Looking for signs of a toxic relationship? Are you unhappy and feel like you’re stuck in your relationship? Do you feel like you have to be careful when you’re with your partner? Are you beginning to wonder if you’re crazy and if you’re the problem?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be in a toxic relationship.
What is a toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship is a connection between two people that is unhealthy and hurts them emotionally. There are many kinds of toxic relationships, such as romantic ones, friendships, family ties, and work relationships.
These relationships can be characterised by manipulation, control, abuse, and negativity, leaving one partner feeling exhausted, alone, and powerless.
It can be hard to tell if a relationship is unhealthy, especially in the beginning when it seems normal and healthy.
Signs you’re in a toxic relationship
Toxic relationships are bad for your mental and emotional health and can harm you. They can cause stress, sadness, and even health problems in your body. Signs of a Toxic Relationship:
Lack of Trust
If you feel like you can’t trust your partner all the time, this could be a sign that your relationship is unhealthy. This lack of trust can be caused by things that have happened in the past or things that are happening now.
In a toxic relationship, one person may always criticise the other. This can lead to low self-esteem, a feeling of not worth much, and being put down all the time. This kind of criticism can also come across as putting down, sarcasm, or acting as if you know better.
Toxic partners often try to control you by watching your every move, making decisions, or making it hard for you to talk to others. This can make the person feel alone and like they have lost independence.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser tricks the victim into questioning their thoughts and beliefs and whether or not they are crazy. The abuser might deny that certain things happened, make the victim feel like they’re overreacting, or say that the abuse was the victim’s fault.
Lack of Communication
Communication that is open and honest is important for healthy relationships. In a toxic relationship, people may not talk to each other, or one person may control the conversation.
There are many ways to act disrespectfully, like calling someone names, putting them down, or making fun of them.
Early signs of a toxic relationship
You should be aware of early signs if you suspect you are entering a toxic relationship. Early signs of a toxic relationship:
Constant criticism and belittling
One of the first signs of a toxic relationship is when your partner constantly criticises and puts you down. It can begin as snide remarks or put you down in front of other people and start to escalate.
Isolation from friends and family
Toxic partners often cut their partners off from their friends and family.
Toxic partners may try to control everything about your life, including what you wear, where you go, and who you talk to.
When toxic partners want to get what they want, they often use emotional manipulation. Emotional manipulation is hard to spot, but it usually makes you feel confused, worried, and guilty. Key examples are making you feel guilty, gaslighting, or emotional blackmail.
Lack of empathy
Another early sign of a toxic relationship is losing interest in your emotions or may dismiss your concerns as unimportant.
People who are in toxic relationships often fight and argue all the time. You may feel like you’re always walking on eggshells because you’re afraid to upset your partner or start another fight.
Physical or sexual abuse
Abuse of any kind, whether physical or sexual, is never okay. Get help immediately, make a safety plan and get out of the relationship as soon as possible.
Things toxic partners say
When you’re in a relationship, talking to each other is essential. The relationship can quickly turn toxic when your partner says hurtful, negative, or controlling things. Words can be powerful, and sometimes they can be used to hurt or trick other people. Here are some things toxic partners say:
A toxic partner might try to make you feel like you’re overreacting or being too sensitive to your feelings or worries.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the person hurting you makes you question your sanity. They might tell you that things you remember happening didn’t really happen or that your view of a situation is completely wrong.
“I’ll hurt myself if you leave”
This is a classic way to get someone to do what they want, and it can make you feel bad about wanting to leave the relationship. A healthy person wouldn’t threaten to hurt themselves to keep you around.
“You’re lucky to have me”
A toxic partner might try to make you think they are doing you a favour by being with you. They might say things like, “No one else would put up with you” or “You’ll never find someone better than me.”
“If you loved me, you would do this for me”
This is another way a toxic partner can use you to get what they want. If you don’t do what they want, they might try to make you feel like you don’t really love them or use their love as a weapon.
“You’re the reason I’m angry/upset”
Toxic partners blame you for how they feel or act, making you feel responsible for things that are out of your control.
“I’ll change for you”
People can change, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t make them. To keep you around, a toxic partner might promise to change but have no intention of changing.
“You’re being selfish”
In a healthy relationship, both people give and take. A toxic partner, on the other hand, might try to make you feel bad about putting your own needs first. They might try to make you feel like you owe them something or that you are being unreasonable.
These are just a few examples of what toxic partners might say. It’s important to remember that respect, trust, and communication are the building blocks of a healthy relationship.
If your partner says things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable, it could mean that the relationship is toxic. It’s important to notice these early warning signs and get help if you need it.
Signs you’re the toxic one in a relationship
Relationships can be complicated, and it can be challenging to see when you’re the one causing problems. Being in a toxic relationship can be hard on your emotions and can hurt your mental health. Here are signs you’re the toxic one:
You have control issues
If you feel like you need to control everything in your relationship, from your partner’s schedule to how they act, you might be the toxic one. Control is not the same as love, and it’s important to know that.
You need to learn to trust your partner and respect their limits.
You are quick to anger
Do you get angry quickly and lash out at your partner when you do? If so, it’s essential to know that anger can be a sign of being toxic. Learning to talk to people well without getting angry is important.
You are overly critical
If you are constantly criticising and putting down your partner, you might be the toxic one. This kind of behaviour can make your partner feel bad about themselves and lose faith in the relationship, which is terrible for everyone.
You are possessive
Being possessive is often a sign that a relationship is unhealthy. It can look like checking your partner’s phone or not letting them spend time with their friends and family.
It’s important to remember that your partner has a life outside of the relationship and to respect their privacy and boundaries.
You blame others for your problems
If you tend to blame your partner for all the problems in your relationship, you might be the toxic one. It’s necessary to take responsibility for your actions and work on improving yourself instead of blaming others for your problems.
You don’t respect your partner’s boundaries
A healthy relationship requires respecting your partner’s boundaries. If you keep going over your partner’s limits and not listening to what they want, that’s a sign that you might be the toxic one.
You lack empathy
In a healthy relationship, empathy is a must. If you can’t understand how your partner feels, that’s a sign that you might be toxic in the relationship. Try to see things from your partner’s point of view and be there for them when they need you to be.
What to do if you are in a toxic relationship
Here are some helpful things to do once you realise you’re in a toxic relationship.
Recognise The Signs
The first step to dealing with a toxic relationship is recognising the signs. Once you know what you’re up against, you can start to take steps to keep yourself safe.
Talking to a friend or family member you trust can help you see things from a different angle. Having a network of people who can help you get through this challenging time is essential.
Setting limits is vital to keeping yourself safe from a toxic partner. This can mean limiting contact, avoiding fights, or contacting a professional for help.
Seek Professional Help
If you are having trouble dealing with a toxic relationship, it can be helpful to talk to a therapist or counsellor. They can help you figure out how to deal with your feelings and give you the tools to move on.
Leave The Relationship
If the toxic behaviour keeps happening and you can’t protect yourself, it might be best to end the relationship. This can be a tough and scary choice, but you should prioritise your health and safety.