Romantic and platonic relationships take work to maintain over the long haul. They get even harder to maintain when you have a relationship with someone who is difficult. They may be overbearing, controlling, or displays any number of other qualities that make it hard to maintain the relationship. If this sounds like you, keep reading for some tips on how to get that person to stop playing games with your head.
It’s not easy to escape the twisted dynamics of a mind game player who has you in the grips of their emotional control tactics. However, your first step in finding relief from toxic relationship dynamics such as this is to identify what’s happening in the first place. So, awareness is key. You might head over to your favorite psychology resource and get familiar with terms like “narcissist,” “gaslighting,” “boundaries” and other typical definitions so you can get a clear picture of what they do, why they do it, how you are not to blame, and ways to release yourself from this painful scenario.
Recognize the symptoms
The first step is to recognize that this is not your fault. The difficult person is the one who is causing problems because he or she has a poor sense of self-esteem. Perhaps a demeaning or disapproving parent is to blame for their feelings of inadequacy. Other possible insights into their bizarre and disturbing mindset could be addiction problems, including alcoholism, which unfortunately also is rooted in feelings of inadequacy.
How to detach
Once you determine that this is being created by them and not you, the next step is to emotionally detach. You must limit your conversations with said difficult person. Start paying attention to how often you tell the self-centered person details about yourself or your circumstance, that they will later use against you if it suits them advantageously to do so. Once you have clearly identified all the ways that you self sabotage by talking to them, make it a point to limit discussions to only fact-based topics that you simply cannot avoid. So for example, if the difficult person you’re trying to emotionally cut off from happens to be the father or mother of your child, then limit your interactions with them to only discuss topics that relate to the child’s whereabouts, feeding, care, and general safety.
Another way that you can emotionally separate from a difficult individual, perhaps with a long-term exit strategy in mind, is to fill your free time with enriching activities that speak to your own talents and the hobbies and pastimes that you enjoy. This is a wonderful way to build up your self-esteem while making the other person seem “smaller” and less significant on the whole. It’s time to shift the focus from THEM to YOU… YOUR happiness, success, and well-being. Finally, find ways to be social and surround yourself with loving, caring friends. If this person makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to come to terms with that. In doing so, you will realize that this relationship is not healthy for you. In the long run, you can work on setting the steps needed to end the relationship once and for all. It won’t be easy, but people end toxic relationships every day. You can do it! You have value. You are worth it, and you deserve love just as much as anybody.