How to know a relationship is toxic

What Is a Toxic Relationship? 14 Signs and What to Do

In a healthy relationship, everything just kind of works. Sure, you might disagree from time to time or come upon other bumps in the road, but you generally make decisions together, openly discuss any problems that arise, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

Toxic relationships are another story. In a toxic relationship, you might consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner, according to relationship therapist Jor-El Caraballo, which can suggest that some things need to change.

Maybe the relationship no longer feels at all enjoyable, though you still love your partner. For some reason, you always seem to rub each other the wrong way or can’t seem to stop arguing over minor issues. You might even dread the thought of seeing them, instead of looking forward to it as you did in the past.

Below, we’ll explore some hallmark signs of toxicity in a relationship, plus offer some guidance on next steps if you recognize any of these signs in yourself or your partner.

Depending on the nature of the relationship, signs of toxicity can be subtle or highly obvious, explains Carla Marie Manly, PhD, author of “Joy from Fear.”

When you’re in a toxic relationship, you might not always find it easy to notice the red flags popping up. All the same, you could notice some of these signs in yourself, your partner, or the relationship itself.

1. Lack of support

“Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all areas of life,” Caraballo says. But when things turn toxic, every achievement becomes a competition.

In short, the time you spend together no longer feels positive. You don’t feel supported or encouraged, and you can’t trust them to show up for you. Instead, you might get the impression that your needs and interests don’t matter, that they only care about what they want.

2. Toxic communication

Instead of kindness and mutual respect, most of your conversations are filled with sarcasm or criticism and fueled by contempt — a predictor of divorce.

Do you catch yourself making snide remarks to your friends or family members? Maybe you repeat what they said in a mocking tone when they’re in another room. You may even start dodging their calls, just to get a break from the inevitable arguments and hostility.

3. Envy or jealousy

While it’s perfectly fine to experience a little envy from time to time, Caraballo explains it can become an issue if your envy keeps you from thinking positively about your partner’s successes.

The same goes for jealousy. Yes, it’s a perfectly natural human emotion. But when it leads to constant suspicion and mistrust, it can quickly begin to erode your relationship.

4. Controlling behaviors

Does your partner ask where you are all the time? Maybe they become annoyed or irritated when you don’t immediately answer texts or text you again and again until you do.

These behaviors might stem from jealousy or lack of trust, but they can also suggest a need for control — both of which can contribute to relationship toxicity. In some cases, these attempts at control can also suggest abuse (more on this later).

5. Resentment

Holding on to grudges and letting them fester chips away at intimacy.

“Over time, frustration or resentment can build up and make a smaller chasm much bigger,” Caraballo notes.

Note, too, whether you tend to nurse these grievances quietly because you don’t feel safe speaking up when something bothers you. If you can’t trust your partner to listen to your concerns, your relationship could be toxic.

6. Dishonesty

You find yourself constantly making up lies about your whereabouts or who you meet up with — whether that’s because you want to avoid spending time with your partner or because you worry how they’ll react if you tell them the truth.

7. Patterns of disrespect

Being chronically late, casually “forgetting” events, and other behaviors that show disrespect for your time are a red flag, Manly says.

Keep in mind that some people may truly struggle with making and keeping plans on time, so it may help to start with a conversation about this behavior. If it’s not intentional, you might notice some improvement after you explain why it bothers you.

8. Negative financial behaviors

Sharing finances with a partner often involves some level of agreement about how you’ll spend or save your money. That said, it’s not necessarily toxic if one partner chooses to spend money on items the other partner doesn’t approve of.

It can be toxic, though, if you’ve come to an agreement about your finances and one partner consistently disrespects that agreement, whether by purchasing big-ticket items or withdrawing large sums of money.

9. Constant stress

Ordinary life challenges that come up — a family member’s illness, job loss — can create some tension in your relationship, of course. But finding yourself constantly on edge, even when you aren’t facing stress from outside sources, is a key indicator that something’s off.

This ongoing stress can take a toll on physical and mental health, and you might frequently feel miserable, mentally and physically exhausted, or generally unwell.

10. Ignoring your needs

Going along with whatever your partner wants to do, even when it goes against your wishes or comfort level, is a sure sign of toxicity, says clinical psychologist Catalina Lawsin, PhD.

