The term “toxic relationship” has been used a lot lately. But what does it really mean?
By definition, a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner.
A toxic relationship can refer to a romantic relationship but can easily translate to an unbalanced friendship as well. It’s important to first realize the signs of a toxic relationship. Here are the 10 signs you’re in a toxic relationship.
10 Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship:
Do Any of These Signs Sound Familiar?
- Take Take Take: More times than not you are always the one giving. Whether it be time, energy, attention, or even advice about their struggles. You are always giving 110% in the relationship while receiving nothing in return. With no energy put back into you, the relationship begins to feel a little lopsided.
- You Feel Drained: You are emotionally, mentally, and even physically drained after you hang out with that person.
- Lack of Trust: The foundation of any relationship starts to crumble when trust starts to wain. Even omitting the truth, or white lies begin to wear you down.
- No Support: The one time you really need them and reach out – they are no where to be found.
- Nonstop Narcissism: If the interest of your relationship is constantly just a reflection of him or herself, then it’s nearly impossible to find a healthy balance.
- Never Ending Drama: Healthy relationships are supposed to improve your life, not make it even more stressful.
- Filled With Judgment: They always have something negative to say about your habits, appearance, lifestyle, etc.
- Never Good Enough: Even though you are putting 110% into the relationship, it’s never enough for them. They always need more.
- Hold You Back: They show subtle signs of not wanting to see you grow and achieve your goals.
- They Make You Unhappy: If you find yourself feeling unhappy after hanging out with them or even tense up when you get a text from them – it’s high time to make some changes.
Uh-Oh…These Do Sound Familiar.But What Can I Do?
If you went through the above list and found yourself nodding your head, there is something you can do. Every relationship is different so you’ll have to determine which option would be best for you. Here are some options I’ve explored that truly helped:
Take Some Time
If your relationship is starting to become increasingly stressful, take a time out. Take some time away from that person and do some serious thinking. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does this person make me happy?
- Do they add to my life?
- How have they helped me in the past?
- Is this relationship worth my time and energy?
Sometimes even making a list of pros and cons about that person can really help (as cheesy as it sounds)!
Minimize Your Hangout Sessions
If you guys usually hang out 3-4 times a week, make a mental note to only see them once a week. Slowly begin to limit your time with that person.
Sometimes this might cure a lot of your struggles simply by seeing them less.
However this could also be super frustrating to them. In toxic relationships it’s not uncommon for the toxic individual to lash out- especially if they no longer feel like they are getting their “allotted attention” from you.
Let Them Go
If the above options just don’t seem like enough, perhaps it’s time to really let that person go. This is definitely not always an easy route (especially if your romantic relationship or friendship with that person has lasted a long time).
But if you’re at your wit’s end – it’s a healthy option to go with.
You can simply stop responding to them or stop hanging out with them gradually.
Or you can also confront them about the imbalance. Unfortunately people with toxic tendencies aren’t the easiest to reason with and may try to turn it all around on you. Never accept blame for feeling the way you do.
It’s not your fault.
Even though the break from your relationship will sting at first, hold strong. There is a whole world of amazing people out there. You need to take care of yourself first.