Having a friend in a toxic relationship can be very hard to watch because you care for this person and you hate to see them upset. While it may be easy to project your own values, thoughts, and feelings onto him or her, it’s important to let them know you’re only trying to be supportive and loving in your friendship. Below are some helpful tips that can guide you in helping a friend who may be in a toxic relationship.
You don’t want to come off too harsh. According to Elite Daily, Saying something like, “I know this isn’t my place, but I really care about you and worry that you seem unhappy in this relationship,” is going to be a lot more productive than, “I really hate your partner and think you need to leave him.” This will allow your friend to let down some of her defenses when it comes to her relationship. Because your friend may already be exhibiting some internal anxiety around the relationship, you want to watch coming off too harsh—it may come off as overbearing.
Express your general concern about the relationship, instead. It is then extremely important for you to let them know that you are a safe confidential person to go to should then need to tell you anything. Let them know that you are a haven that will allow them to gradually open up to you more and more over time. You should never force your friend to give you answers right off the bat. Just let them know you are always there for them, and the door is wide open should they need to talk to you about anything.
You then want to realize and accept the fact that although you may be expressing a concern, they may see it as a threat and try to shut you down. Ultimately, you want to give your friend the best advice. But at the same time, you don’t want it so to seem as though you’re overstepping any boundaries. Be there as a support system as much as you can and let he or she know that you are there for them always.