While our signs to know whether you are in a toxic relationship are in the context of a romantic relationship, these toxic behaviors are the same for any relationship.
Realizing that you are in a toxic relationship, may creep up on you without even realizing how it happened. You most certainly will have good days together but when you are manipulated, you may not see the big picture as clearly.
Our goal is to help you recognize the behaviors early on, so that you can limit your exposure and move on.
We all have arguments, that is normal and NOT what we are talking about. But if you are repeatedly seeing these damaging behaviors, you need to leave and find a relationship that is healthy.
It is better to remove them from your life than it is to be in a harmful, toxic relationship. It will affect your physical and mental health in a very negative way.
Toxic relationship signs & behaviors
Actions don’t match their words
The all important “actions speak louder than words” and watch what they do, not what they say. These are all common phrases for the reason that they are very important.
If they say they love you but treat you badly, that shows you how they really feel. Also if they say they want to see you, but don’t make the time to fit you in, then pay attention to those actions.
If they seem “hot & cold.” Meaning sometimes they act like as if you are a couple and other times seem distant.
This shows that they are uncertain about what they want and what your place in their life. Its not your job to hang on while someone else decides if you are worth the effort.
You are definitely worth the effort, so if they don’t show you, let them go and find someone that is more worthy of you.
They drain your energy
Their often negative outlook is difficult to be around.
Sometimes you find yourself trying to make their life easier by cheering them up, which is very draining.
We cannot make someone positive or happy when their general outlook is often irritation or being agitated.
If you find that often your mood changes negatively or you become physically uncomfortable around your partner, recognize these red flags and because you need to change your situation.
Are often angry
They may talk with hostility more often than not. You find yourself walking on eggshells, so you are careful not to say anything that can set them off.
With this type of person there is always some type of drama. Drama surrounds them maybe at work but often with their interactions with others.
Selfish/ Narcissistic behaviors
They don’t often think about your needs but rather about their own. Empathy is something that they are lacking and they find it difficult to see how their actions affect others.
They tend to look at situations by how it affects them. Seeing things from anyone else’s perspective is very hard for them.
When they need or want something from you, they tend to act much nicer and more loving towards you. They take much more than they give and are very high maintenance.
They are selfish and focused on their own needs. This is a very difficult person to be around for any amount of time and definitely hard to be in a relationship with this type of personality.
You compromise on your deal breakers
You may find yourself compromising on things that you always felt were your deal breakers.
Maybe you thought that you were exclusive but found out that they were seeing other people. Somehow they talk you into this being fine, although you are very uncomfortable with it.
Maybe they are less than honest with you, but you think it was just a “one off.”
If you are uncomfortable with anything in the relationship, you are always justified in feeling the way you do
Never let anyone tell you “you shouldn’t feel that way.” Just because someone else is fine with something, in no way should that matter to how you feel about something.
When you give in to what you ” know you want in your life,” you lose a little bit of your soul.
They have something to say about what you do and who you see. You may get some digs about coworkers when they are the opposite sex.
You may have to try to convince them that you are not going to leave them, more often than you should ever have to say it. This may sound like they care, but really it is just about control.
If someone is jealous of you spending time with anyone else except them, that means that THEY are the problem.
It’s not uncommon for them to try to add wedges between you and anyone else important in your life.
Do not fall for this!
You will NEVER be able to convince them that they have nothing to worry about. They do not love you, because they really don’t know what love is, they only want to control you.
Respect is one of the most important things in a healthy relationship. Being disrespected will erode your relationship very quickly. Many of these toxic behaviors listed tie into being disrespectful.
If you have arguments that are regularly littered with name calling, this shows disrespect.
Criticizing your partner in public is disrespectful. Putting them down and making them feel inferior is disrespectful. Belittling them and making them feel “not good enough” is disrespectful and so very wrong.
This applies to them treating the people that are important to you with disrespect such as your family and friends.
Your relationship should lift you up as a person, not make you feel small. Be aware of this habit that makes a toxic relationship.
