You can use this formula to solving any problem, it does not only concern toxic relationships. Suppose that your partner abuses you verbally, name calling, putting down. You are fed up, but not ready to leave yet.
1. Change Your Language About the Problem From Negative to Positive
Instead of using the word problem, use the word situation, or challenge. Some people also call it an opportunity. Anthony Robbins in his book Awaken the Giant Within” has put a long list of emotional states which can be neutralized with more positive statements. For example “angry” can be “little disappointed”. I myself am writing a book which should be published in June.
The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty. If you want to change something in your relationship, confrontation will be necessary. In this case you need a lot of self-confidence.
2. Define the Situation or Problem Clearly
Do it in writing. What exactly is the challenge you are facing? What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? It may be painful to admit how bad you are treated by your partner. However, if you want to solve the problem, you need to know where you are. This approach will also help you to prepare successful arguments if you need to start a serious talk with your partner
3. Use Critical Thinking to Approach the Problem From Several Different Directions
Ask, “What else is the problem?” Don’t be satisfied with a superficial answer. Toxic behaviour is not only about name calling. Behind this, there is the need to control you by your partner. What can you do about that?
Look for the root cause of the problem rather than get sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions. Brainstorm different solutions. Remember that there are likely multiple solutions to the same problem, not just one.
4. Clearly Define the Ideal Solution to the Problem
Do it in writing again. Describe the solution answering the questions: What exactly must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like?
For example, if your partner abuses you verbally, he should apologize any time it may happen – and stop treating you this way. Then you need to watch his behaviour and define what to do if he does not change.
5. List the solutions
Brainstorm the possible solutions. Brian Tracy suggests 20 solutions, not less. Take a notebook and list all the solutions that come to your mind. For example, if you want to confront your abusive partner, list how you could do it -face-to-face, by writing a letter, calling him etc. The first ideas will come easily, but you need 20. The last ones will be the most valuable.
6. Pick the Best Solution to Solve Your Challenge
Now think a bit. Which solution is the best compared to other options? Choose 3 of the list and do a cost-benefit analysis – write down all advantages and disadvantages of applying each solution. Then choose the best option. This will help you to end the story of toxic relationships. Read more.
7. Prepare For the Worst Possible Outcome and How to Overcome it.
Before you implement the decision, ask, “What’s the worst possible thing that can happen if this decision doesn’t work?”. In case of confronting your abusive partner you might be beaten, kicked out from the house on the street or left alone, without means to survive. These are just few examples, but you can find more scenarios. Write down what action you will take in case the worst may happen. Be prepared. Then you will be more confident applying the solution that you have chosen.
8 Measure Your Progress
Set measures on your decision. How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success? In case of verbal abuse you can monitor if the frequency of abusive incidents decreases. In this way, you can make the decision to conduct another serious talk, this time with an ultimatum.
You can also measure the progress of your assertiveness – how many times you were able to defend your boundaries and when you failed. The same applies to your reaction – have you taken the name calling personally or ignored it? Read more.
9. Take Complete Responsibility for Your Decision
Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. No excuses, blaming or giving out. You make the decision to apply the solution and you will bear all the consequences. Otherwise you will never solve the problem of toxic relationships and awaken to happiness again.
10. Set a Deadline for When Things Should Be Solved
A decision without a deadline is a meaningless discussion. Otherwise you will procrastinate. I know, you may be afraid of confronting your partner,because it is also painful and causes discomfort. If it is a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting.
With the deadlines and sub-deadlines, you will know immediately if you are on track or if you are falling behind. Together with measuring your progress, this tool will help you to implement your solution.
11. Take action and Solve Your Problem!
Get busy. Develop a sense of urgency. Imagine how painful it is to be name-called. Eat the frog. While solving the problem, you will find more ideas and creative options. You will learn, become stronger. So take the massive action right now. Good luck.
You can solve any problem, overcome any obstacle or achieve any goal that you can set for yourself by using your wonderful creative mind. Then take action consistently and persistently until you achieve your goal. Success and happiness is a mark of a creative thinker, and when you use your ability to think creatively, your success can be unlimited. Read more.
You will find the rest of the tips in my next article so stay tuned and check my blog next week.
Author: Victoria Herocten Writer and coach.
Since 2009 she helps women with abuse to start over and how to be happy .
The co-author of the bestseller“Gratitude Book”.