Toxic relationships can literally drain the life right out of you. They make it hard to eat, sleep, or even think clearly at times. As someone who gives people way too many chances, I know all too well how toxic relationships can destroy you.
They come in all forms- romantic, family, friendships, even work relationships. You give someone an inch and they take a mile, and they’ll keep taking until the relationship no longer serves them. Then, you’re left picking up the pieces.
I’m learning to unfollow the toxic. Ending a relationship isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. Unfollowing has many parts to it. You unfollow someone on social media. You block their number. You may cut off friendships with mutual friends as well, simply so you don’t risk getting dragged back into a toxic situation again.
If someone or something is threatening your mental or physical health, unfollowing is even more important. You have to put yourself first- especially after a divorce or breakup when you’re already feeling overwhelmed with all of the changes in your life.
Some may say that unfollowing is giving up. The ones who say that are only upset because they can no longer use you. If someone really and truly cares about you, they will understand why you need to walk away. They’ll want you to do what’s best for you, even if it means letting them go. Anyone who gets angry that you unfollowed them is just selfish.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes doing what’s best for you means disappointing other people. You still need to do it.
Think about if the roles were reversed. If you knew that by being in someone’s life you were causing them emotional turmoil or physical pain, would you want them to continue to stay in contact with you, or would you want them to put themselves first and walk away?
If the answer to that question is that you’d want them to put themselves first, then you’re not toxic. Toxic people don’t care if they’re hurting someone else, as long as their needs and wants are being met.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to unfollow everyone completely. If your ex or a close family member is toxic, you may still need to see them regularly. You can, however, do some things to protect yourself.
You can limit your contact with that person. You can set boundaries and stand up for yourself. Once that person realizes they can no longer use you, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere.
Unfollowing the toxic takes courage. There will be days when you’ll doubt yourself and you’ll want to give in and go back to what you know. Remind yourself that it’s okay to put yourself first if something or someone is hurting you.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so you have to let go of the things that are draining your cup in order to have enough to give to the things that really matter- your children, your job, the people that don’t make you feel like you’re being used.
Once you finally break free from the toxic, you’ll be so glad that you did. There are so many wonderful things out there waiting for you that will heal the wounds caused by the toxic people that you finally unfollowed.