Yes, and it's not always so black and white.
Sometimes it's about walking away from from people, relationships situations that are harmful or negative.
There's a lot of talk about "toxic people" at the moment. And yes, there are some people out there doing intentional harm to others who this could refer to.
*Please note, this blog is not about them. And it is not about victim blaming. *
Sometimes that's not always possible, or even desirable to completely cut someone or a situation completely out of our life. So, what do we do if we are not happy?
What becomes a little murky is how easy it is to label a person or relationship "toxic". I think we can all be a little toxic at times, sometimes completely unaware that our actions may be causing hurt to others. And we are all capable of being hurt. We are all capable of being selfish at times, we are all sometimes wrapped up in our own stories. We are human after all.
And yes, some relationships are not as healthy as others.
Sometimes it's about stepping back a little, and maybe cutting the cords on the *attachment* of how we respond to this people, relationships and situations.
Putting in more boundaries, or expectations.
Doing something about our own triggers, reactions, and choices we make around that. Not always easy. Sometimes we need support from others, or dig deeper into our own selves to figure things out, about what could help us feel more positive and at peace.
We all have to take responsibility for ourselves in relationships too. Not by blaming yourself or the other person but by choosing how you act from now on in (or out) of that relationship.
This is radical self care. Take your best action, for YOU. (and then often others benefit hugely from this too).
It may be that your action means another person gets a wake up call and makes changes themselves.
It may be that you start being more positive around them and that is echoed back to you, and the relationship improves.
It may be that you putting more boundaries in around what you do for a person, or how much time you spend with them, makes things clearer for them and they stop taking advantage.
It may be that you stop resenting them and feeling hard done by or any other emotions that have not been helpful, so others around you benefit from a happier you.
It may be that you are leading by example, taking important action for self care that rubs off on others, e.g. your children, friends etc.
It may be that a difficult conversation you decide to have, a) goes so much better than you could have imagined or b) perhaps was a difficult as you thought it may be, but you got through it anyway and feel empowered to stand up for yourself more moving forward.
It may be that you no longer tolerate certain behaviour from someone, thereby not only feeling happier in yourself but help them with other relationships they have too.
It may be that you decide the best thing is to completely end the relationship, and you find a new sense of happiness and freedom, making space for others - and/or other experiences - in your life.
It may be that you no longer find yourself exposed to upsetting/triggering conversations or situations, and you feel better all round.
It may be that you invest in support, from a therapist, coach or mentor, and find that there is so much more you can do for yourself and your self care and relationships that life becomes more exciting, energised and joyful.
This is something I have been working on a lot recently, especially during my time training in The Shift Method.
It's been super helpful. GIve me a shout if you'd like some info on how relationships can be improved with self care or coaching.