10 steps to heal from a toxic relationship
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A toxic relationship is a relationship characterised by harmful, negative, and unhealthy dynamics between individuals. In such relationships, one or both parties may engage in behaviours that are emotionally, mentally or even physically damaging to the other person. This, counsellor David Anderson said, can include manipulation, control, disrespect, dishonesty, criticism, isolation, and more.

Could you be in a toxic relationship? Have you identified that you are, but don't know how to get out?

"Toxic relationships often drain emotional energy, lead to feelings of unhappiness, and hinder personal growth," Anderson said. "It's important to recognise the signs of a toxic relationship and take steps to address or exit such situations for your own well-being."

He lists these steps to help you heal from a toxic relationship:

Acknowledge your feelings

Recognise and accept your emotions about the relationship.

Create distance

Minimise contact with the toxic person to give yourself space to heal.

Seek support

Talk to friends, family, or a therapist who can provide emotional support.


Prioritise your physical and emotional well-being through exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques.


Consider what you've learned from the experience and how you can grow from it.

Set boundaries

Establish clear boundaries to protect yourself from future toxicity.

Let go

Release any resentment or anger and work towards forgiveness for your own peace of mind.

Engage in activities

Reconnect with hobbies and interests that bring you joy.

Focus on growth

Set new goals and aspirations for yourself to move forward positively.

Give it time

Healing takes time; be patient with yourself as you work through your feelings.

"Remember, seeking professional help is important if you're struggling to cope with the aftermath of a toxic relationship," Anderson cautioned.


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