Say they planned a vacation that will take you out of town on your mom’s birthday. But when they asked you what dates were convenient, you emphasized that any dates were fine — as long as you didn’t miss your mom’s birthday on the 17th.

You don’t want to point this out, since you don’t want to start a fight. So you say, “Great! I’m so excited.”

11. Lost relationships

You’ve stopped spending time with friends and family, either to avoid conflict with your partner or to get around having to explain what’s happening in your relationship.

Alternatively, you might find that dealing with your partner (or worrying about your relationship) occupies much of your free time.

12. Lack of self-care

In a toxic relationship, you might let go of your usual self-care habits, Lawsin explains.

You might withdraw from hobbies you once loved, neglect your health, and sacrifice your free time. This might happen because you don’t have the energy for these activities or because your partner disapproves when you do your own thing.

13. Hoping for change

You might stay in the relationship because you remember how much fun you had in the beginning. Maybe you think that if you just change yourself and your actions, they’ll change as well.

14. Walking on eggshells

You worry that by bringing up problems, you’ll provoke extreme tension, so you become conflict avoidant and keep any issues to yourself.

Many people assume toxic relationships are doomed, but that isn’t always the case.

The deciding factor? Both partners must want to change, Manly says. “If only one partner is invested in creating healthy patterns, there is — unfortunately — little likelihood that change will occur.”

A few signs you might be able to work things out together:

Acceptance of responsibility

If both you and your partner know the relationship is struggling and want to improve it, you’re on the right track.

Recognizing past behaviors that have harmed the relationship is vital on both ends, Manly adds. It reflects an interest in self-awareness and self-responsibility.

To put it another way, both partners should accept their part in contributing to the toxicity, from resentment to jealousy to not speaking out about concerns and disappointments.

Willingness to invest

Are both you and your partner both willing to invest in making the relationship better? That’s a good sign.

“This may manifest by an interest in deepening conversations,” Manly says, or setting aside regular blocks of time for spending quality time together.

Shift from blaming to understanding

If you’re both able to steer the conversation away from blaming and more toward understanding and learning, there may be a path forward.

For example, instead of saying, “It’s your fault” or “You always do XYZ” you might try, “I think we misunderstood each other, so let’s try again” or “I understand why you’re feeling stressed and upset — how can we work on that together?”

These communication techniques can help.

Openness to outside help

Sometimes, you might need help to get things back on track, either through individual or couples counseling.

There’s no shame in getting professional help to address consistent relationship issues. Sometimes, you can’t pick up on everything contributing to the toxicity from inside the relationship, and relationship counselors are trained to offer a neutral perspective and unbiased support.

They can also teach you new strategies for addressing and resolving conflict, making it easier to create healthier patterns that stick.

Looking for online therapy? Check out our guide.

According to Manly, repairing a toxic relationship will take time, patience, and diligence.

This is especially the case, Manly adds, “given that most toxic relationships often occur as a result of longstanding issues in the current relationship or as a result of unaddressed issues from prior relationships.”

These steps can help you turn things around.

Don’t dwell on the past

Sure, part of repairing the relationship will likely involve addressing past events. But this shouldn’t be the sole focus of your relationship moving forward.

Resist the temptation to constantly refer back to negative scenarios, since this can leave both of you tense, frustrated, and basically right back where you started.

View your partner with compassion

When you find yourself wanting to blame your partner for all the problems in the relationship, try taking a step back and looking at the potential motivators behind their behavior, Caraballo says.

Have they recently gone through a hard time at work? Had some family drama weighing heavily on their mind?

These challenges don’t excuse bad behavior, but they can help you come to a better understanding of where it comes from.

Considering your own contributions, too. Do you tend to withdraw when upset, instead of sharing your concerns? Do you criticize your partner if they don’t do chores the way you prefer? These habits could also play a part.

Start therapy

An openness to therapy can be a good sign that mending the relationship is possible. In order to help the relationship move forward, though, you’ll actually need to reach out to schedule that first appointment.

While couples counseling is a good starting point, individual therapy can be a helpful addition, Manly says. Individual therapy offers a safe space to explore attachment issues and other factors that might contribute to relationship concerns. It also helps you get more insight on toxic behaviors versus abusive ones.

Concerned about the cost? Our guide to affordable therapy can help.

You can also get started by trying couples counseling techniques on your own.

Find support

Regardless of whether you decide to try therapy, look for other support opportunities.

