When do you realize that you’re involved in a toxic relationship?
Toxic relationships can come from a friendship, a lover, even a relative. There are many factors that you need to be wary of.
Is this person a manipulator? Manipulators tend to know your weaknesses, and know how to use this advantage to serve his or her agenda via emotional exploitation. They can make you feel as if you are in the wrong, or not being a “good” person if you don’t agree or do as they wish. You can see this kind of toxicity in all types of relationships.
Do you find yourself always being the one initiating a call, or reaching out to this friend? Friendships are supposed to be real, and bring solace. Lets be real, we all know you won’t always see eye to eye with our friends. In a toxic friendship you’ll notice one of the negative factors is the brutal criticism. Honesty is a key component in all relationships, however, whatever happened to being kind? This friend may be damaging you more than helping you with their choice of words. We all tend to be emotional creatures, so we need to be mindful of how we speak to people. Always remember, how a person speaks to you is a projection of how they feel about themselves. Does this friend share your most trusted secrets or business to their friends? If so, this person can be using you as one of their most discussed topics. Things shared in confidence should never be told to others. This is a major red flag in a friendship.
Do you find yourself walking on eggshells around your lover/spouse? Can a discussion quickly turn into an argument and finger pointing contest? If so, this relationship may be toxic. When you choose to build a relationship with someone, it’s more like an investment. Time is invested, and love is what keeps it alive. Communication is key, and without communication neither party will know if there’s something slowly killing their partnership. We should be able to express our thoughts and emotions with our partner without feeling attacked or having the tables turned on us. If this person cuts you off, flips the script on you, basically making you the villain, this is another red flag. We can all love hard, and be a little over attached at times, but is this person over protective? Does this person have trust issues with you on a daily basis? No one likes to feel as if they are being monitored or falsely accused. If you have attempted to discuss these issues with your partner, and they continuously fail to understand your point of view, be aware that this is toxic behavior. Other than the emotional toxic kind, be careful with the physical type. Once a person hurts you physically, this new door opens up for them creating an invitation for them to do it again. Because in their eyes, you have now allowed it. There’s a little saying that goes “People change”. Is this true? I guess only these people experiencing this relationship know.
And now for the toxic family member. Does this relative reach out only when they need something? The good old “Hi! How are you? How have you been? Listen, I’m sorry to bother you but I need x, y, and z.” It’s obvious that we don’t always keep up to date with our family, but if this person only contacts you when and if it’s convenient to them, this is toxic behavior. Other factors in a toxic family member include the types that borrow money and never pay you back because they are “family”. Using the fact that they are related to you, to make up for their habitual behavior. There are also those other individuals in the family that always has something negative to say and intrude in other private matters. No “hello, how are you?” It’s more like “You’ve gained weight, and you’re still not married?” It’s unhealthy and can also be stressful attending family functions when these types of individuals are around. Sometimes these events are even dreaded.
Are you in a toxic relationship?