0117 – 8 Ways You Can Handle a Toxic Relationship pt 2


We are talking about how to deal with a toxic relationship

By the end of this episode:

  • 8 tips for dealing with a toxic relationship

Describe the problem

…So you’ve figured out that you’re in a toxic relationship, either with a friend, a family member, or even a lover or spouse. How do you deal with these toxic relationships with grace and dignity, or without causing too much collateral damage? Find out in Episode 117: Toxic Relationships, Part Two.

Segment #1

How to deal with a toxic relationship:

  1. Admit there’s a problem: Like admitting an addiction, you have to first realize and acknowledge that you’re in a toxic relationship.
  2. Believe that you deserve better: sometimes we stick with toxic relationships because we think we have to (there’s lots of “history” there) or because we think it’s just the way this relationship is, orrrr because we don’t believe we deserve anything better. You don’t, it isn’t, and you do.
  3. For relationships where you give and give and give with no return, set boundaries and learn to say no.
  4. Downgrade” the relationship, if possible. Who says you have to be “besties” with everyone? Sometimes you can simply back away from a relationship and “downgrade” from friendship to “friendly acquaintance.”

Segment #2

  1. If there’s room, or the ability to do so, take a break or hiatus. Sometimes distance is exactly what’s needed to gain perspective or see just how much something is affecting you.
  2. Get support: make new healthy friendships, go to HR, get a counselor…whatever you do, sometimes leaving toxic relationships can be extremely difficult to do alone (especially if there are feelings of low self-esteem, ideas that you “deserve” to be treated badly, or abuse)
  3. Address the behavior and ask for change. “addressing the toxic behavior when it occurs. When doing this, use “I” statements as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of a defensive reaction. For example, you may want to say something like, “I feel like you find fault in almost everything I do and it makes me feel [fill in the blank]. I (love, respect, care about, etc.) you, and I’d appreciate it if you would stop [fill in the blank].” However, you should only do this if it is safe. (If you are in a physically abusive relationship, this kind of confrontation may not be safe. Before doing anything that risks your safety, you should contact a professional with experience dealing with domestic violence or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information.)”


Final Thoughts:

#1  If the person isn’t willing to change behavior…then you have to be willing to change the circumstances.


  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts

In Closing

If you have a question, comment, or funny story about [INSERT SHOW TOPIC] we have a private SafeSpace on facebook where we talk about all sorts of social, professional, and romantic relationship topics, and after every show you can go there and share you story, get some advice from great people or just hang out. Both Sarah and I are there every day and you can be there too, just go to www.relationspodcast.com/join and click the “Join Now’ button.

Until we meet again, keep striving to make every relationship you have the best it can possibly be, including (and especially) the one with yourself. We’ll talk soon.

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