Support might involve talking to a close friend or trusted mentor, for example. Other options could include joining a local support group for couples or partners dealing with specific issues in their relationship, such as infidelity or substance use.

Practice healthy communication

Pay close attention to how you talk to each other as you mend things. Be gentle with each other, and try to avoid sarcasm and even mild jabs.

Also focus on using “I” statements, especially when talking about relationship issues.

For example, instead of saying “You don’t listen to what I’m saying,” you could say “I feel hurt when you take out your phone while I’m talking because it gives me the impression that what I say doesn’t matter.”

Be accountable

“Both partners must acknowledge their part in fostering the toxicity,” Lawsin emphasizes.

This means identifying and taking responsibility for your own actions in the relationship. It also means committing to staying present and engaged during difficult conversations, instead of avoiding those discussions or mentally checking out.

Heal individually

It’s important for each of you to individually determine what you need from the relationship and where your boundaries lie, Lawsin advises.

Even if you feel like you already know your needs and boundaries, it’s worth revisiting them and then sharing them with your partner.

Talking through boundaries is a good first step. Remember, though, that boundaries are flexible, so it’s important to keep discussing them as they change over time

The process of rebuilding a damaged relationship offers a good opportunity to reevaluate how you feel about certain elements of the relationship, from communication needs to physical intimacy.

Hold space for the other’s change

Remember, things won’t change overnight. Over the coming months, work together on being flexible and patient with each other as you grow.

Toxicity in a relationship can take many forms, including emotional or verbal abuse. Still, it’s not always possible to draw a clear line between toxicity and abuse.

Toxic relationships are unhealthy, but they’re not necessarily abusive. Sometimes, toxic behavior isn’t intentional — though, of course, that doesn’t make it any less hurtful. Keep in mind, too, that many unhealthy relationships involve toxic behavior from both partners, even when neither partner behaves in an abusive way.

Abuse, on the other hand, stems from a desire to hold power over someone else and control their behavior, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Since abuse often happens gradually, in subtle ways, you may not always recognize it easily, especially if the relationship has been toxic for some time.

There’s never an excuse for abusive behavior. Though change is possible for anyone, you can’t make your partner change. They have to choose that route themselves.

That’s why, if you recognize any of the following signs of physical or emotional abuse, a good next step involves working with a therapist or domestic violence advocate to create a plan to safely leave the relationship. (You’ll find some helpful resources below.)

Diminished self-worth

Your partner blames you for everything that goes wrong and makes you feel as if you can’t do anything right. They may do this by patronizing, dismissing, or embarrassing you in public.

The ongoing result?

“You end up feeling small, confused, shamed, and often exhausted,” Manly says.

Chronic stress, anxiety, or doubt

It’s typical to have periods of frustration with your partner or doubts about your future together. But you shouldn’t spend significant amounts of time worrying about the relationship or your safety.

An abusive partner might say things that make you doubt the security of the relationship, or even your own self-worth:

  • “You’re lucky I’m with you. I could have anyone.”
  • “If you don’t want to have sex with me, I’ll find someone else who will.”

Separation from friends and family

Sometimes, dealing with a toxic relationship can lead you to withdraw from friends and family. But an abusive partner may forcefully distance you from your support network.

They might snatch your phone while you’re talking, answer it for you and say you’re busy, or make such a fuss when you say you have plans that you end up canceling. They may also convince you that your loved ones don’t want to hear from you, anyway.

Interference with work or school

An abusive partner may prevent you from seeking employment or studying in order to isolate and control you.

They may also attempt to humiliate you at your workplace or school by causing a scene, talking to your boss or teachers, or lying to your co-workers and classmates.

Fear and intimidation

An abusive partner might explode with rage or use intimidation tactics, such as slamming their fists into walls or not allowing you to leave the house during a fight.

Name-calling and put-downs

Insults aimed to humiliate and belittle your interests, appearance, or accomplishments all count as verbal abuse.

Someone using verbal abuse tactics might say things like:

  • “You’re worthless.”
  • “You can’t do anything right.”
  • “No one else could ever love you.”

Financial restriction

Financial abuse tactics involve:

  • controlling the money that comes in
  • preventing you from having your own bank account
  • restricting your access to credit cards
  • giving you a daily allowance and making you ask for more


Gaslighting is a manipulation technique that makes you question your own feelings, instincts, and sanity.

