10 Signs Your Relationship is Toxic
10 Signs your Relationship is Toxic
Toxic relationships hurt everyone involved. No one escapes unscathed. But identifying a toxic relationship can be tricky. Often the toxic person will put the blame on the innocent party and try to make it look like they are the ones at fault. These 10 signs of a toxic relationship apply to romantic relationships, friendships and even family. If you see your relationship in any of these scenarios you should look deeper and seek help.
You can’t do anything right.
No matter what you do it is never right. This person always has a better way and they can’t wait to tell you all about it. If they aren’t telling how much better their way is then they are telling you how wrong you are.
What they do: This toxic person will slowly and methodically tear you down, bit by bit. They will mock what you do, who you are, where you come from, nothing is exempt.
How you feel: Most of the time you feel ashamed or bad about yourself. You start to feel like you can’t do anything right, like you are a walking mistake.
They want to control everything, especially YOU.
This person wants you to do everything their way. When you think of them the term ‘control freak’ may come to mind. And when they don’t get their way they get angry and abusive.
What they do: They want to control what you do, what you say, what you wear, who you have relationships with, who your friends are, everything. When you don’t do as they say or as they want them call you names, give you the silent treatment, get angry and even physically abuse you.
How you feel: You feel trapped like you can’t do anything for yourself. You might even be afraid to do certain things because you don’t want to set them off. You become afraid of doing anything that they do not ‘authorize.’
They drop hints and use passive aggression to mess with your head.
This is a subtle game that some people play. They don’t have the courage to come right out and say what’s bothering them so they play games that keep everyone anxious.
What they do: They won’t say what the mean directly. Instead, they will hint and say things that insinuate the problem or use hypotheticals. They don’t say what is upsetting them but instead
How you feel: You feel like you are constantly in a game where you have to guess and read into everything that is said. It puts you on edge and you are always afraid of doing something you aren’t supposed to because you did not pick up on a hint.
You walk on eggshells.
The environment is always tense because you are always afraid of offending the person, hurting their feelings or angering them. This is what makes the relationship so very stressful.
What they do: They are not honest about things that upset them and then blow up at you ‘out of the blue’ when they have had enough. They are overly sensitive and don’t communicate then get upset for no apparent reason. When you ask what’s wrong they say, ‘nothing.’
How you feel: This leaves you feeling like you have to be very careful what you say or do because you just never know what will set them off. You can never relax around this person and you certainly can’t be yourself because you don’t want to upset them.
It is all about THEM - always.
They are the star of their own show and everything is about them, them, them. A normal, two sided conversation is impossible and you can forget compromise.
What they do: They will not acknowledge your feelings and if they do allow you to express how you feel about something they will always turn it back to themselves. They will not listen to your opinion and if they do they will spend the next twenty minutes tearing it to shreds and showing you how much better and ‘right’ their opinion is. They will fight with you until you give up and give them the last word.
How you feel: This leave you feeling like you have no stake in the relationship, like it is their show and you are just along for the ride. You spend all of your energy catering to them and doing what they want just to keep the peace. And you keep a lot of feelings bottled up because you know that expressing them is useless – they won’t be heard.
They are master scorekeepers.
This person will dredge up mistakes you made or things you said that were supposedly already forgiven and forgotten. This means that wounds never heal and things never get resolved. It also means that if you make a mistake you will pay for it forever in this person’s eyes.
What they do: When you try to talk to them about a problem they bring up every wrong thing you have ever done in the relationship or in your life. They look at the relationship in such a way that the person with the least offences is ‘owed’ things - usually the right to be nasty or do something they should not.
How you feel: When you are close to a person who does this you start to feel like you will never, ever be forgiven. You will be constantly be saying that you are sorry – for the same things over and over. You always be dealing with the same issues that get rehashed, sometimes from years ago.
They blame you for their emotions.
They had a bad day and you have no clue what went on. You act like you normally do, oblivious to their distress, anger, hurt, whatever. Then they blow up at you for being an insensitive jerk and suddenly it becomes all your fault that they feel rotten and you feel blindsided, wondering what just happened.
What they do: They expect you to read their mind or ‘pick up on’ their foul mood. You are supposed to ‘just know’ when they are upset and then you are to act accordingly. They do not communicate what is going on, but all of a sudden they are blaming you for emotions they are feeling that you had absolutely nothing to do with.
How you feel: You tiptoe around them because you never know what mood they are in or how they are going to react to your interaction with them. You feel like you are constantly handling a live grenade when you are with them – and you never know when it is going to blow. You feel frustrated because they expect you to read their minds or magically know that they had a bad day.
They try to buy your love.
Issues never get resolved; instead you just get new stuff, vacations and nights on the town. The person who does this is a master at avoiding conflict and things never get resolved. Beware though, the frustrations will build and build them one day one of you will blow.
What they do: When there is a problem in the relationship they try to cover it up with gifts and other things. They try to buy your love and use gifts as a diversion from relationship problems. They go from disagreement to make up with no resolution or solution in between.
How you feel: You feel like conflicts never get resolved – and they don’t. You feel manipulated and you will probably even start to feel like the relationship isn’t very important to the person if they aren’t willing to work out the problems – and you’re probably right.
You can’t change or grow.
In a healthy relationship people are supposed to grow and change while supporting each other. In a toxic relationship that growth and change is met with opposition – sometimes very hurtful. The person wants to keep you stuck where you are so that you never grow beyond your current state.
What they do: When you try to better yourself or grow they mock you and criticize you for it. Sometimes they may actually do things to prevent you from bettering yourself. They will try to tear you down so that your self esteem is so low that you don’t feel you can accomplish the growth you seek.
How you feel: Being with a person like this will make you feel stuck and you will be afraid to branch out and try new things because you don’t want to deal with their negativity. You may avoid doing things that will help you grow or improve which will lead to depression and a lack of self-worth.
You can’t enjoy good times with them.
There is often a sense of dread when you are around this person. You have a difficult enjoying being around them because you are always walking on egg shells. You are afraid to tell them things, normal things that other people talk about, because you dread their reaction.
What they do: They do all or some of the things mentioned here, things that set you on edge and make you want to avoid them.
How you feel: You feel a sense of dread even if you really care for the person. You may start avoiding them or making excuses for why you can’t spend more time with them. You feel uncomfortable and feel like you can’t be yourself.
Toxic relationships can destroy you. They will tear down your self-esteem and can cause depression – sometimes severe. If you are in a toxic relationship seek help. Talk to a counselor and learn about how to cope. If you can get the other person to go to counseling with you there may be a chance for the relationship to survive. If not, it may be time to move on. Your health and wellbeing isn’t worth the enormous cost of a toxic relationship.