ending a toxic relationship
Life,  relationships

How to deal with being the bad guy in a toxic relationship.

I love Apple’s Christmas campaign. Actually, I still remember last year’s commercial featuring Sam Smith’s song Palace. 

I even remember the opening lyrics:

My head is filled with ruins

Most of them are build with you.

I know, not the happiest song on earth but still a beautiful story about coming to terms with someone in peace. 

Emphasis on the word peace. I love that idea. 

Well, probably because I don’t think this ever happened to me.

To me, there’s always been something very nasty and scary about ending a relationship.

I think this has a lot to do with two things that I still find difficult to deal with. 

The first one is that I absolutely hate confronting people.

I hate having to say unkind things, and hearing them, too. Besides, I rarely see the point in explaining why I believe the other person is doing me wrong. 9 times out of 10, they make me feel like I’m being paranoid. And also, I loathe all the drama it usually brings along. 

The second thing is a direct consequence of the first one.

I wait way too long. 

They are many layers to the why’s and how’s to end a toxic relationship. Yet, the part that really interests me is how you eventually end-up being the bad guy for someone, especially if you’re the one who initiated the break-up.

They say there’s always two sides of a story.

And so, chances are I’m very likely the bad guy in someone’s side of the story. And if you’ve ever been involved in a feud of some sort, well, you probably are, too. 

But is it really the truth?

Breaking ties is both hard for the truth we speak and the one we have to hear. But you need to remember that people usually see things from their point of view, especially when someone’s putting the blame on them.

Though when all has been said and done, the story should end there. Right?

Not really. The grudge usually sticks around for a while. Besides, if common friends are caught in the midst of it all or if you live in a small town and are bound to bump into each other again, things might only get uglier. 

But one way to deal with it is quite simple and pretty straightforward.

You don’t.

I’m not talking about keeping a low-profile like you’re ashamed of something, I’m saying that you voluntarily cut yourself from the drama. Don’t indulge in it anymore. Don’t put yourself in a position that will bring you more pain and discomfort than joy. 

I was reading The 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss the other day and one thing he said particularly caught my attention for the same reason most things catch our attention: it brought me back down (painful) memory lane. The kind of souvenir you wish you could bury deep down just because simply glancing at them reminds you of the trauma.

It was a question was based on economist Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20 formula: 

Who are the 20% of people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward, and which 20% cause 80% of your depression, anger, and second-guessing?

To be honest, I wished I had been introduced to the concept sooner. Yet, a part of me knows really well that I wasn’t ready to take the necessary steps to cut myself off of the relationship. I wasn’t emotionally strong enough to deal with the amount of stress and drama (here’s that word again) that came with the break-up.

Besides, I didn’t want to find myself all alone and to break from the comfort of my routine of knowing my way around. 

I couldn’t possibly break free into the unknown. 

But sometimes, reevaluating your relationships can be the key to freeing yourself out of the jail that has become your life. 

So in the end, and after multiple painful experiences, I don’t really care if I am the bad guy in someone’s side of the story. Nothing can compare to the benefits of not being involved in a soul-sucking relationship anymore. And if being the asshole is the price I have to pay, then be it.

Now, I’d like to feel less lonely on my side of the story and I’d love to know about your break-up.

How long did it take you to step away from a toxic relationship and how did you do it?

Let me know in the comments below.

And until next week, and as always, take great care of yourself.



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