How to get out of a toxic relationship

Ashtyn Harter, Reporter

TW: emotional/physical abuse discussion


Not all relationships are as healthy as you might think. In fact, you could be in a toxic relationship and not even know it. 

Communication and psychology expert Dr. Lillian Glass coined the term “toxic people” in her 1995 book Toxic People. In her book, she defines the term as, “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” 

According to Psychology Today, there are many red flags that could possibly hint at an unhealthy relationship. The relationship might not even start out as toxic, but it can always get out of hand. Controlling behavior, making you feel insecure, manipulation, dependance, and abusive behavior are major red flags of being in a toxic relationship. 

After assessing the relationship and determining that it is unhealthy, it is time to take steps towards getting away. Trying to get out of a relationship can be very tricky, but worthwhile. There are steps on how to get out of a toxic relationship, according to Psychology Today. In order to not be alone, seeking help should be the first step. Reaching out and having friends and family can help give the support needed to make the decision. Next, it is very important to tell the person how they made you feel in the relationship. This conversation can become very heated and difficult to have. If this happens, do not argue back. Keep a level head and get your point across. 

Make sure that once the decision is made to cut the person out of your life, the decision is permanent. The toxic person will still try to rekindle the relationship, but do not let them. Things will not be any better the second or third time around. Do not intentionally interact with them, block them on social media, and try to avoid them as much as possible. 

Many people experience bad relationships throughout their lives. It could be a partner, a friend, or even a family member. It is an extremely mentally-taxing relationship, but it does eventually get better. It might not seem like it right away, but healing is a process. It takes time to move on from such a damaging experience. It takes a lot of courage to cut someone out and it is something to be proud of. The memories won’t exactly go away, but it is worth it in the end. There are many places to go if help is needed and there are people who will listen. Along with meeting with your school guidance counselor, there are several resources to reach out to: 


  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available for 24/7 guidance at 1-800-799-7233
  • Crisis Intervention (Harrisburg) (717) 232-7511 or 1- 888- 596-444
  • Crisis Intervention (York) (717) 851-5320 or 1-800-673-2496