Not supportive of your successes
If your partner is not happy and supportive of your successes then they are the one with a problem.
Sometimes they may feel insecure that you are leaving them behind. They may become distant or attack you for the things things that you may have sacrificed for your success.
If someone makes you feel like you have done something wrong when you are happy about a goal achieved, they are not in a healthy place.
If your partner cannot be your biggest cheerleader, why are they in your life?
You deserve someone that is a true partner, not someone that wants to keep you down so that they can feel superior to you.
Attack instead of trying to solve problems
Communication is key. Without communication there is no relationship.When you get into an argument, the point should be to come to a solution.
Both sides listen and you find places where you can agree and then try to see the others point of view to solve the issue.
If within the discussion, you are attacked. The argument becomes about the attack and NOT the solution. This is the quickest way to get off track and be personally hurt.
If your partner gets defensive and attacks you as their knee jerk response, then you will have a constant uphill battle to try to communicate effectively.
Being judged and criticized is not intended to be helpful in the argument, it is solely to demean the other person.
If you are being attacked and blamed for the argument, you are in a no win situation since they are not trying to find a solution. If you find yourself shutting down, because you cannot communicate, you will become resentful fairly quickly.
Blames others for their problems
Everyone else is to blame for their problems. Their life problems are always because of someone else. “They are against me at work”, or “no one likes me” is the reason that there is constant friction at their job.
It never ends, there is always some version of the same phrase “They did this to me.”
Because of this victim mentality, they manipulate your feelings. You did something to cause the problem or you said something that started the argument. They will twist the situation until you doubt what you know to be true.
If everything is someone else’s problem, the problem is definitely THEM
Gaslighting in a relationship is being told not to believe what you know to be real and true. You know right from wrong, but others try to twist you into thinking that you are crazy.
In other words, they will try to make you doubt what you may have just seen and heard.
They try to convince you that what you are thinking and feeling is ridiculous. You may start to think you really ARE going crazy, but don’t fall for it.
Never let anyone belittle you for your feelings.
We encounter this in our everyday life such when someone says ”you can’t take or joke,” or watch it in many psychological thrillers. This is when the protagonist in the movie tries to convince their partner that they are crazy for thinking that something is wrong. Of course eventually, they see how they have been manipulated.
Some examples of gaslighting phrases are
“Where did you get that idea?”
“You are remembering that completely wrong”
“I’m not going to talk about that”
“I have no idea what you mean”
“Your imagining that”
“That is not how it happened”
“What are you talking about?”
“You are overreacting!”
“You shouldn’t feel that way!”
“Are you crazy?”
This encompasses name calling & belittling. Anyone that is degrading you needs to be cut out of your life or you tell them that it is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.
Often people twist words such as “don’t be stupid” or “don’t act like a bitch.” They will then say, “but I didn’t actually call you stupid or a bitch.” Don’t fall for that garbage either.
There is no excuse when you are arguing to be called any names. Anger does not justify name calling. This will erode the relationship because it is degrading.
Physical abuse should never be part of any loving relationship. If you are grabbed by the arm or slapped or pushed up against a wall in an argument, you need to leave because it will not get better.
Never believe that if it happens once that it will not happen again and again. This is a very dangerous place to be in any relationship.
You need to get a support system together and get the hell out.
If you are in a relationship with someone that has a substance abuse problem, understand that they will use gaslighting as the main way of convincing you that they don’t have a problem, you do.
Please get some perspective by learning about substance abuse and leaving the situation asap.
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Conclusion toxic relationships
If you are unhappy in your relationship, then it is not healthy for you. When you are in a toxic relationship you are not growing or expanding.
When someone brings out the worst in you and not the best, you know what you have to do and that is to leave.
Often this behavior is worse in private, therefore your family and friends may not have seen the majority of what your relationship is really like.
This is why YOU need to take control and see things for what they really are.
