Toxic relationships, and the perfect breakup

Acharya Prashant
19 min readOct 4, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Acharya Ji, I wanted to talk more about relationships. And I want to talk about toxic relationships. When is it and how is it, that a relationship turns toxic?

Acharya Prashant (AP): We have to go to the very beginning of the relationship. Most of the time, a relationship does not really (emphasizing on the word ‘turn’) turn toxic; it is toxic in its inception, in its genesis itself. It’s just that the toxicity remains hidden when things are rosy and pink. And when the situations change and things turn a little adverse, then the toxicity surfaces, and we feel as if the relationship has turned sour or toxic. It hasn’t. How are relationships founded in the first place? Tell me how does that happen.

Listener (L): It’s usually with someone you see more often. Usually what happens is if you’re in the same class, or in the same workplace with somebody, you get familiar with the person. You know, you see him or her around a lot, or he or she approaches you.

AP: So first thing is — somebody has to be in your sensual field, the field of the senses. And then why does one feel attracted to that particular object?

L: Because they fit a certain model that you like.

AP: More explicitly. More explicitly. How do most relationships take place?

L: You have a certain need, and you feel that the other person can fulfill it.

AP: It could be emotional, physical, sometimes even financial. What’s usually that need about? Why does a man feel attracted to a woman? Why does a woman go towards a man? What’s the nature of the need?

L: So they feel a certain lack may be that the other person can help them with; a certain insecurity.

AP: A certain lack, a certain insecurity, right? So that’s how the relationship begins in the first place. You lack something within, and to make up for it you’re going to the other person; you’re looking at the other person primarily in a utilitarian way. You want to use the other person.

If you really want to understand things, we’ll have to be blunt. You want to use the other person. It’s not very…