Someone trying to gaslight you may:

  • insist something you remember never happened
  • tell you they never said something when you clearly remember it
  • accuse you of being the one with anger and control issues

Threats of self-harm

Threatening to hurt themselves in order to pressure you into doing something is a manipulation tactic.

If they mention suicide, take them seriously and encourage them to connect with a crisis helpline or reach out for other support.

Just know supporting them doesn’t mean agreeing to what they want.

Physical violence

Threats and verbal insults can escalate to physical violence. If your partner is pushing, shoving, or hitting you, it’s a clear sign that the relationship has become dangerous.

If you’ve decided it’s time to move on from the relationship, these strategies can help you do so safely:

  • Get support from a therapist or domestic violence advocate. They can help you make a safety plan and access resources for additional support.
  • Open up to loved ones. You don’t have to do this alone. Family and friends can offer emotional support, but they may also be in a position to offer more tangible support, like a place to stay or help moving while your partner’s out.
  • Bring a friend. Don’t feel safe having a breakup conversation with your partner alone? Ask a trusted loved one to come with you. Knowing you have their support may help you stick to your decision to leave, even if your partner tries to convince you otherwise.
  • Change your phone number. If this isn’t possible, block your partner’s number and social media accounts so you won’t feel tempted to respond if they reach out.
  • Take care of yourself. Leaving any relationship can feel painful and distressing. Honor your needs by taking time for relaxation, sleep, and self-care, along with time to heal before starting a new relationship.

Find more tips to break up with someone in any situation.

Get help now

If you suspect abuse in your relationship, trust your instincts and consider reaching out to these resources to safely navigate next steps:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides services at no cost and offers 24/7 chat and phone support.
  • Day One is a nonprofit organization that works with youth to end dating abuse and domestic violence through community education, supportive services, legal advocacy, and leadership development.
  • is a mobile-friendly, searchable directory that can help you quickly find domestic violence programs and shelters in the United States and Canada.

Toxic communication and behavior patterns can crack and corrode the foundations of your relationship, but you don’t have to stand by and watch your bond with your partner crumble.

When you and your partner both want to create change, a relationship therapist can help you begin to identify underlying factors contributing to relationship toxicity and explore healthy, compassionate approaches to communication and problem-solving.

Cindy Lamothe is a freelance journalist based in Guatemala. She writes often about the intersections between health, wellness, and the science of human behavior. She’s written for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Quartz, The Washington Post, and many more. Find her at

Toxic Relationships: Signs, Help and What To Do

It’s a common refrain: relationships are hard work. Fights are normal and rough patches are par for the course.

True as that may be, however, these platitudes can distract from legitimate causes for concern in one’s social and romantic life — including signs that a relationship may have become, or always was, toxic.

Here’s what you need to know about toxic relationships, and how to tell if you’re in one.

What is a toxic relationship?

Dr. Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert who says she coined the term in her 1995 book Toxic People, defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.

While every relationship goes through ups and downs, Glass says a toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant and draining for the people in it, to the point that negative moments outweigh and outnumber the positive ones. Dr. Kristen Fuller, a California-based family medicine physician who specializes in mental health, adds that toxic relationships are mentally, emotionally and possibly even physically damaging to one or both participants.

And these relationships don’t have to be romantic: Glass says friendly, familial and professional relationships can all be toxic as well.

What makes a relationship toxic?

Fuller says people who consistently undermine or cause harm to a partner — whether intentionally or not — often have a reason for their behavior, even if it’s subconscious. “Maybe they were in a toxic relationship, either romantically or as a child. Maybe they didn’t have the most supportive, loving upbringing,” Fuller says. “They could have been bullied in school. They could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, any form of trauma.”

That was the case for Carolyn Gamble, a 57-year-old, Maryland-based motivational speaker who says she fell into toxic relationships after a tumultuous childhood marked by losing her mother to a drug overdose, and suffering physical abuse at the hands of her father. When she grew up, she found some of the same themes in her marriage to her now-ex-husband, who she says became verbally and emotionally abusive. “I realized in this life, regardless of the cards that we’re dealt, sometimes there are things that we have to let go,” she says.

Sometimes, Glass says, toxic relationships are simply the result of an imperfect pairing — like two people who both need control, or a sarcastic type dating someone with thin skin. “It’s just that the combination is wrong,” she says.

