Do you want to know how to let go and move on from a toxic relationship? Let’s face it, we all want to know how to leave a toxic person, it could be a parent, partner, sibling or work colleague, and I get so many messages asking how to deal with a narcissistic mother in law, but sometimes the toxic person can be much harder spot, maybe it’s a best friend or your son or daughter, as your mind works overtime to deny the negative feelings that they cause. But regardless of who it is, and the relationship you have with them, there comes a time when we feel we have just had enough, and you realise that that you just cannot take anymore and you need to get them out of your life, or at least limit, or manage, the contact you have with them.
So today let’s talk about ‘how to let go and move on from a toxic relationship’.
It sounds an easy decision, especially if they aren’t family and there are no children, but moving on from a narcissist can be a difficult, very long and dawn out process as narcissists depend on the people they emotionally, financially, or psychologically drain. They need to constantly prove to themselves they are better, stronger, and smarter than everyone else so they always need someone to manipulate, and if you’re their easy target, it makes it really hard to get them out of you life. When faced with the possibility of rejection the narcissist will up their game, somehow managing to worm their way back into your life. They are a bit like a yo yo, no sooner have you got them as far away from you as possible, somehow they always manage to reel themselves back into your life.
Whatever distance you have managed to put between yourself and the narcissist, they have this unique ability to stay in your life emotionally, if not physically. They will leave you wondering what they are thinking and doing, and in extreme cases, have you questioning whether you have made the right decision, and if you will ever be able to get through the day without them dominating your thoughts.
But the simple fact that they are still on your mind means that the narcissist is still holding control, and as long as they have control, your defences are down and when in this weakened and more vulnerable state, you are open to the narcissist attack, which is exactly where they want you to be.
They will use every trick to get you back so be prepared. Narcissists are really convincing. When you are ready to leave, stick to your convictions and move on to a more positive future filled with real love.
Everybody deserves healthy relationships, where you aren’t being manipulated, so here are three rules to abide by if you want to move on from or leave a narcissist for good.
1. Go no contact
Once you walk away, be prepared for the narcissist to make every attempt to reach out for you in any way possible, so if the nature of the relationship allows you to walk away, once you have made the decision to cut all ties, then that’s exactly what you need to do. Block their mobile or cell number, get up preferences so all emails go to junk, and if you have any mutual friends, be aware that they probably won’t see or know the narcissist like you do, they are not the narcissist victim so you have 2 options. You either accept that they are the narcissists friend so just tell them you have moved on and need to cut all ties and no longer want to talk about the narcissist.
Make it very clear that you do not want to be part of any event, or conversation where they are included, and also make it clear that you don’t want any aspect of your life to be fed back to them. Or you walk away from all known associates completely, and spend time with people who have no connection or ties while building up a new and unrelated network. Whatever decision is right for you, it doesn’t mean ignoring them for a day or playing it cool for a week, you need to make a lifelong commitment to not engage and be strong enough to stick to it.
2. Go low-contact
It’s not always realistic to kick a narcissist out of your life, maybe it’s a family member, or a work colleague, or making it even more difficult, you have children or joint assets. When no contact isn’t possible, going Low contact means that they have a role within your life, but they aren’t a part of your life, meaning that you are not responsible for their thoughts and feelings, and therefore you are not under their control. Think of them like the person you’d call on to fix the plumbing, you have no option but to call them to resolve a certain issue, but they don’t have the ability to emotionally impact your life in anyway. They may be there in person, but the moment they are no longer in the room, they are no longer on your mind.
Just as we know there are boundaries when calling the plumber, you conversations will be kept on a very superficial level in order to get whatever needs to be done completed with the least amount of fuss and time, when going low contact with the narcissist, you need to have the same boundaries to protect your feelings. Be courteous, be polite, and most of all stand up tall and hold your head up high and ensure you don’t get yourself dragged into emotional topics or dawn in by their comments or looks, if you need to visualise the mother in law fixing the leaking shower then why not, you have to have them in your life, but you don’t have to have them in your mind.
3. Keep emotion out of it
Our emotions play havoc with our actions, so it is essential that you remain indifferent to whatever situations and conversations have gone in the past. The longer you churn over what has been, the more you will forget the real reasons that her led you to make the decisions you have made to move on. Watch any movie with a ‘baddie’ and at some stage there will be a moment where we actually feel sorry for them, that time when they tell the victim that they are sorry, and there are even movies out now where they tell the other side of the story, why the wicked witch was the wronged one, or why The Joker was himself a victim.
There will always be good times and happy memories, but if they filled the majority of your life you wouldn’t be feeling the way you do. So look back on the good times as proof that you are able to find more happiness again in the future, but look back on the painful times to remind yourself that ‘ not possible until you move on. It can be incredibly hard to keep emotion of it, but once the narcissist realises that their words and actions have no impact on you, they will most likely get bored and find a new target to manipulate.
See the narcissist as the electrical extension cable, and you are simply plugged int their energy source. As long as you are connected to them, they have power over you. The only way that you can find your own energy source is to disconnect completely, there are millions of other power sources that you can connect to, and ones that will hep you light up, rather than drain you.
On the surface narcissists can seem charming, intelligent, caring—knowing how to entice and lure their way back into your life. But once they reel you back then they revert to their egotistical selves. Their motto will always be “Me First!” Everything’s all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, crave admiration and attention. They can also be highly intuitive, but use their intuition for self-interest and manipulation.