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An argument in which both are guilty and no longer remember how it all began. One heated conversation and long days or even weeks of silence. Toxic relationships manifest themselves in different ways, but one thing is constant: at the core is an unhealthy pattern of interaction. How do you change the situation and where do you start?

Someone is always unconsciously trying to put the needs and desires of a spouse, best friend, or even a casual acquaintance above their own. Some people find it painful to recognize someone else's rightness, while others find it painful to recognize their own. Most people, at least once in their lives, have been involved in toxic relationships that cause suffering. Some can only interact with those around them in such a way that they never get satisfaction. If you feel the problems in a relationship are intractable, chances are the relationship is toxic.

Despite the permanent feeling that "things are bad," it is possible to change your pattern of behavior and therefore improve your interactions with others. We will tell you how to heal a toxic relationship and where to start in this article.

How to deal with a toxic relationship: psychologist tips

1. Make time for important conversations

Serious conversations work better when they are planned because they require time and the right attitude. Therefore, when going to talk to someone in detail, it is better to address this person in advance: "There is something that weighs on me, and I want to discuss it in a quiet atmosphere. When would it be convenient for you to have this conversation for 20 or 30 minutes?" And then at the appointed time, say what you were going to say without distraction.

The most important thing in such a conversation is to separate the discussion of the situation from making claims and going over the words or actions that led to it. The task of such conversations is not to attack and "finish off" the other, but to hear the interlocutor and to be heard.

2. Notice the problems

Someone can recognize a toxic relationship if there are ongoing problems, particularly accusations, criticism and demands on your partner. If these behaviors appear in your relationship, talk to your partner and try to work together to end the toxic relationship.

And remember, it's not you going up against your partner, it's you and your loved one going up against the problem. This can help you connect with your partner.

3. Be yourself

Often in a toxic relationship, a person may not speak their mind to avoid upsetting their partner, who may be angered by their words. If you are afraid of your other half's reaction, then don't let it pass you by, it's worth changing. In a relationship, it is important that you feel relaxed and can be yourself.

Your partner may not realize that his/her behavior is causing you to be silent. Ask him/her to acknowledge how their behavior affects you so you can rebuild trust between you.

How to repair a toxic relationship: 3 exercises

How to save a toxic relationship: Exercise #1.

Unhealed wounds from past relationships or relationships with parents can affect the way we communicate with our loved ones and respond to their words and actions. Try to find the connection between present reactions and past events.

Important: If you have ever experienced sexual abuse, harassment, or other serious psychological trauma and your partner does not know about it, now is the time to tell him or her. When we share our pain with someone close to us, it helps them to understand us and our reactions much better and allows us to communicate more accurately and consciously.

How to do the exercise. Evaluate which of these statements best describes your feelings. When your partner hurt you, it reminded you:

  • Of a previous relationship that ended badly.
  • Of past emotional and psychological trauma.
  • About the way your parents treated you.
  • About your deepest fears.
  • Unfulfilled dreams.
  • Events you have not yet been able to come to terms with.
  • About how you have been treated by others.
  • All the bad things you think about yourself.
  • About the nightmares that keep you awake.

How to change a toxic relationship: exercise #2

Write down your points of view.

Summarize your position and your partner's position on the quarrel on paper. Once you do this, you will see that everyone has a different perspective on the situation. We are all complex people, and emotional reactions are determined by past experiences, expectations, and desires.

How to fix your toxic relationship: exercise #3

When something goes wrong in a relationship, we start looking for the reason in the partner and blame him for everything. In fact, no one is to blame. To get out of the cycle of mutual blame, both must take responsibility for what is happening and admit that they are playing a role. To figure out which one, use a list of reasons that may have caused you an increased need for intimacy or, conversely, an increased need for independence.

Step 1: Determine what you are ready to take responsibility for. Rate the statements on a scale from 1 ("that's exactly how I felt") to 5 ("I haven't experienced anything like that"):

  • Extremely sensitive lately.
  • I have been showing little attention to my partner lately.
  • The stress makes me irritable all the time.
  • I often criticize my partner.
  • I have stopped telling my partner what is going on in my life.
  • I feel depressed.
  • I harbor resentment about something.
  • I have stopped showing love and tenderness to my partner.
  • I have become inattentive in listening to my partner.

Step 2: Write down for yourself the conclusion, "I now see that the problems in the relationship have arisen/ aggravated because I..."

Step 3: Write down how you can influence the situation to change for the better: "If this happens again, I can behave differently. For example, I will..."

Step 4: Suggest to your partner a way to help him or she avoid such problems in the future: "To make sure this doesn't happen again, you can..."

The more sincerely you both do the exercise, the more you "turn around" to each other. You will begin to use conflict to get closer, not to distance yourself. Your emotional connection will become stronger, and eventually, the relationship will become so strong and conscious that together you can overcome any problem. This does not mean that you will never fight. Quarrels will not define your relationship and ruin it. You will learn to use them for the good of the union.

How to improve a toxic relationship: bottom line

If you don't want to lose the person, you can try to fix it. When describing what a toxic relationship is, the following tips are worth giving:

  • Be prepared to leave, as this means that self-esteem is not yet completely destroyed.
  • Identify the main problems, such as criticism, attacks, demands, or accusations. Try to notice them in your life and analyze the reasons that provoke trouble in order to avoid them.
  • Don't be afraid to talk about what you don't like, or what you want, otherwise, you won't be able to get rid of tension in the relationship
  • Trust yourself, and do not doubt your own feelings and judgments. The goal is to become a full participant in the relationship.
  • If the situation is serious, you need to consult a psychologist who will help you improve your relationship. Ideally, you can go to a specialist as a couple.

By using these tips on how to fix a toxic family relationship, you can try to save your relationship and get your life back on track.

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