Heidi Westra Brocke, a 46-year-old chiropractor living in Illinois, is familiar with these mismatches. Brocke considers herself an empath and a people-pleaser, and grew up “assuming everybody was nice and everybody wanted what was best for you.” Instead, she says her personality attracted controlling partners who forced her to sacrifice her needs for theirs, and constantly work for approval that never came.

Though they had very different stories, both Brocke and Gamble say they endured toxic relationships for years — underscoring that no two bad relationships are exactly alike.

What are the warning signs of a toxic relationship?

The most serious warning signs include any form of violence, abuse or harassment, which should be dealt with immediately. But in many cases, the indicators of a toxic relationship are much more subtle.

The first, and simplest, is persistent unhappiness, Glass says. If a relationship stops bringing joy, and instead consistently makes you feel sad, angry, anxious or “resigned, like you’ve sold out,” it may be toxic, Glass says. You may also find yourself envious of happy couples.

Fuller says negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem are all red flags, too. These changes could range from clinically diagnosable conditions, such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders, to constantly feeling nervous or uncomfortable — especially around your partner. Feeling like you can’t talk with or voice concerns to your significant other is another sign that something is amiss, Fuller says.

You should also look out for changes in your other relationships, or in the ways you spend your free time, Fuller says. “You may feel bad for doing things on your own time, because you feel like you have to attend to your partner all the time,” she says. “You cross the line when you’re not your individual self anymore and you’re giving everything to your partner.”

Finally, Fuller says concern from family or friends should be taken seriously, particularly since people in toxic relationships are often the last to realize it. Brocke says that was true of her relationships, which perpetuated the damage for years.

“By the time I actually started realizing I was in something that wasn’t healthy, it was so normal to me that it didn’t seem like that big a deal,” Brocke says. “You get paralyzed in it, because you’re just used to it.”

What should you do if you’re in a toxic relationship?

If any of those red flags sound familiar, it’s time to take action. If you feel that you’re in physical danger, you may need to involve the authorities. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available for 24/7 guidance at 1-800-799-7233.

If the harm is emotional or mental, you’ll have to decide if it’s possible to work through the issue. If underlying triggers such as depression or trauma are influencing one or both individuals’ behaviors, Fuller says therapeutic or medical treatments may help. Glass agrees that getting to the root of the problem is important, but says that sometimes, the answer may be to walk away.

“I really am a firm believer that you have to try to work everything out and understand why the person is toxic. You may be able to live with it — but on the other hand, you may not,” Glass says. “[If you can’t], you’ve got to get out of it. We have to not put ourselves in that position.”

Brocke and Gamble took that advice in their own lives, and both say they’re better for it. Brocke is now happily remarried and coaches women who are leaving toxic relationships. Gamble is purposefully single and runs a nearly 7,000-person toxic relationships support group on Facebook.

“Love should never cost you your peace. It should never cost you your joy. It should never cost you your happiness,” Gamble says. “If there’s more negative in the situation than positive, something has to change.”

Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected].

Toxic relationships - symptoms

Publication date

September 29, 2022


A new hobby is always exciting. Lovers can not tear themselves away from each other for a long time and are anxiously waiting for the next meeting. Sometimes a couple is so wrapped up in feelings and emotions that they can completely block the mind. Being in euphoria from new sensations, one of the partners may not notice the warning signs that clearly make it clear that this relationship is toxic. nine0003

In this article, we will talk about the signs of an unhealthy partnership, and how to recognize it in the early stages.

How do you know if you're in a toxic relationship?

You need to know that the manifestation of negative emotions is one of the stages of any relationship. Each of us has his own character and temperament, so it is very difficult to maintain harmony and optimism in all life situations. However, if you feel negative emotions more often, it is worth considering whether your relationship is really healthy. nine0003

The most prominent signs of a toxic relationship are:

