Humans are wired to adapt. Just as a child gets moulded in a family, a healthy relationship can also be the mould to an individual's self-growth. Relationships get toxic when one person or the other causes hindrance in personal growth.
Toxic behaviours sprout from the overexertion to get unmet needs satisfied or simply because of the lack of a proper coping mechanism. As much as it is draining to be stuck in an abusive dynamic, the more liberating it is to break free.
It takes great strength and courage to leave a toxic relationship, be it familial or romantic. Even after being well aware of what a toxic person does, you might find yourself expressing some of their traits. In psychology, there is a term called "Social Proximity Effect" or "Proximity Principle" which sheds light on the tendency of people picking up the mannerisms of the people who they stayed in close proximity with. Emulation or imitation of behaviour is critical to development, but when you notice yourself exhibiting the belligerent patterns of your toxic partner, parent or a friend, things get a little alarming. You find yourself mired in the mud and muck of your past which stains your future possibilities. Although these instances may leave a lasting effect on the psyche, it is not impossible to unlearn these toxic behaviours.
Step back and give yourself time: Abuse is a cycle and this cycle doesn't come into being in the blink of an eye. Shattering the cycle also requires patience and time. Unravelling the cycle aids in recognising underlying problems behind the bad habits. Breaking down the patterns and assessing them helps to tackle the problems.
Open the doors to empathy: Most relationships become toxic because of the lack of understanding. People try to inflict what they feel on the other person rather than evaluating both sides of the coin. It is important to encompass the understanding of emotions of all the parties.
Analyse your feelings: It's perfectly fine to feel vulnerable or weak and there is nothing to hide. Be one with your feelings. Write your thoughts down and let your frustrations fly out. Try being gentle with yourself and others around you.
Make space for your strengths to shine: Prolonged periods of emotional stress and trauma unnerves one. Building a passion for self-improvement and playing to your strengths makes you more self-assured. You will be able to reel out your insecurities with such aplomb that it will seem insignificant.
Know your worth: Ask yourself why you are getting triggered and how you can solve it. Cut, block, delete.
Detoxifying is hard but not unattainable. It's never too late to try.
Farnaz Fawad Hasan thinks of herself to be the fifth member of The Try Guys. Send her stuff to try at firstname.lastname@example.org