A toxic relationship is any relationship between two people who don’t support each other. While all relationships go through ups and downs, a toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant. Does your partner consistently undermine you? Then you might be in a toxic relationship.
Listen, no relationship is perfect. But if you are really in a toxic relationship then that’s completely different. Relationships are important, and a toxic relationship can cost you dearly in time and energy that you could be putting to much better use. Stay true to yourself and your values, listen to your heart, and be strong if you need to extricate yourself from a toxic relationship.
So what are the signs of a toxic relationship?
- All take, no give. Any relationship in which you experience withdrawals of energy without deposits will leave you in the negative.
- Feeling drained. If instead of feeling happy and productive, you’re always mentally, emotionally, and even physically drained, it’s time to re-evaluate.
- Lack of trust. A relationship without trust is like a car without gas: You can stay in it all you want, but it won’t go anywhere.
- Hostile atmosphere. Constant anger is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship. You should never be around hostility because it makes you feel unsafe.
- Filled with criticism. A nonstop barrage of criticism never helped anyone improve; it’s not about making things better but boosting the critic’s ego.
- Brings out the worst. If you are constantly being your worst, you cannot be your best self.
- Cannot do anything right. If you cannot do anything right, maybe the relationship is all wrong.
- Occupied with imbalance. A one-sided relationship can never run smoothly.
- Constant judgment. In judgmental relationships, criticism is not intended to be helpful but rather to belittle.
- Persistent unreliability. Mutual reliability is important to building trust and is at the core of any good relationship.
- Loaded with negative energy. It’s almost impossible for anything positive to come out of a relationship filled with negativity.
- Lack of communication. Without communication, there is no relationship. Period.
- Continuous disrespect. Mutual respect is the first requirement of a good partnership.
- Mutual avoidance. If you spend your time avoiding each other, that tells you all you need to know.
- Insufficient support. If you cannot turn to each other, is there a reason to be in the relationship?
- Ceaseless control issues. If one person is in control, or a constant tug-of-war is going on, you’re probably spending too much energy navigating the relationship.
- Nonstop narcissism. If the other party’s interest in the relationship is really just a reflection of him or herself, it’s impossible to achieve any kind of balance.
- Never-ending drama. Good relationships improve your life; they don’t make it messier.
- Persistent self-betrayal. If you find yourself changing your opinions to please someone else, you’re in a damaging relationship.
- Constant challenges. All relationships go through challenges, but good relationships work through them.
- Feelings of unworthiness. It’s an insidious thing negative relationships do: They leave you feeling you don’t deserve any better.
- Vibes of entrapment. Is the other person a positive force in your life, or are you there because you don’t see any way out?
- Shortage of autonomy. Anyone in any relationship should have the right to say no.
- Permeates victimhood. You can’t move onto the future if you’re tied to someone who’s still stuck in the past.
- Diminishes your self-worth. When you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t acknowledge your value, it can be hard to see it yourself.
- Laced with dishonesty. Every lie between partners undercuts a little bit of the relationship.
- Makes you unhappy. If someone is constantly making you unhappy, you owe it to yourself to let that person go.
- Feels uncomfortable. Sometimes your mind needs more time to discover what your heart already knows.
- Lowers your high standards. Toxic relationships can cause us to slowly begin accepting what was once not acceptable.
- Senses stagnant. Growth and learning are vital, and you can’t afford to be cut off from them.
- Cuts corners. Nothing is ever worth cutting corners or accepting anything that is second rate.
- Always undermining. If a relationship can’t be reassuring, it’s failing a crucial test.
- Empty pretense. Smiles don’t always mean everything is OK.
- Packed with uncertainty. When nothing is sure, forward movement feels impossible.
- Brimming with envy. Partners are never equal in all aspects, but that should be a source of strength, not of a source of disruptive envy.
You deserve better. You deserve to be happy. If you find you are in a toxic relationship, you need to find a way to move on.
If you do decide to leave you need to remember this is about your health and well being so surround yourself with positivity. Spend time with people who make you feel happy and upbeat. Go out of your way to say positive things to yourself. Remind yourself that you are wonderful and you deserve to be happy. Some call them daily affirmations. But whatever you may call them, it’s a great step in moving on and living a better life.