Do you feel as if you and your partner have a volatile relationship? Do you feel safe and secure in your relationship with them? Have you ever heard of the term “red flags”?
Some people find themselves in a toxic relationship at some point in their lives. Whether that’s romantically, platonically, or even with family members. They can be hard to spot at first – especially when there is an attachment.
The rest of this article will unpack what exactly is a toxic relationship, and certain signs to look out for.
What is a toxic relationship?
Before diving into some of the signs, what makes a relationship toxic in the first place? There are several things that we can consider.
First of all, a toxic relationship is characterised by unhealthy behaviours acted out by one person towards the other. This can include emotionally, mentally, or physically damaging and abusive behaviours.
Healthy relationships allow for growth and support. However, toxic relationships lack these qualities.
For example, there can be one person in a relationship that is very controlling, critical, or manipulative towards the other person. As a result, this can make the other person feel as if they’re not enough. They may feel like they have to walk on eggshells around their partner.
More often than not, people in a toxic relationship end up struggling more than they benefit. For example, a person’s mental health and self-esteem can be severely affected. They may find they doubt or question themselves a lot of the time.
One thing you should know is that toxic relationships aren’t necessarily restricted to romantic relationships! They can happen among friends and family, even in work.
There also isn’t one defining factor that makes a relationship toxic. Relationships are never perfect. But there are certain red flags that can make it unhealthy overall.
Signs of a toxic relationship
- When they cross boundaries. Whether it’s not respecting your privacy or your need for space. When the other person sees no reason to respect your boundaries, it can indicate that they don’t respect your values or priorities.
- When they manipulate you. Gaslighting can present itself in many different ways, such as accusing you of overreacting or playing the victim. People who do this often change the narrative in their favour.
- When they deflect blame or refuse to take responsibility. Most of the time, people gaslight to deflect blame away from them. Rather than take responsibility for their actions, they turn it around on others.
- They’re a narcissist. Narcissists believe that they are always right. They also refuse to consider other people’s perspectives or feelings.
- They’re hypocritical. While it might be okay for them to say or do certain things, the same doesn’t apply for the other person.
- They’re controlling. Do they control what you wear, who you can see, or who you can talk to? When they start to take your autonomy away, it shows they view you more as their property than a person who can make their own choices.
- You constantly argue. Arguments can still be healthy. But if they happen too often or are too volatile, that is a significant problem.
- When a certain number of red flags pop up and are there to stay, this can be an indication of an toxic relationship. We understand toxic relationships can be tricky to navigate. Whether it comes to healing or leaving them. Why not consider couples’ therapy or our ACT therapy for solutions
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