Perfection is an illusion, especially in relationships. Still people try to achieve the best balance possible. That takes not just constant effort to do the right thing, but also to avoid things that can harm a relationship in the long run. So, if you are in search of ways to avoid toxic relationships and maintain healthy relationships – be it with your parents, siblings, friends or partner, let us share some tips from a mental health expert.
Psychologist and mental health coach Dr Lalitaa Suglani shared a very interesting Instagram post regarding this. She highlighted the things one needs to stop doing knowingly or unknowingly for healthy relationships. According to Harvard Health Publishing, people who has successful and fulfilling relationships are happier, have lesser health problems and increased longevity.
The way you approach a relationship may be driven by your past experiences in many ways. It will also be steered by how your bonds evolve with time, and the effort that the other person is willing to put in to make things work.
Tips to avoid toxic relationships
Having strong emotional boundaries is one of the first steps you need to take to avoid toxic relationships. Be aware of how you feel and how others make you feel in a given situation.
Dr Lalitaa Suglani suggests the following to maintain healthy relationships:
1. STOP being silent about things that hurt you
Silence is the biggest revenge, goes the saying. But revenge is not the healthiest way to deal with relationships. It will only make toxic relationships worse for you. Sometimes, people avoid conflict by staying silent and hope things may just get better. Sometimes, people even excuse unhealthy behaviour because of their own feelings towards the other person. But “dishonouring your own boundaries to keep the peace” is not the way to deal with toxic relationships, says Dr Suglani.
Not speaking up against injustice or something you may not agree with, will lead to accumulated emotions and the bubble will burst some day. Before that happens, break the silence and express what you feel. A healthy relationship is all about having the freedom to share your heart and mind.
2. STOP refusing to let go
When a relationship seems to be going downhill or you notice signs of a toxic relationship, stop being scared about letting go. At any point, if you feel stifled about not being treated right continuously, take a step back and let the person loose. When we refuse to let go because we are fearful of what may happen next, it may really be unhealthy for a relationship.
Your bonds with your loved ones should be about love, not fear. They should be comforting, and not disturbing. So, avoid having toxic energy in your life and let go when you need to.
3. STOP expecting people to read your mind
Expectations are the root of suffering, they say. And you bet, they say it right. It’s not even about expecting gifts, trips or outings. You may hamper your chances at healthy relationships the moment you start expecting people to know what’s on your mind. When you expect something, but get something else – or worse, nothing – in return, that keeps building the foundation of a toxic relationship. It’s just simpler to express what you expect. Exercise healthy communication for healthy relationships.
4. STOP being too busy for your relationships
We may not realise it, but the moment we start being ‘too busy’ to make and spend time together with people, the more the distance keeps growing. Stop doing this, suggests Dr Suglani. Time is the biggest gift you can give to your relationships. Not speaking enough to people or not hearing them enough will only build thicker walls. So, make time and put in the extra effort if your calendar is busy. People who genuinely care will always cherish it!
5. STOP trying to get ‘even’
Relationships are about emotions. We understand that anger is as natural an emotion as love and passion, but bonds are not about trying to get ‘even’ with anyone. Sometimes, when you react to a situation in an angry manner, you can scar them emotionally. The side effects of anger in a relationship are many. Even if you are trying to deal with a toxic situation, it is best to calm down first. Anger will only exacerbate matters and will take you further away from your dream of a healthy relationships and push you towards toxic relationships.