SO you’re in a relationship that is draining you in every way. You spend more time worrying about your relationship than you do enjoying it, yet still you can’t find the strength to just cut loose. Your story is not strange. In fact, you’d be surprised how many people are in relationships that are slowly draining them mentally, physically and emotionally, yet they remain in them.

There are people who are simply toxic in their relationships with others. These are people to be avoided.f you’re serious about being able to avoid, or getting out of a toxic relationship, you might find the following pointers useful.

Be honest with yourself about what you are seeing. Being in a relationship that you’re struggling to make work is sometimes like trying to squeeze toothpaste from an empty tube. You know it’s a humongous task to get the toothpaste out, but you’re so steadfast in your belief that somewhere inside that tube there’s some toothpaste, you keep squeezing the tube anyway. Relationships can be very exciting, but walk into love with your eyes wide open, and don’t see something that isn’t there simply because you so badly want it to work.

Establish boundaries in your relationships. We tell people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. If someone sees that you are willing to accept bad treatment, they have no reason to treat you well. In a relationship there are two imperfect people trying to somehow have a ‘perfect’ life, so things will not always be great. However, relationships must have boundaries and when you fail to impress upon your partner from early in the relationship what your boundaries are, you leave yourself open to anything he/she might feel like subjecting you to.

Know your worth and act like it. If you go around feeling that you are not worthy of good treatment, you don’t even need to open your mouth and say it, people will pick up that you have low self-esteem simply by looking at you. Your behaviour when you’re in the company of others, your entire demeanour, will give you away.

The longer you stay in a bad situation, the more difficult it becomes to break free. The sad truth is that many people refuse to see the signs of a bad relationship from early, so like the frog in the water which is slowly being heated around him, they allow themselves to become acclimatised to the mess. The longer you take to walk away from something unhealthy, the more adjusted you become to that negative situation. You can lose yourself so much in a toxic relationship that you forget what a normal relationship is supposed to feel like.

Pull back and assess where you are. If you find that you keep having the same type of relationships, the same kinds of people keep crossing your path, with the same kind of drama and stress, it is perhaps time to look inward. Step back and take a long, hard look at yourself. What is it about you that is attracting these kinds of people? For instance, people with low self-esteem often attract people who also have low self-esteem. If you’ve been in a string of toxic relationships, it is very possible that there is something about you that toxic people are attracted to. You need to identify and deal with it to break that cycle.