Being held hostage by someone with BPD

How to end a toxic relationship

For most of us, ending a toxic relationship isn’t the real problem. It’s removing the guilt associated with it that is.

The good news is that choosing not being around toxic people can be life changing. Suddenly, you’re free! You can breathe again. What a relief it is to not be dreading the next phone call, visit, invitation, conversation, or uncomfortable gathering.

No matter who you are, you have a right to live without fear of: disappointing, irritating, or being judged, criticized, dismissed, or taken advantage of. You are not a bad person for wanting this. Who doesn’t?

The hardest part of this process is dealing with the fallout from family, friends, or coworkers. Everyone will have an opinion, and some will tell you you’re making a bad decicision. And maybe you are.

But the thing to remember is that what’s toxic to you may not be toxic for someone else. So deciding to end a  toxic realtionship is that it’s your “bad decision,” not theirs. Only you know what being around that person feels like to you.

Your life may change for the better without this person in it, but your choice may not feel better to other people. This is especially true if the person you’re trying to get rid of is a relative who is still close with other members of your family.

So you’ll have more decisions to make. But go easy on yourself. You don’t need to make a scene or proclamation. And you don’t have to decide everything at once. Take whatever step you’re ready to take, and congratulate yourself for making progress. Freedom isn’t a light switch. It’s a lifelong process.

3 thoughts on “How to end a toxic relationship

  1. This is profound and spot on. I guess the question it leads to is, by keeping yourself at a distance from them and not addressing the problem(s) in their attitude or actions, those problems with continue on to the next person they connect with in a never-ending cycle, right? What can be done, as a loving and caring person who wants the best for people/relationships, to help other than draw this firm line and move on?
    D Grant Smith

    1. The phrase I would use goes something like this: “I love you and… “

      … fom now on, if you tell me not to call, or you accuse me of not caring, I’m not going to fight with you. I will honor your request. I will go away. I will not keep trying to convince you that I care about you.

      Or…
      … from now on, if you give me the silent treatment, I’m not going to call and beg you to talk to me. I will take your silence at face value and leave you alone. If that’s not what you want, you’ll need to call me.

      The other option is to try sending one of my Express Yourself Ecards (try for free at the App Store). There is a card that will help you get more honest with your friend called “Can I be honest?“ And another that helps you say “Ouch! “In a way that is both respect full of you and of the other person.

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Being held hostage by someone with BPD

How do I end a toxic relationship with someone?

For most of us, ending a toxic relationship isn’t the real problem. It’s removing the guilt associated with it that is.

The good news is that choosing not being around toxic people can be life changing. Suddenly, you’re free! You can breathe again. What a relief it is to not be dreading the next phone call, visit, invitation, conversation, or uncomfortable gathering.

No matter who you are, you have a right to live without fear of: disappointing, irritating, or being judged, criticized, dismissed, or taken advantage of. You are not a bad person for wanting this. Who doesn’t?

The hardest part of this process is dealing with the fallout from family, friends, or coworkers. Everyone will have an opinion, and some will tell you you’re making a bad decicision. And maybe you are.

But the thing to remember is that it’s your “bad decision,” not theirs. Only you know what being around that person feels like to you.

Your life may change for the better without this person in it, but your choice may not feel better to other people. This is especially true if the person you’re trying to get rid of is a relative who is still close with other members of your family.

So you’ll have more decisions to make. But go easy on yourself. You don’t need to make a scene or proclamation. And you don’t have to decide everything at once. Take whatever step you’re ready to take, and congratulate yourself for making progress. Freedom isn’t a light switch. It’s a lifelong process.

One thought on “How do I end a toxic relationship with someone?

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