  • Devaluation of needs and experiences. In a full-fledged relationship, people are able to share not only sorrows, but also joys of each other. If a partner is constantly trying to reduce the significance of an important event for you, he is trying to elevate himself and raise self-esteem. Such behavior does not bring anything into the relationship except discord and quarrels.
  • Ridicule and hurtful jokes. nine0022 There are always jokes in close relationships. Two people can kindly play pranks on each other, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, this should not offend and offend the feelings of one of the partners.
  • Lack of a sense of security. One of the most important things in a partnership is a sense of security and comfort. If, while being together, you often feel anxious, afraid to say or do too much, afraid of physical or verbal aggression, you are in a toxic relationship. nine0023
  • Aggression and resentment at an attempt to defend one's personal boundaries. Lagging behind personal boundaries - protecting one's interests, values, beliefs and views. Thanks to this, the spiritual growth of the individual occurs. A person himself influences his life, he always remains true to himself and does not seek to please everyone around. In toxic relationships, standing up for personal boundaries is often perceived as selfish.
  • No support. In an unhealthy relationship, at first glance it may seem that both partners support each other. However, if you start to understand, you can come to the conclusion that one of the couple receives support only when the other wants it. If in other situations the partner does not show due attention, the relationship will sooner or later begin to collapse. nine0023
  • Control. Some people think that checking correspondence is a mandatory and normal part of a relationship. However, in fact, this is a form of control, indicating the partner's toxicity, his distrust, jealousy.
  • Manipulation and blackmail. Any manipulation, even the most harmless, has a destructive effect on relationships. At first it's an innocent prank, and then a serious problem. The result is always the same - growing distrust on the part of the partner. And everyone knows that without trust, healthy relationships cannot be built. nine0023
  • "Carrot and stick". Another sign of a toxic relationship is caring after aggression. The partner cannot be angry with the second for a long time, as he receives an apology, support and care after a quarrel. However, history repeats itself regularly, and aggression only intensifies.

There are other signs that point to a toxic relationship. You can see them only if you ask yourself questions:

  • Am I happy?
  • nine0020 Do I feel safe?
  • Am I getting the support I need?
  • Am I comfortable?
  • Can I be myself?
  • Can I defend my personal boundaries and make my own decisions?

People who are in toxic relationships usually give several negative answers to these questions.

Causes of unhealthy partner behavior

Surely you have experienced a situation where you try your best to establish a partnership, but for some reason nothing works. In marriage, this period is called a crisis. Spouses now and then argue, scandal, do not listen to each other, remember past grievances. nine0003

Help with a crisis in family life is to find the true cause of the toxic behavior of partners. Analysis of feelings, emotions and experiences can allow you to find and eliminate any problem.

Reasons for toxic behavior can include:

  • Childhood injuries.
  • Features of education.
  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Bullying.
  • A sick romantic experience.
  • nine0020 Nervous or mental disorders.

To say why certain relationships do not add up is possible only in the process of talking partners. If you do not do this, but simply wait for everything to get better by itself, the situation will only worsen. For this reason, more and more people are choosing psychotherapy. Together with a specialist, partners can get to the bottom of the true cause of the problem and solve it.

See also:

Neurotic personality disorder

Why do we need a child psychologist?

Prevention of computer addiction

How do you know if you have irritable bowel syndrome?

How does acupuncture feel?

Neurasthenia: symptoms, signs, causes and diagnosis

Signs of a toxic relationship0014

How does reflexology help?

Symptoms of neurosis in women

How to cope with the death of a loved one?

How to recognize a toxic relationship: June 10, 2022, 00:55

How to recognize a toxic relationship

June 10, 2022, 00:55


Toxic relationships harm one or both partners, their participants often experience emotional pain, while they cannot find an acceptable way out. How to recognize that you are in a toxic relationship? How to find a way out of them? TengriMIX has put together a selection of stop signs that you should pay attention to so as not to become a hostage to a toxic relationship.

There are many signs of a toxic relationship. We list only a few of them that are worth paying attention to.

  • You are under constant stress. You are tense and prepare for a flood of negative emotions when you meet. Such heat is difficult to withstand for a long time, and this can affect your health.
  • Ridicule. Your ideas are not taken seriously, your thoughts and actions are constantly under an avalanche of bitter sarcasm, and such jokes hurt you.
  • You feel constantly unhappy. It is difficult for you now to imagine a thing or an event that will make you happy. In this case, this state lasts more than two weeks. nine0023
  • Ignoring your wishes. You notice that you are not doing what you want, but what your partner prefers. You tailor your plans to him (her) rather than looking for compromises that are comfortable for the two of you.
  • You are afraid to be alone. Your personal boundaries and priorities are so blurred that even the thought that your partner will leave your life scares you. After all, without him (her) it will become completely empty.

