developing on metal. They’ve turned into a completely different person, and this new person seems toxic. Now, you adore every second you get away from them.
If you rather be alone all the time than with your loved one, something’s wrong. And when your partner is at home, you find excuses to get away from them, this isn’t healthy. It’s obvious that you are much happier on your own.
From my experience, getting away from a toxic person as much as possible meant avoiding those ‘evil’ confrontations – like starting fights, accusations, lies, and all the other things that come with the toxic personality. Could it be that it’s time to leave?
4. They’re rubbing off on you
If you stay around a person who exhibits a toxic personality long enough, you’ll start picking up some of the same traits they have. You may start off getting hurt and crying, but when you attempt to stand up for yourself, you may start using some of the same mean and disrespectful actions in a defensive manner.
This was always scary to me as I noticed I’d picked up some of my ex-husband’s personality traits. In a fight with someone once, they alerted me that I was doing the same things as he did. It chilled me to the bone.
Even though you may be the victim of someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, for instance, you can develop some of the nasty habits of that toxic person. Then you may use them on other people. When you notice this, it’s a good indicator that you might want to get away from them.
5. They’re destroying your personal boundaries
You should have your own personal boundaries that help you understand what you want and what you cannot tolerate. Those boundaries consist of your standards, morals, beliefs, and passions. If someone in your family is stomping on those basic rights, can you stop them?
If you find that they’re killing some of those basic rights and your boundaries are becoming fuzzy, then you might want to put some miles between you and that person. The more you lose your boundaries, the more you sacrifice of YOU.
Your worth is built upon the basic foundations of those core beliefs that make up your boundaries. You cannot let them be destroyed.
6. They’re making you turn to unhealthy coping actions
Most people can have a glass of wine and it’s perfectly fine. At other times, they are drinking as a coping mechanism. There’s a difference. If you’re dealing with a toxic person and you’re overeating, drinking, or doing drugs, you’ve turned to coping in an unhealthy manner. Basically, you’re hurting yourself with the idea of escaping the hurt.
If someone is so heinous that you’ve turned to unhealthy coping actions, it might be time to leave. Most of the time if the situation is this bad, it isn’t going to get drastically better any time soon.
I only say this because I’ve been there/done that… you know the saying. So, think long and hard before you pour another drink or eat that whole bag of chips. You are hiding and in denial of your codependency with the monster in your life.
7. They’re being abusive
Abuse comes in many forms – there is physical, emotional, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse, and other hybrid forms too. Do you have bruises from the last fight with your boyfriend? Are you triggered by their voice? Does your heart rate increase the closer it gets to when they’re supposed to come home? These are little signs that you’re being abused.
If you are being abused, then this will not change without professional help. And a toxic person will have to want help for themselves. You cannot make them go to therapy. So, obviously, this is a reason why you should get out of the relationship, and fast.
Yes, they may threaten you, but there are places where you can get help, and there are ways you can signal for help without being noticed by the toxic person in your life. Even when you’re scared to leave, just remember, if you stay, you might be leaving in a whole different way. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
8. They are controlling
Let me be honest. I have been controlling myself, at times. But a truly toxic person is controlling by nature. They’ve learned that people really don’t like to be around when they see the truth.
And so, they cut off lines of communication when they have a narcissistic supply of attention. They invade your emails, sometimes taking them away. They take your phone, and they tell you how to dress. Not to mention all that gaslighting they do to make you think you’re crazy.
It’s not that you’ve done anything to cause this type of behavior, it’s part of the mindset of a toxic individual. They must control everything, or they feel like they control nothing.
And honestly, the only way to get away from this is to take back your control. But you must be careful. If you notice any sudden reactions that could get violent, you must find support to help you. And there are people who can help.
Advice on how to break free
I don’t have all the answers. None of us do. But maybe I can give a little advice on how to safely exit a bad situation. Here are a few steps so you don’t rush things but still stop the abuse.
1. Don’t provoke them
If you are aware that a person can be violent, do not start fights out of anger. If they’ve been violent even once, they can probably become violent again.
2. Support system
Always have a support system somewhere. Make sure there’s no way that the toxic person can control that support system. If they try to shut you away from your family and friends, a therapist can help.
I learned a trick when I was younger, but still, be careful with this. I told my abuser that I had the problem and I needed to seek professional help. This is how I told my therapist the truth and gained her support.
3. Seek professional help
Read and understand all the dangers when trying to leave. There are many hotlines for victims of domestic violence or other forms of abuse.
4. Stick to your decision
If you want to leave and the toxic person is not physically abusive, then make your decision and stick to what you want. They may try to sweet talk you or promise to change, but do not let this affect your decision. If you make the decision to leave a non-violent person, get out as soon as possible to avoid their influence.
Sometimes, leaving is the only way
In a way, I hesitate to just say, “Go, get out of that situation!” because when I was younger, people told me to leave my marriage and it made me mad at them. I had so much love and hope for my family that I didn’t want to change things.
I was also scared. I was scared he would hurt me, and I was scared that I couldn’t survive on my own. The truth is, neither of these things were true. Once I left my marriage, I was fine.
I cannot tell you when to leave or if you should even do that. But what I can tell you is that you may wake up someday at the age of 38 or even 45 and then realize you must get away.
You’ll look back at those years of your life struggling with your self-esteem, being scared, and you may have this sick regret that you didn’t see what others on the outside could see.
These are only a few of the signs that you might want to change your life and get away from a toxic person. But read through them and consider the fact that they may be true. My main concern is your safety. So, please, do what keeps you safe.
My heart goes out to all of you who are struggling right now.