How to Protect Yourself in a Toxic Relationship

Mamta Saha
3 min readAug 15, 2021


By Psychologist Mamta Saha

Every relationship moves out of the honeymoon phase and the longer a relationship lasts, the more ups and downs it goes through. While the ups and downs are a natural part of all relationships, if you feel more miserable and drained than happy after spending time with your partner or just being around them, it may be something else. Toxic relationships are another story, and it can be tricky to see the red flags and even trickier to find a way out of that space. These red flags are not exclusive to romantic relationships, they can also be found in platonic friendships and amongst family members, near and far.

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Pay attention to the faces and names of people that come to your mind

It can be deeply upsetting to be around these negative vibrations especially if you are a sensitive person and sometimes you may feel as if you have no way to escape them. Neuropsychologists have found that toxic relationships can shorten our life span. In this article, I hope to share what you can do to protect yourself in such situations. First and foremost, accepting the reality of a difficult relationship is the kindest action you can take for yourself. When you reflect on your current reality you will naturally open the door to your own compassion and wisdom.

Write down your experiences, including your honest feelings and thoughts

In toxic relationships, it is very common for the other person to blame you for everything that has or is going wrong in your life and theirs, remember this is not true. You are not responsible for their emotions. You never have been, and you never will be. Don’t take responsibility for their suffering; if you do, they will never get the chance to take responsibility for themselves and hold themselves accountable.

Imagine a separate bubble around them and around you. Repeat ‘I matter’

Another way to protect yourself and your mental well-being are to set clear and strong boundaries. Toxic people will push your boundaries and make you feel bad for having them. Know exactly what you will tolerate and what you won’t. You can’t please everyone, but toxic people will have you believe that you can’t please anyone — so you try harder, work harder, compromise more. It’s exhausting, and never worth it.

For a video on managing guilt when setting boundaries visit saha_mamta on IG

Make your mental health a priority. Manage your energy when supporting others and use your intuition as a guide. Know your strengths and think about what is in your power and control, it’s more than you may believe. Lastly, make sure that you surround yourself with people who give you the same love and respect as you give to others, your life depends on it.

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