This is actually one of the most important and life-changing skills to learn over the course of your relationship. It's one of those cruel things that you can't be told or taught. You just have to experience it yourself and learn.
Everyone everywhere in all walks of life is told to settle. It comes hand in hand with the refrain we internalize that we're not good enough.
That someone will always be better or have it easier, or the grass will always be greener elsewhere. Somewhere not in the present, not us.
In reality, we have to give ourselves more credit and relearn so much. Namely, that we are worth far more than we have been taught. We are strong, powerful, independent, successful, and complex individuals.
There are no two ways about it, and eventually, we all have to learn that lesson
Therefore, it serves to reason that we can grow into new people, and in turn, out of others.
We used the toxic relationships to cling to kernels of love and attention for – who we turned to for validation and acceptance. They're gone.
We're better than that now. We've learned enough about our marvelous selves to know that we are worth more than someone's lapdog. Their 'yes man.'
It keeps us in the shadows and that's not where we belong
You know, those friendships where the other person seemed to live an effortlessly cool, healthy, productive life that you could never keep up with. They represented all that you never could be, so you idolized them.
Essentially, they recognized this and molded you – consciously or otherwise – in their image. It took a bit of distance and stepping back to realize this, but you lost a part of your own identity here.
Absorbing another personality, living a life that was not your own. These people will never love you and they are trying to hold you down to their level. They can't let you leave but won't love you as you deserve.
It's a lose-lose situation, but once you recognize this dynamic, it's so much easier to get out and forge healthier connections. The thing that's most important to recognize is that these often aren't in romantic relationships.
You will find that it's platonic friends who you fall most foul of this trick with
While you may laugh at your other friends who morph into their significant others, suddenly dressing like them and adopting all their interests, make sure you aren't doing the same thing with your own best friend.
It sneaks up on you and trust me when I say it's a bitter pill to swallow. But swallow you must if you want to move on from people who can't love you, won't, or just choose not to. Outgrowing them is the best thing for you to do, and don't look back.
You won't make the same mistakes again or sell yourself short like that. You know how much you have to offer the world, so keeping it all locked up for the sake of preserving someone else's fragile ego is a non-starter.
Life's too short to live someone else's. Don't waste your valuable emotions or time on a person who doesn't care.
It's like sending them straight into a void or the drain
You aren't getting any feedback or response in return, so let yourself outgrow them. If they don't appreciate you, it's truly their loss. You don't need to keep yourself there.
If you realize you don't know anything about them, or they just use you as an emotional punching bag or a rant-wall, how does that serve you? It doesn't.
Stop, step away, and don't look back.
The perspective you gain from outgrowing them is a valuable one that you won't lose again.