Toxic Relationships and Characteristics to Avoid
A relationship is more than just a source of love and companionship. It makes you feel invigorated, vibrant, and optimistic. It also provides a sense of well being and contentment.
However, some relationships can drain energy and life out of you, leaving you suffocated and in deep emotional turmoil. Once a relationship gets to this point, it becomes toxic.
It can be difficult to detect the signs of a toxic relationship. Being in love can make you turn a blind eye to the stark realities of a bad relationship. It also makes you hold on to the hope that your partner will change over time. The relationship becomes less fulfilling, and more frustrating.
A bad relationship can lead to physical and emotional abuse with time. It is therefore important to recognize problems early, and take action before it is too late. Here are glaring signs of a toxic relationship:
You feel fearful or uncomfortable
A loved one should make you feel great, happy, and confident. If you are fearful around your partner, then your relationship may be toxic. Feelings of fear or discomfort are instilled through belittling, criticism, or threats. And as a result your confidence breaks. Fear is designed to keep you emotionally dependent on your partner and prevents you from standing up for yourself. It is a tool used to control you, to remain subservient and submissive to your partner.
You lose your self esteem
Great relationships are supposed to boost your self confidence. Anyone who falls in love should feel more beautiful, attractive, and sexy. A toxic relationship on the other hand lowers your self esteem, it leaves you feeling less confident of yourself and lacking in self belief. This is mainly caused by insults, emotional or physical abuse. An abusive partner may unfairly criticize or insult your dress code, habits, interests, or choice of friends. Until you lose your pride and self esteem and are left totally dependent on your partner for confidence and strength.
You are unhappy
Good relationships provide an almost euphoric feeling of bliss and enjoyment. Heart pounding excitement is central to any great relationship. If you are in a relationship but feel unhappy or frustrated, then you are in a toxic relationship. Some of your partner’s actions could lead to unhappiness, such as putting you down, isolating you from your friends or embarrassing you in public.
You are never good enough
A toxic relationship may feel like a never ending interview, in which you are expected to prove your worth. Anything you do is subjected to ridicule or mocking, leaving you feeling low and inadequate. You keep trying to please your partner with no success. This keeps you on edge and makes you feel inferior, under these circumstances the only way to escape this negative treatment and to fit into the relationship is to behave like your partner, to lose your identity and to try to become like them; suppressing your personality to suit someone else isn’t healthy and it isn’t the definition of being respected.
It is never about you
Everything that happens in a good relationship should be of mutual benefit. Great couples compromise when their wants differ. If your partner never takes your desires into consideration, then the relationship is toxic. Your partner will constantly fail to listen to your point of view, and instead insist on doing things his way. Your feelings are never acknowledged, and you never get to have the last word.
Your partner is excessively jealous
Toxic relationships are often caused by an extremely jealous partner. Although jealousy is natural in any relationship, such destructive partners are actually paranoid. They accuse you of infidelity all the time, for no reason whatsoever. You are forced to limit your friendships to avoid raising suspicion. Your partner becomes obsessive, and controls what you wear or who you associate with. This makes you feel manipulated and hemmed in.
You feel like someone else’s property
Unhealthy relationships tend to exhibit excessive control by one partner over the other. Jealousy and obsession are used as excuses to take over every part of your life. Your partner dictates what you do, and who your friends can be. You never have your own free time, or room to grow and be what you want. You are forced to change your opinions and preferences when around them, for fear of receiving demeaning comments.
Your partner is always negative
A great relationship provides encouragement and support. A good partner should help you build yourself, and be a shoulder to lean on during tough times. A toxic relationship on the other hand becomes your biggest challenger. Your partner never believes in you, and discourages you from pursuing new ventures. A toxic partner laughs at your dreams, and goes to great lengths to prove they are not worth it.
Your partner is always hostile
If your relationship feels like a battle zone all the time, then it is toxic. Bad relationships are full of arguments and unhealthy debates. You never seem to agree on anything. In fact, your partner delights in taking the opposite side of any argument, just to pick a fight with you.
This creates a lot of tension, stress, and fear. There is never a moment of peace, where the two of you discuss and agree amicably. Two people in a relationship do not have to agree on everything. However, if you always fight and argue over everything, then your relationship is toxic.
Your partner avoids you
If your partner is constantly avoiding you, then it’s a sign of a dysfunctional relationship. This is especially true if they do not want to be seen in public with you. They may also prefer to hang out with their friends, rather than spend time with you.
They will particularly shun public displays of affection, leaving you feeling rejected and unwanted. When you talk to them about it, they complain that you are too demanding or needy. Your partner will also avoid talking about feelings or the relationship, preferring instead to have a general conversation.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, then it is time to evaluate your relationship. Toxic relationships are bad for your health, and can cause immense stress. Seek help from friends or relatives, to help you detach yourself from the relationship. It is also important to seek the services of a professional, to address any psychological trauma that may result from a toxic relationship.