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7 Steps to feeling better if you experience toxic relationships...

Do you find yourself in the company of people that make you feel uncomfortable? Do you have friends that make you unhappy with the way you are, how you look etc? Or family members that make you feel crazy guilty & completely bonkers?

Take a moment and pause…

If this is you, there are ways to manage how you feel about these people and the situations that you find yourself in. It can be hard when a family member makes demands of you and you feel as if you just have to say yes.

Let's break this down - if it is a friend then you may have to do some soul searching. At the end of the day friends are there to support you and to help you to build yourself up, not to push you into a corner. Look, if your mate is well meaning and it is not their intention then it's fine maybe you can stay friends. However, if this is not the case you might need to step away for a while. This does not mean ending the friendship forever, it just means you get to re-instate it when you are ready and on your terms. Then if/when you come back it's the same, you can re-distance yourself, if necessary.

Now if it's a family member, this is slightly different. We have all experienced times when we want to say no to family, but there is just no getting round it. They know all your buttons and they are going to press them, if you let them. This one is completely down to you and how strong you can be. No one can actually make us feel anything that we don't want to, or do what we don't want to either. Of course there are exceptions here, but that would mean that you are in unhealthy alliances - if this is the case you may need to seek outside help from a professional. However, if this is just the run of the mill family crazy then it's about boundaries.

In my article about power, I said that we all give our power away to some degree, because sometimes we say yes when we mean no. Now, with family any discontent that you may be feeling could be linked to this. If you are doing things that you don't want to, or family are saying things about you that you don't want them to, then you can make some changes within yourself that will help with this.

Family and friends that we've known a long time can draw conclusions about who they think we are based on our past behaviour. Assumptions such as ... she won't mind dropping us off she always does, he'll look after the kids afterall he never says no. Oh you won't be good a that, you were always quite bad at writing.

How to change this

Whatever is being said that is making you feel uncomfortable, upset or crazy guilty bonkers is down to you to change and not the other person. I know that this is hard and that you might think, why don't they change? Well, it's going to take a great deal more effort to change someone else than it will to change yourself. Plus you really won't have the time for it, because it'll probably take your whole life!!

So whatever it is, you need to change the way that you respond to it. You either speak up, let them off or walk away. Whichever one of these you choose you'll need to make peace with it. So if it's a relative you could just say, it's not me that's just how she is. I love her and I drop the need to give into this ... We can talk to friends, a good friend will usually be mortified if they realise they were making you feel off. Only you can know the choice that you will make, but it will have to originate from you and you will need to be in peace about this choice.

7 Steps that you can take

  • Speak up - you have no interest in the outcome here, you are not changing someone, you are seeing if there is way to move forward without the crazy.

  • Let them off - it's okay I make peace with this, I love being around them and I can live with it ( you need to be able to live with it and mean it, if you're still mad, you are not doing this step.)

  • Say no when you don't want to do something - do not feel guilty about this, you are entitled to do this.

  • Say yes and mean it.

  • Let go of anger, guilt and stay within your boundaries - always ask yourself and only yourself what you want. All decisions originate from you and only you.

  • If a friend or relative highlights something about you and it upsets you. This is a sign that you need to make peace with this part of yourself... So yup, next time your brother says: "you're so loud" - say "thank you"...

  • If all else fails create space between you and that person.

There is so much more to this, this is just the beginning and a taster. When it comes to our personal relationships we get tipped off balance and upset, because areas of us that we need to heal have been prodded. It's like someone pouring salt in a wound. Yet rather than letting the wound remain a wound, the methods above will start you on a track of healing. Only you, can make you feel better, it is not anyone else's job to actually do this.


  • Be brave.

  • Believe that you can change how you feel.

  • Take inspired action to heal what you've been feeling.

You’ll see results in no time, be results orientated, rather than trapped in the idea that others can make you feel bad. Remember you have every right to step away from people who are not good for you. However, if you want to keep them in your life, create the boundaries that will give you a better relationship with them.

Take responsibility and create boundaries, increase love, when you are strong you will be less bothered about hurts and slights, once really proficient you may find that the things that used to upset you no longer even register...

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