What is a Toxic Relationship?
Malice, betrayal, abuse, and such dysfunctionalities make a relationship toxic. If you’re in a relationship that’s robbing you of your peace and happiness, you’re bound to have trouble figuring out what a toxic relationship is and how to deal with it. Then this article is for you.
A toxic relationship takes away more from you than it gives. Signs of a toxic relationship are not limited to the romantic dynamic but can be liberating in all aspects of human attachment. Toxic relationships are stressful and can negatively impact mental health and overall well-being.
In this article, we’ll learn everything you need to know about a toxic relationship, including the signs of what types of toxic relationships exist and how to deal with these dysfunctional relationship dynamics.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship leaves you unhappy, emotionally drained, and lacking in support. It can even threaten your physical safety, emotional well-being, and social standing. Any relationship that makes you unhappy and robs you of your power is toxic.
A toxic relationship can exist between romantic partners, parents, and children, between work colleagues, or even between friends. Sometimes the warning signs are easy to spot, but other times the lies and emotional abuse can also be covert and subtle. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship and take the necessary steps to protect your emotional health.
What makes a relationship toxic?
It is not necessary for both parties involved in a relationship to be responsible for the relationship becoming toxic. It may also be the case that one of them has the traits of a narcissist or a sociopath and is solely responsible for the poor state of their dysfunctional relationship.
Even people who don’t have narcissistic or sociopathic personalitycanan be toxic. They are able to drain a person’s positive energy in a variety of ways, from constant complaining, making rude comments, belittling others, and generally being obnoxious and negative. They have no idea how repulsive their kind can be, and they sometimes lack social skills like empathy or emotional intelligence.
Let’s take a look at the different types of toxic relationships:
- Co-workers trying to sabotage partner’s career prospects.
- Parents who abuse or neglect their young children.
- Adult children of toxic parents whose lives are still being impacted by their dysfunctional families.
- Couples who are in a codependent or abusive relationship.
- Friends who secretly envy each other and try to put each other down.
Differences between a toxic relationship and a healthy relationship:
A healthy relationship is
- Provides security
- Lives on love and care
- Promotes a positive self-image and an overall healthy attitude
- Based on selfless giving and not on selfish demands
- Encourages and boosts self-confidence
- Mutual respect is valuable
- Trust and loyalty are maintained by both sides
A toxic relationship- A toxic relationship
- Promotes insecurity
- Jealousy is a constant theme
- This leads to an overall negative attitude
- At least one of the two parties is self-centered
- Criticism and derogatory attitudes are the norms
- Respect is demanded but not returned
- Visible lack of trust
- Physical and/or psychological abuse is normalized
What are the signs of a toxic relationship?
No relationship is all rainbows and stars; every relationship goes through periods of ups and downs, but aside from that, a toxic relationship can be defined as one in which the bad outweighs the good. Here are some signs that a relationship is toxic:
1. Lack of a support system
You never feel like the other person has your back. They will not support you in any difficult time or situation in your life.
2. Negative Exchange
All of your conversations are negative and leave you feeling scared, annoyed, angry, or irritated. You rarely feel good after talking to them and most of the time you are afraid to communicate with them.
3. Lack of trust
What is the number one factor that makes a relationship toxic? It’s trust. In toxic relationships, either one or both parties lack trust in the other. If you feel like you’re being watched all the time, you may be in a toxic relationship.
4. Controlling nature
One of the clearest signs of a toxic relationship is that one person always wants to dominate and control the other, either through direct coercion or covert manipulations like gaslighting or threats of self-harm. Watch out for being micro-manipulated.
It is often observed in toxic relationships that one person always tries to keep their end of the bargain by being honest, while the one who doubts the other person’s integrity should be the dishonest one.
Mutual respect is never valuable in a toxic relationship. If you constantly feel belittled and offended in a relationship, you are most likely in a toxic relationship.
Instead of love and care, do you harbor resentment towards your partner? Do they blame you for everything that goes wrong in their life? These are signs that the relationship is toxic.
8. Unhealthy financial behavior
In a toxic relationship, one may take unfair advantage of the other’s finances, e.g. E.g. by scrounging from him, stealing his credit card details, or demanding that he be rescued from sticky situations, etc.
9. Stressed out
What is the sign of a toxic relationship? stress! If you’re constantly feeling liberated from your thoughts because of a partisanship, then it’s definitely a toxic relationship.
10. Ignoring attitude
When you are in a toxic relationship, your needs and desires are always overlooked and ignored. You will feel like they don’t care about you or that you’re not good enough.
11. Negative impact on other relationships
A toxic relationship adversely affects your other relationships. A toxic person can influence you or force you to sever ties with your friends or other benefactors, leaving you alienated from everyone and under their sole control.
12. Poor self-image
In a toxic relationship, you stop feeling good about yourself, and if it’s a romantic relationship you will eventually stop caring about your looks and your health.
A toxic relationship can have the potential to trigger a deep sense of anxiety within you. If the other person threatens you or carries out their threat of physical violence, you will remain in the constant grip of fear.
14. Unrealistic expectations
Hopefully, by now you’ve liberated the answer to your “What is a toxic relationship?” question. If you’ve spotted these traits in one of your troubled relationships and still hold onto unrealistic hope that one day it will change, then you need to take this as another sign of a toxic relationship.
Healing a Toxic Relationship
It’s not impossible to heal a toxic relationship if both parties are willing to take responsibility for their actions and work together to fix the dysfunctions in their relationship. A visit to a relationship counselor or therapist can prove effective.
Here are some helpful tips for dealing with a toxic relationship:
1. Say it out loud
Talk to the person causing you pain and discuss how you can work on your relationship.
2. Reassess the relationship
Think about what you consider a toxic relationship to be and how you weigh the pros and cons of your situation.
3. Limit interactions
If the toxic person is part of your family or circle of friends, you might limit the time you spend with them and interact less with them.
If the person is unwilling or unable to change their toxic behavior, accept it and decide whether or not you want to keep the relationship alive.
A final word on toxic relationships
If you are being abused and taken advantage of in any of your relationships, don’t fall for false promises that never come to fruition. Put your safety first, talk to your trusted friends or the relevant authorities and get on with your life.
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