First brake light

You are not alone in his (her) priorities. When meeting with you, the partner allows himself to go on other dates or communicate in correspondence with someone else. It's okay if you discussed it "ashore" and agreed. But if not, then it's a sign of a toxic relationship.

Second stop light

A toxic relationship is when you or your partner seems to have forgotten how to understand each other. Instead of sitting down at the negotiating table and discussing pressing issues, you either ignore them, or in your conversations you begin to get personal, trying to hurt each other more painfully. As a result, instead of dialogue, you get a new batch of quarrels and mutual claims. nine0003

Who is a courageous man

Third brake light

After quarrels and loud phrases, none of you is in a hurry to apologize. For you, this is difficult for a number of reasons; for a partner, this is also not an easy task. No one wants to be the first to cut the knot of the dispute and reach out, so resentment accumulates, and the atmosphere in your house or when you are tense together, and you do not feel lightness and freedom after meetings.

Fourth brake light

A toxic relationship is also when you build relationships with him (her), but he (she) does not. A person hides you from others, does not introduce you to your inner circle and friends. You are in the shadows, perhaps there are explanations for this behavior.

When you talk to him (her) about it, the conversations are transferred to another topic, or the person disappears altogether for some period, and then returns again as if nothing had happened.

Fifth brake light

You and your desires are the butt of jokes. Making fun of you constantly and making fun of you, he (she) seems to want to prove every time that he (she) is better than you, knows more than you. In special cases, the partner uses his sarcasm and exercises wit in front of you in front of people close and unfamiliar.

Sixth stoplight

Another sign of a toxic relationship is when your partner constantly checks you, monitors your reaction to certain events. You are like a guinea pig in his (her) manipulations. You are also trained on such phrases as "I just wanted (a) to see how you react to this" and "what is so and so here." nine0003

Seventh brake light

Toxic relationships are also about double standards. Your partner can do it, you can't. For example, he (she) can walk with friends until the morning without warning, you can't. He (she) may go on vacation alone (alone), but you definitely do not. When you try to discuss it, everything again flows in a different direction and the question remains open.

Who is a sissy?

Eight brake light

There is always a third party in your relationship. She (he) continues to communicate closely with the former (her). It's great that they have maintained friendly relations, but it becomes sad when you realize that he discusses his experiences, problems not with you, but with another person. nine0003

Ninth Stoplight

Another sign of a toxic relationship is when your friends are slowly but surely pushed out of your life. Your partner, as if by chance, tries to limit the circle of your communication until you realize that close friends have remained outside your life. And your interests and desires are now focused on only one person - a partner.

Tenth Stoplight

You're in a toxic relationship if it's like chasing an invisible beast. Here your companion (ca) wrote to you that he is ready to share this weekend with you, but at the last moment all plans are canceled and he (she) disappears until Monday. And this can be repeated an infinite number of times, as long as you allow it. nine0003

Another example: when you have already bought tickets, let's say, to the cinema for the movie that was discussed for a couple of evenings, but your partner did not come to the session, and the phone is switched off. Yes, perhaps later he (she) will appear again and even explain himself. If this happens all the time, then you should think about whether this game is worth your nerves.

How to find a way out of a toxic relationship?

There are many ways to get out and answer this question. Let's list just a few of them.

Talk. Yes, it's that simple. Perhaps you should figure out what you want and where you are going, what you are striving for. Perhaps your goals have not coincided for a long time and you should reconsider your attitude towards communication with a partner.

Go to a psychologist (psychotherapist) together. Perhaps this will seem too complicated for our Kazakhstani realities. But today there are already quite a few couples, mostly young ones, who are ready to have such a conversation and clarify their relationship with a specialist. nine0003

Live separately. If you have already moved in together and feel that your communication has changed after that, then it may be worth trying to live separately. During this time, you will understand whether or not you need to communicate further.

Go on vacation or travel. The method is quite expensive, but after being at a distance or having a good rest, you can re-evaluate your partner and understand how much you want to stay in this relationship.

Take a break for a couple of weeks. nine0162 That same time-out when you and your partner take a break, perhaps both of you need it. After it, maybe you will have the strength to end a toxic relationship or start over.

Of course, a toxic relationship is a story of two, so it's up to you to decide whether it is really toxic for you or not.

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