People who had to break free from toxic relationships often display these 8 unique strengths

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Breaking free from a toxic relationship is like climbing Everest barefoot. I know, because I’ve been there. 

You give it your best shot, you fight tooth and nail to make it work. But it just keeps getting worse.

Sometimes, it’s not so overt.

It’s like being trapped in quicksand; the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. It takes tremendous courage and willpower to leave. 

But I guess there’s some truth to the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Because that’s exactly what happens to people who’ve managed to leave their toxic relationships – they develop certain unique strengths. 

In this article, we’ll explore these 8 strengths that people who’ve broken free from toxic relationships often display. Brace yourself for some serious inspiration.

1) They become emotionally resilient

Going through a toxic relationship can feel like surviving a storm. And when you’ve weathered such a storm, you tend to develop a certain emotional resilience.

It’s like building emotional muscles, really. When you’ve dealt with the worst, the everyday ups and downs don’t seem as daunting anymore.

You’ve faced your fears, experienced deep pain, and yet, here you are – standing tall and strong.

That’s emotional resilience. It’s about bouncing back from adversity, not letting your past control your present or dictate your future.

People who have broken free from toxic relationships often display this strength. They have been through the fire and emerged tempered, more resilient than ever.

This doesn’t mean they’re immune to pain or suffering. But they know they can handle it. Because they already have.

2) They have a deep sense of self-awareness

Escaping a toxic relationship forced me to confront the person in the mirror.

In the quiet aftermath, I was left with one person to face: me. This confrontation wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.

I had to ask myself tough questions. Why did I let myself be treated that way? What part did I play in the toxicity? How can I ensure it never happens again?

I had to take a hard look at my boundaries, or rather, the lack of them. I realized that I had been neglecting my own needs and wants for the sake of maintaining peace.

This is quite common in people who’ve managed to break free from toxic relationships. Reflecting on their experiences have led them to develop a deep sense of self-awareness.

Now, I’m more attuned to my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. I understand my triggers, what makes me happy, and what drains me.

I can’t say the process was comfortable, but it was undoubtedly transformative. 

3) They’ve learned to trust themselves again

People in the thick of a toxic relationship often find themselves questioning their own perceptions and feelings. It’s like living in a constant state of doubt and confusion.

I remember this one instance when my ex-partner had made a hurtful comment and later denied ever saying it. I was convinced I had heard it wrong or maybe even imagined it. It was a classic case of gaslighting.

But since breaking free, I’ve been on a journey of rebuilding trust in myself.

I started small, by trusting my choices in everyday situations – what to wear, what to eat, how to spend my free time. Gradually, I moved on to more significant decisions – where to live, what job to take, who to let into my life.

Today, I trust my instincts and judgments more than ever before. I know that if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

This renewed self-trust is another strength that people like me often develop after escaping a toxic relationship. We learn to trust our intuition again – because we know it’s one of our greatest allies.

4) They’ve discovered the power of self-love

Being in a toxic relationship often means having to constantly prove your worth to your partner. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in self-esteem and self-love.

But once free from this negative cycle, a beautiful transformation occurs. We learn to love ourselves again.

Since leaving my toxic relationship, I’ve made self-love a priority. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Taking care of my physical health through exercise and healthy eating, nurturing my mental well-being with meditation and self-reflection, celebrating my achievements, big or small – these are now non-negotiables for me.

This newfound self-love isn’t just about vanity or selfishness. It’s about acknowledging my worth and treating myself with the same kindness and respect that I give to others.

It’s another unique strength that people who break free from toxic relationships often cultivate. Because we know that loving ourselves is the first step towards creating healthier relationships in the future.

5) They’ve developed a healthier relationship with solitude

In the midst of a toxic relationship, being alone can seem terrifying.

You become so entangled in the relationship that without it, you feel like a ship lost at sea.

But once you break free, you’ll find that solitude isn’t the monster you’ve made it out to be. 

In fact, for me, it was during these quiet moments of solitude that I found myself again.

I began to enjoy my own company. Solitude became a time for self-reflection, restoration, and growth.

It became a time to reconnect with my interests and passions that had been neglected during the toxic relationship.

This shift in perspective towards solitude is another strength that often develops in those who’ve broken free from toxic relationships.

It’s not about being isolated or lonely. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and enjoying your own company.

Learning to appreciate solitude means you’re no longer dependent on someone else for your happiness. You become self-sufficient and confident, ready to face whatever life throws at you – alone if need be.

6) They’ve fostered a strong sense of empathy

Walking away from a toxic relationship is a painful journey. But it’s a journey that can open your eyes and heart to the struggles of others.

I’ve found that my experience has made me more empathetic. I understand the pain, the confusion, the self-doubt that comes with being in a toxic relationship.

And because I understand, I’m better able to offer support and comfort to others who are going through similar situations.

Empathy is not about feeling sorry for someone. It’s about understanding their feelings and perspective, even if it’s different from yours.

This ability to empathize is another strength often seen in those who’ve had to break free from toxic relationships.

It transforms us into compassionate listeners and supportive friends, who can provide comfort and encouragement when others need it the most.

We learn that our pain can be channeled into something positive, into understanding and helping others. And in doing so, we heal a little more each day.

7) They’ve embraced the art of setting boundaries

In a toxic relationship, boundaries often become blurred or non-existent. You find yourself constantly compromising your needs and values to keep the peace.

But breaking free from that toxicity will teach you a valuable lesson: the importance of setting and respecting boundaries.

That’s how it was for me and others like me who’ve moved on from all that toxicity. 

I learned to define what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior for me. I learned to say no without feeling guilty. I learned that my needs and feelings were just as important as anyone else’s.

Boundaries are not walls meant to shut people out. They are guidelines for how we want to be treated.

By setting boundaries, we teach others how to respect us. And in doing so, we create healthier relationships with ourselves and with others.

I may have learned this lesson the hard way, but it’s one that has made me stronger and more self-assured than ever before.

8) They’ve learned the value of self-forgiveness

One of the toughest things I had to deal with after leaving a toxic relationship was forgiving myself. I blamed myself for staying too long, for ignoring the red flags, for letting myself get hurt.

But with time, I’ve come to realize that self-blame and regret only serve to keep us stuck in the past.

I’ve learned that self-forgiveness is essential for healing. It’s about acknowledging that we did the best we could with what we knew at the time. It’s about understanding that we are human and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

This act of self-forgiveness is perhaps one of the most critical strengths that people like me often develop after breaking free from toxic relationships.

It allows us to let go of the past, to learn from our experiences, and move forward with greater wisdom and compassion towards ourselves.

Self-forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the hurt caused. It means choosing to focus on our growth, our future, and our well-being above all else.

It’s a journey, often a long one. But it’s a journey worth taking because on the other side lies peace, acceptance, and a newfound strength that no one can ever take away from us.

The final reflection

If you’ve found yourself nodding along to these points, recognizing these strengths in yourself, take a moment to appreciate your journey. 

Breaking free from a toxic relationship is no easy feat, and the fact that you’re standing here today, stronger and wiser, is a testament to your resilience.

While the path you’ve walked might have been fraught with pain and challenges, look at the incredible strengths you’ve cultivated along the way. 

Remember to honor these strengths, even on days when they seem to fade into the background. Keep nurturing them. Keep growing.

You’re not defined by the toxic relationship you left behind, but by the strong, resilient individual you’ve become. And that’s something truly worth celebrating.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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