We’ve all had a toxic relationship at one time or another. Often, they will end on their own, slowly petering out into oblivion, where they can be forgotten. Other times, we need to be active in ending the bad relationship because it just won’t seem to end on it’s own.

We’ve all had a friendship that started out strong, and was seemingly perfect only to realize over time that the relationship was not on your terms. The friend might have only reached out to you when she needed support, but was no where to be found when you needed a shoulder to lean on.

Maybe you have a toxic relationship with a family member. Someone who is always blaming, breaking promises, stealing or otherwise being impossible to maintain a relationship with.

No matter what kind of relationship, ending it can be difficult. In fact, it might be so challenging to end that instead of ending it we simply put up with it.

Ending a toxic relationship is scary, and stressful, but maintaining a toxic relationship isn’t good for either party. Sometimes it’s best to end things rather than go on pretending that everything is okay when it is not.

Of course, there are some relationships that are toxic, but that must be managed rather than ended – a work relationship is a good example of this. You must work together on projects for your job, you can’t simply end your relationship. However, you can adjust how much havoc you’re willing to let them cause.

If you’ve found yourself in a toxic relationship and you would like to end it, there are several things you can do to make it easier for both of you.

Ending Toxic Relationships

Identify – The first thing to do is identify that you are in a bad relationship. Do you feel better or worse after spending time with this person. If the answer is consistently a “yes” then it’s time to end things.

Stop Making Excuses – It’s not your job to explain your friend’s behavior. Don’t fall into this trap of justifying or making excuses for why they hurt you. It’s not your fault, but it is your fault if you continue to let them hurt you. Move on.

To Tell or Not – It would be nice for the friendship to simply go away, but for many that won’t happen. You can choose to ghost your toxic friend by not returning calls, texts of emails, but that’s probably going to be difficult for some people. Direct and to the point will be quicker and in the long run, less painful. You don’t need to go into detail about why you want to end the relationship, but letting them know you don’t want to continue the relationship will help everyone move on faster. Of course, only you can know which method will work best.

Move On – Once you’re left a toxic relationship, it’s important to remain out of the relationship. It’s also important not to fill the hole with another toxic friendship. If you find you have many of these kinds of relationships, it might be worthwhile to explore some of that with a professional therapist or counselor.