If you have friends or family that are seeing these red flags, DO NOT ignore them, they may be seeing things clearer than you are.
Don’t be talked into thinking that these behaviors are normal or OK. They are not, and you are not crazy, it’s called gaslighting.
Don’t think that you will magically find the right words that will eventuallyget through. You will not convince a toxic person that they created and contributed heavily to the situation.
How to fix a Toxic Relationship
Unless someone is truly willing to change these behaviors by getting help, It cannot be fixed.
You should never stay with someone until they have proven that they have worked hard to change.
The person that displays these habits is broken. You cannot fix them or the relationship, you can only fix yourself.
Remember that you may really want to fix them, but you don’t have that superpower. And you may think that “your love” is enough, but its is not.
How to leave a toxic relationship
Someone does not have to do all of these toxic behaviors for you to know its a unhealthy relationship. Just one of these behaviors done often is usually enough. Most likely you will have good days and soft, kind moments.
BUT you would need A LOT of good to offset any of the toxic behaviors above. If you have more lows than highs, you need to leave.
Gather any friends or family that you can confide in. You do not have to give every detail of your relationship, but give them some idea why you need their support.
You need that support to keep you on track. If you don’t have anyone’s support, you will have to be strong on your own.
Make logistical plans
This is if you need to remove any of your items from your house or if you live with them so that you can figure out your next move.
Cut off communication
You need to make a clean break. Do not listen to any reasons why you should stay. You are beyond that stage now. It is much better to be healthy and single than to be with someone that is wasting your precious time.
Spend time with your friends
Keep your friends or family close. Spend time with them doing things that you haven’t done in a while.
Hobbies, classes, projects, whatever you need to do to better yourself and leave any lingering thoughts behind.
Find a counselor if you feel that you need more help than your friends can give. This can help you to refocus quicker.
Be your best friend and take time to “Self Care” by getting massages and meditating. Make a cozy space for yourself that will help you to heal.
Never doubt that leaving was not the BEST thing that you could have done for yourself. Time wasted on any toxic relationship will harm your health in ways that are so detrimental.
32 Toxic Relationship Quotes
It’s hard to leave because that would mean that we would have to admit that you invested into an unworthy relationship
Sometimes we feel paralyzed at the idea of starting over, that’s OK, make a plan and stick to it!
Why do people think that starting over is worse than staying in a toxic relationship?
It’s always better to leave and get healthy than it is to think your love can change them
You will never have enough love to fix a toxic person
Nothing can be fixed if they don’t believe they have any issues
Being desired is NOT a reason to stay in a bad relationship
Never let anyone control a relationship that invests so very little into it
Watch their actions, not their words
The person who doesn’t value you is blocking you from the one who will. Let them go.
Toxic people may say they love you, but they do not know what real love is
A healthy relationship takes you higher, a toxic one brings you to the depths
If you think that you deserve better, you do
Listen to your intuition, it rarely is wrong
More Toxic Relationship Quotes
The best way to move forward is to let go of the people holding you back
You know how you should be treated, never let anyone persuade you otherwise
A healthy relationship will never make you sacrifice your dignity
Don’t waste your time thinking of someone that is not thinking about you
Someone telling you they are going to change is worthless, they either show you or its a lie
Never let anyone tell you, you need to stay because they need you. That is not your responsibility, you need to do whats right for you
Get out of your own head, it’s really simpler than you think. If its not healthy for you, then its toxic
Some people have to be cut out of our lives so that we can be happy and healthy
Accepting the truth of your relationship is the hardest part
Don’t allow someone to break your heart repeatedly, you are worth so much more
Walking away can be the most freeing feeling in the world. Scary but freeing.
One person’s love is not enough for a complete relationship
Don’t hold onto someone that is not worthy of you
Never invest more into a relationship than the other person is willing to invest
Don’t lose yourself to someone else, you know right from wrong
People will treat us only how we allow them to treat us
Hope cannot keep a relationship together
Just because they say they love you, doesn’t mean they are not toxic
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