According to surveys conducted by ‘Today.com’ and ‘SELF.com’, it is estimated 84% of
women have had at least one toxic friend. Toxicity exists in countless forms: from the friend
being constantly critical and emotionally draining to being completely egotistical. It does not
solely manifest in friends and can be present in relationships, family members or even co-
workers. It is detrimental for one’s mental health to be exposed to this negative and
oppressive energy all-day. Yet even when this person is no longer in your present life,
moving on and letting go is difficult. Particularly when you have not been able to confront the
person on how they made you feel, these painful emotions continue to weigh on your
shoulders. They can often consume and dictate your happiness.
These following tips will help you to gain clarity over your thoughts so you can finally move
on and be at peace with your past.
1. Write a fake forgiveness letter.
How it works: write a letter addressed to the toxic individual where you release onto paper all
your unfiltered emotions of exactly how they made you feel. Once you have written
absolutely everything you want to confront them about (whether that be 1 or 10 pages), you
then need to write that you forgive them for everything that’s happened. This is not always
easy as often it is hard to see why they deserve to be forgiven when there’s simply no
explanation for their behaviour. It is also important to note that forgiveness does not mean
they are welcome back into your life again. Instead, it is accepting the past for what it was so
you can live in your present.
Now, the beauty of this letter is that you don’t send it (unless you’re feeling incredibly brave).
This letter is more for you to overcome the pain and power that this person has been holding
over you for too long. Once you have written it, it is up to you what you do with it. One idea
could be to rip it up and bin it as it symbolises that you are free of anything you once felt
towards the person. Still, this decision is entirely up to you.
Overall, this is a powerful tool that helps you come to terms with your past and to fully get
out any trapped emotions that have been swallowing you up.
2. Focus on yourself and others who make you feel good.
Particularly when this person has been a big part of your life, it is hard to imagine your days
without them. This is why it is even more important to fill up your time doing things you love
with people you love and not give yourself lots of time to think about them. Maybe meet
some friends for coffee or join a new society that you have wanted to be a part of, and
replace your sad thoughts with new, positive experiences that can boost your mood. It might
even be worth deleting them on social media to avoid having a constant reminder of them as
you take your time to heal.
3. Try and mean well for the person.
When this person has caused so many negative feelings, it might seem impossible to wish
the best for them. And that’s normal. However, to truly overcome your pain, try not to speak
and externalise any negative feelings towards them as this only gives them more power. If
the person made you feel low and worthless, what better way to free yourself of them by
doing the opposite! Even though you might want to scream at them and fight back, showing
integrity shows such strength.
The power of mindset is unmatched, so if you replace the feeling of hate towards them with
neutrality, then over time, this will replace the previous thoughts.
Hopefully, these three tricks can help to ease any silent suffering going on in your lives
because of someone. The critical thing to note from this process of letting go is that it takes
time. And that’s ok. Trust the process and above all, remember your worth and protect that
at all costs.