By Erin Botten
“Someone I know is getting themselves into a toxic situation. They love the people in it, but in my opinion, they’re getting manipulated. I love them, but I don’t know how to help them.”
It can be hard to watch this happen, especially to someone you care about. In the past, I’ve had friends visit dodgy men or stay with manipulative boyfriends. The best thing to do is be there when it ultimately goes wrong, as sad as it sounds. Reiterate that you’re there for them and that they can count on you.
The worst thing to do is get angry or irritated. They’ll simply push you away and then you have no way of helping them or checking that they’re ok. You’ve gotta bite the bullet and ignore the urge to hold them hostage until they see the light. Soz.
There are a few more ways you can help, however …
Firstly, try and work out why they’ve put themselves in that situation. Chances are they’re aware of the risks, but something deeper is preventing them from leaving. By understanding the circumstances, you’re more to be able to lead them away slowly.
Another method would be to be with them when they’re in that toxic situation. As you’re aware of the toxic behaviours and manipulation that’s unfolding, you’ll be able to point this out to your friend. This way, they won’t be able to say “You weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand!” You can also stand up for your friend against the perpetrator(s).
Finally, if all else fails, purchase a megaphone. Whenever you pass the toxic situation, blast the first 10 seconds of Britney Spears’ Toxic. Eventually, that friend will join the dots thanks to your appropriate song choice.
Need emergency assistance? Contact these organisations:
Samaritans: 116 123
UoM Nightline: 161 275 3983/4
Kisses, Aunt Angela x
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