How to Spot a Toxic Relationship
All of us want to be in healthy relationships. In a healthy relationship, you and the other person get along well despite occasional disagreements. Whether the two of you are facing challenges individually or as a couple, you and the other person work together to overcome them. Overall, this person’s company and support make life’s setbacks easier to deal with.
Toxic relationships are the opposite. Constantly having disagreements and fights is the norm. Your energy is depleted after being with that person. You may love that person, but every issue becomes a reason to fight. If the quality of your interactions begins to worsen, you may start taking conscious steps to avoid the other person. It is also important to remember that toxicity is not limited to romantic relationships, as toxicity can also exist in platonic and familial relationships.
While all relationships have their highs and lows, a toxic one mostly has lows. Despite this, it is easy for anyone to justify staying in such a so-called partnership. Sadly, if you linger in the toxicity, you lose opportunities to be kind to yourself.
If you feel drained by your interaction with someone, you may wonder whether you have a toxic relationship with them. To help you determine if that is the case, here are six signs that your relationship is unhealthy:
1. Toxic Communication
Most of your conversations come from a place of contempt rather than kindness and respect. You end up constantly criticising each other. You may also avoid having to talk to the other person by ignoring their calls or finding excuses not to see them.
If you are always exchanging snide remarks rather than words of support and encouragement with a partner, family member, or friend, this may mean the relationship is not healthy for either of you. For romantic relationships, this sort of conversation can be a prelude to divorce.
2. Controlling Behaviours
Is your partner always asking where you are? Do they get upset if you do not answer texts or calls immediately? Is your every move questioned? Does your partner behave as if they are suspicious of you?
While your partner may not intend it, these actions do not make you feel respected or trusted to make your own decisions. Their lack of trust may be due to a fight or a mistake you made that your partner has never forgiven you for. The person’s behaviour may also imply a need for control, which could come from insecurities or other issues in their lives. However, these causes are still no excuse for exhibiting controlling behaviours in what should be a healthy relationship.
If someone constantly questions where you are, you are likely to lie to avoid an untoward reaction. And, if spending time with this person drains your energy, or if you are tired of hearing hurtful comments, you may also lie to avoid spending time with that person. It could also go the other way: your partner may lie because they are cheating on you or because they do not trust you to keep the information, they share with you confidential.
Both types of dishonesty are signs that the relationship isn’t benefiting either party. As a result, one or both of you feel exhausted from spending time together and dealing with the lies. If you find yourself lying or being told constant lies, you will have to reconsider the health of that relationship.
4. Jealousy or Envy
It is normal to feel envy sometimes. However, a partner whose envy prevents them from being happy for their significant other’s success is unhealthy for either party.
A toxic person’s insecurities take centre stage, and they try to deflect their insecurities by showing envy for their partner’s promotion, raise, or any other achievement. The envious person comes off as selfish, and you can’t celebrate any big or small wins with your partner. As a result, both of you feel miserable and are no longer happy being in a relationship.
5 Resentment That Builds Up Over Time
Grudges held over time can lead to resentment. It is important to notice if you or your partner feel bitter about something and don’t communicate your frustrations immediately.
Let us say your partner used words that hurt you or was absent for a special event in your life. If you fail to talk about these incidences and how they impacted you, you will let your negative emotions quietly brew inside of you.
That said, you may want to think about why you are afraid or unable to share these grievances healthily. For example, do they react badly to any form of criticism or become defensive when they are held accountable for bad behaviour?
6. Lack of Support
In a healthy relationship, both parties have a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all aspects of life. A toxic relationship is the opposite, wherein each party is competing for success rather than sharing it.
7. How can you tell if your partner is not supportive of your success?
An example would be seeing a negative facial expression or hearing a sarcastic comment when you mention an achievement you are proud of. Another would be your partner not showing up for important events like a marathon you are running or a special recital.
In short, your needs and interests do not matter to this person. Ironically, this person expects you to show up and express unconditional support for their pursuits despite their absence and lack of support for your own.
Spotting a toxic relationship will help you realise your value and understand why you need to leave as soon as you can. If you have already noticed the abovementioned signs in one or more of your current relationships, perhaps it is time to reassess if it is worth staying in them or not. Whatever happens, remember there is nothing wrong with making the best decision for your well-being, even if that means cutting ties with or disengaging from someone you care about.