One of the things that keep so many people in bondage is having toxic relationships.

Toxic relationships are like cancer.

They eat away at you until there is nothing left.

They usually happen with people who are very close to you.

These relationships can be disguised as friends, partners, spouses, siblings and relatives.

Because toxic relationships usually occur with those who are close to us, it is sometimes difficult to recognize when they are no good for us.

Toxic relationships take away so much from you. They drain your energy, creativity and self-esteem.

They don’t always involve fighting or arguing.

They could just involve someone who brings out the very worst in you.

Most people cannot determine when these types of relationships are toxic, which makes them difficult to identify.

On the surface these relationships look fine, even friendly on the outside.

For example, here’s an email that was sent to me:

“I was in a toxic relationship for 15 years and didn’t even know it. It came in the form of a friendship. A very close friend… or so I thought. This friend and I had been through a lot together. Marriages, divorces, children, moves to different states, etc. We did a great deal of things together and had a lot in common, and we always had a great time. But throughout our 15-year friendship I always noticed something strange about her. She was never very consistent with me.

Once very early in our friendship she just stopped talking to me out of the blue for about two years. I was very puzzled and racked my brain trying to figure out what I had done or said to lose her friendship. I could not come up with anything, yet I was still willing to apologize for it simply to have my friend back. But the only thing that had happened was that I bought my first house, got married the next month, and had a baby the following year. I was certain that could never have been the problem.

When she did decide to start calling again I was going through a very difficult time in my life. And wouldn’t you know it – we became the best of friends again. After my life got back to “normal”, our relationship became strained again. My good friend stopped inviting me to hang out with her and her “new friends”, became very distant towards me for no reason, and never really had anything good to say to me or about me.

Over the years I tried having conversations with her to let her know what I was noticing, but she denied it, yet it kept happening. I have so many similar stories about this so-called friend that it embarrasses me to admit how long it took me to really see it for what it was. I had been in a toxic relationship all this time and did not even know it.”

This absolutely sounds like a toxic relationship.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, here are some tips on how to release toxic relationships from your life and make room only for those that serve you best:

• Evaluate the relationship by asking, how do I feel when I am with this person? Are they supportive of me? Do they make me feel good when I am with them? If the answer is no, ask whether you contribute negatively to the relationship. If the answer is still no, follow my next steps.

• Ask yourself whether it is worth having a conversation with this person about how you are feeling. If you have tried to have the conservation before and never seem to get anywhere or things never really seem to change, it may not be worth having the conservation, as it will likely only cause you more headaches.

• Promptly end the relationship on your end. Remove them from your inner circle. Stop taking their phone calls, responding to text messages and absolutely do not allow yourself to be around them. When someone is no longer in your inner vortex they lose they ability to be toxic. Continuing to keep in contact only keeps the toxicity in your life and then you start to play a part in it.

Remember, toxic relationships do not have to be violent or turbulent to be toxic.

They can look friendly and still cause as much turmoil in your life.

All toxic relationships are worth losing.

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How To Break Free From Toxic Relationships

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