I once had this brilliant insightful psychology professor, Dr. Karen Sherman. In one of our classes, Dr. Sherman shared the rationale of how someone actually decides to leave an abusive or toxic relationship. This really resonated with me so much so that I still remember this from more than 10 years ago, last time I’ve taken a class with Dr. Sherman. And it came to me recently; as I considered sharing with you how to know when it’s the appropriate time to distance yourself from toxic friends and family members.
“It’s when the Cost exceeds the Rewards, that’s when a person decides to leave a relationship.” Dr. Karen Sherman Click to Tweet!
So Empowering, right?! Read that statement again and let that resonate for you.
Basically, a person needs to be beyond their limit, when in an unhealthy type of relationship or toxic friendship or even family relationship, before they leave. Of course, the costs and rewards are going to look and feel different for each person.
So why the heck do we let it get this far? Well, because if we truly love and care about someone and/or deeply desire it to work out or be different, we don’t really want to leave that person or cut ties with that person. We rationalize with ourselves or even on a deep subconscious level, with the belief of this person coming around and changing.
We are resistant to seeing the truth for what it is. However, we can’t change the other person. We can support and encourage the other person and provide suggestions and guidance. Ultimately, if the person is resistant to change, then we are exhausting ourselves by trying to get this person to see it our way.
Another similar thing to work on is, learning how to be less emotionally attached to outcomes for the other person. So many times, I’ve seen myself want something more for the other person, than they want for themselves. When this happens, I need to take a step back and refocus my energy.
I can think of numerous friendships, and relationships, and even family, over the years, that I was holding on to, way beyond their time. Because maybe I didn’t know how to let go or even realize that I needed to let go. Though, holding on longer came at a very big expense of taking or challenging my spirit for life, my energy/motivation, my time, my goals/dreams, my focus, and my physical/mental/emotional health!
More recently, I found myself needing to distance myself from a long term friend who I believe had unreasonable expectations that I could no longer commit to, who was resistant to change or new approaches in life, and had needy energy, so I worried about her all the time. It was exhausting and it became too much for me to support. I just couldn’t support her any longer as a friend. Loved her dearly and wanted nothing more, but to see her happy. I may have even been too emotionally attached to her happiness, than she was for herself. It was just taking too much from me to continue on the same way. So I had to be true to my authentic self when I felt this inner conflict. I decided distance was the best decision for me and our friendship.
So today choose to Release What no Longer Serves You. Consider, if there may be people in your life taking more from you than you can support? Then really evaluate, if that’s still working for you.
Listen to what your inner self is telling you and then you’ll know exactly what you need to do. Let go of what is holding you back from truly Stepping into Your Greatness, your C&R Self!
It Comes Down to Making One of these Four Decisions:
1 – Redefining the expectations of the friendship or relationship.
2 – Creating new boundaries that make you feel at ease and in alignment with your authentic self.
3 – Distancing yourself from the person until you can decide what to do.
4 – Finding the courage to end the relationship or friendship and communicate it in the most kind, compassionate, non-dramatic, graceful way, as possible. This isn’t always so easy and may not go as perfectly as intended.
Keep in mind, perhaps you feel strongly about your decision with this relationship or friendship, but the other person doesn’t feel the same. It may come as shock and betrayal to the other person.
Know this. You are not responsible for the other person’s feelings or how they react. Resist the urge get involved in the negativity or drama that could come from the other person. It may bring up past hurt or fears for this person that has nothing to do with you.
Speak Your Truth coming from a kind, loving place, and know the rest will take care of itself. Namaste!
Thought Questions for Embracing Your C&R Self!
Have you ever been in a similar toxic friendship or unhealthy relationship situation? How did you overcome or approach this? What was the outcome?
Let us know about it by commenting below. By being authentic, open, and sharing your experience in a compassionate way, then we can learn from each other. So let’s start the conversation and support each other in Stepping into our Greatness.
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