The definition of “toxic” is highly subjective and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Toxic behaviours may start out as normal, but when they are repeated over and over again, they become negative and damaging to the relationship.
It is important to understand that abuse is extremely different from what we are discussing here. If your relationship puts you in a vulnerable position or in danger then please seek help from the right authorities as soon as possible.
Toxic relationships can be difficult to detect because you can’t always see what the person is doing. However, there are often warning signs that should be taken into account before you become too invested in the relationship.
1) Signs that you’re in a toxic relationship:
There are some signs to look out for when you know that your relationship is toxic. They can help you to find a way out of that relationship before it gets worse. That’s because the first thing you want to do when you figure out that you’re in a toxic relationship is to break up and run as far as physically possible from that ex-partner.
In fact, toxic relationships are notorious for being able to bring out the worst in people, like when they feel negative about themselves, because of how the other person treats them. They don’t provide anything positive nor offer any added value from being with that person, it only complicates your life, makes it miserable and makes you feel empty.
You might be in a toxic relationship; if your partner does not listen to your concerns nor show empathy for your feelings. They might also be overly critical of what you say or do, making it difficult for you to gain any ground with them.
What to look out for:
In fact, as a general rule, if your partner is ignoring you or making fun of your thoughts and feelings, they may be toxic. Additionally, if they make you feel like it’s your fault that things aren’t going well in the relationship, they may also be toxic.
If someone has a history of being negative towards others and doesn’t allow them to talk at all about anything positive, this could also be a sign that the relationship is toxic.
That’s because negativity will suck your soul out and drain you both emotionally and physically. If you feel consumed by negative thoughts or complaints about your partner who’s extremely hard to please then it may be time to stop and question your relationship.
In general, if you’re confused and cannot figure out whether your relationship is a toxic one or not then you should be very attentive to your feelings, thoughts, how happy you feel and your wants.
For instance, you will be able to notice constricting behaviour in a toxic relationship or with a controlling partner; that might make you feel anxious or uncomfortable like fear of being left out, fear of making mistakes, fear of being dismissed etc.
Other signs of being in a toxic relationship:
Many people experience toxic relationships without realizing what is going on. Here are some signs that you might be in a toxic relationship:
1) When your partner treats you like they don’t like or love you or as if you have to prove yourself continuously to them and on a daily basis to earn even a smile! Otherwise, they’ll be treating you and you’ll be left wondering what you do or how to fix it.
2) When they constantly put first their own needs and wants without worrying about yours.
3) Even if they do love and care about you, but are always on the verge of anger, violence or hostility. You may be living in constant fear that they’ll snap at you at any given moment. If your partner has anger management issues, it is not your fault and they should learn to manage their anger before they lose you and everyone around them.
4) If you stop feeling safe with them. In this case, then again this is almost an abusive relationship rather than just a toxic or unhealthy one that can still be fixed with enough work and will from both parties.
5) If there is a consistent lack of affection, love, and caring and you feel like you’re in a one-sided relationship all the time. By the way, one-sided relationships can be agreed on and don’t have to be toxic. They can only be so if they’re not agreed on or one of the partners is not being honest or doesn’t see what they got themselves into.
– You feel constantly anxious, nervous, ashamed or guilty about your relationship and its future.
– You question your partner’s thoughts about you and sometimes even their actions towards you.
– You feel like you can’t breathe, when in the company of your partner.
– You constantly second-guess and doubt yourself because your partner makes you feel unintelligent, forgetful, clumsy or just not good enough.
-Arguing about each other’s character, personalities your actions constantly.
-Not supporting each other’s goals, dreams, hobbies or interests.
-Feeling like you will never be good enough for them.
-Tension in the air all the time, whenever you’re with each other.
– If you have been acting defensive or blaming your partner for something that is out of their control, then you may be the one making the relationship toxic.
– If you have been feeling like your partner has been gaslighting you.
– If your partner has been treating you differently than they did before like they are trying to change you or your personality to satisfy themselves, but it is making things worse in the long run.
– If your partner has put limitations on what you can do or say or what kind of activities you can do outside of the relationship or when not with them.
Some common signs of a toxic relationship also include: constantly criticising one another; feeling like your partner has a superiority complex; being overly possessive with your partner; constantly checking up on one another’s whereabouts. This last sign also indicates that there may be a big lack of trust in the relationship.
2) Consequences of toxic relationships:
Toxic relationships can be so damaging that they can lead to mental and physical health problems. If a person is constantly being criticised, shamed, or censured they may start to doubt themselves and their capabilities. This could also lead to self-sabotage and disconnectedness from others.
The goal of relationships is not just about happiness. It’s about making sure that there is no harm coming from either party in the relationship. If you feel like there may be any type of harm coming from your partner or from you to them, take a step back and see what you can do to change it.
Unfortunately, we don’t know when a relationship becomes toxic. It can happen over time and without warning. That’s why it’s important to monitor how you feel throughout the different phases of the relationship and act accordingly.
Toxic relationships can be difficult to spot. One of the best ways to identify them is by using observable behaviours; like watching out for too much blaming, name-calling, or criticism. If you are experiencing these types of behaviours in your relationship and you don’t know how to deal with them, it may be time to break up or have a serious discussion with your partner about it.
A relationship that is toxic to one person will almost certainly be toxic to the other. This is not a one-way street, so it’s important for both partners in a toxic relationship to take responsibility for their own behaviour and start working on improving their relationship.