Interpersonal effectiveness skill “how to end unhealthy relationships.”

Up to this point, we have talked about ways to maintain healthy relationships.  It is also important to consider what we should do concerning the relationships we have in our lives that are not healthy.  Having unhealthy relationships can have negative effects on many aspects of our lives, including our sobriety.  In most cases, it will come to ending those unhealthy relationships in order to continue on our path to growth and continued sobriety.  Even considering the idea of ending these relationships can be very difficult.  In order to alleviate some of that burden, we will now look at important things to remember when we are considering an end to a relationship. 

  • Ending a relationship requires clear thinking and interpersonal finesse
  • Not all relationships can be handled the same way
  • Try not to make a decision about ending relationships when you are emotional
    • Strong negative emotions can lead to rash actions in interpersonal situations
  • Think through the reasons for ending a relationship before ending it
  • It makes sense to end destructive relationships
    • Destructive relationships are those that destroy aspects of yourself such as: your physical body, safety, self-esteem, sense of integrity, and your ability to find happiness or piece of mind
  • It makes sense to end relationships that seriously interfere with your quality of life
    • These types of relationships hinder your pursuit of goals that are important to you, your ability to enjoy life, your ability to do things you enjoy doing, your relationships with other people, or the welfare of other people you care about
  • Plan ahead when you do decide to end a relationship
    • Decide whether your going to end the relationship in writing, on the phone, or in person
    • Write a script ahead of time and practice what you are going to say
    • Troubleshoot for what could go wrong ahead of time and have a plan for how you will handle the issue
  • Be direct by incorporating some of the skills you learned:
    • DEAR MAN
      • Describe the relationship problems that have led to you ending the relationship
      • Express clearly how you feel about it
      • Assert that you now want to end the relationship
      • Reinforce by explaining to the person how ending the relationship will be beneficial for both of you
      • Stay Mindful- do not go to extremes
      • Appear confident- do not give in to appeals to stay in the relationship
      • Negotiate- be civil about future interactions if they are needed

Deciding to end unhealthy relationships can be difficult, but is extremely important in our quest to remain sober.  By effectively ending unhealthy relationships you can put more energy into maintaining healthy relationships, avoid the destructive characteristics that accompany unhealthy relationships, and improve your quality of life.  Today you can avoid the potential of possible relapse due to consequences related to unhealthy relationships!

(Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash)