top signs that you’re in a toxic relationshipadmin
Signs of a toxic relationship can be obvious: blatant infidelity or physical violence, for example. But there are also subtle signs that something is wrong between two people – whether it’s your partner, a family member or a colleague. Because toxic behaviors can not only creep in in romantic relationships.
How do I recognize a toxic relationship?
Whatever the interpersonal context, it’s important to listen to how the person feels and trust your own perceptions.
You feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells
One of the first signs of a toxic relationship is an overly controlling partner. This doesn’t mean immediate violence or physical threats, but rather a fear of expressing one’s opinions or feelings.
The other always decides
If one’s own opinion is then expressed, it is ignored – the first step in a great imbalance in which one part acts and the other at some point only reacts.
You don’t appreciate each other
Relationships often go haywire when you take the other person for granted. Mutual respect is important and can sustain the relationship through these depths when there are crises in other areas.
When the friendship is totally one-sided
Maybe you’re the one who always gets in touch first, trying to get you to see each other again. Or the friend keeps talking about themselves and never about you. Some people take from friendships without investing in them. This can be okay if the person is in a difficult personal situation, but it is by no means a healthy permanent state.
Everything is a competition
Close friends can often fall into the trap of having to compete against each other: who is more successful, who is the better mother , who has the happier relationship. In the long run, this can lead to unhealthy, passive aggressiveness – or even to being happy when the other person fails.
Your family doesn’t respect your boundaries
We cannot choose our family members – but we can work to make our family relationships healthier: Many adults allow parents or siblings to speak to them as if they were still children – they would not of anyone else around them tolerate. But mothers or brothers don’t get a free pass to cross borders .
Your friend lives in the past
Friendships that last a lifetime are special. But they can also be quite challenging when people develop in different directions. A college friend is still stuck in the party life (or at least keeps talking about how fun it was back then) while you’re stuck between work and family. This can work if both sides get involved with the other. It becomes problematic when one cannot and does not want to get involved with the other.
It’s always gossip
It might be quite fun to spend time with the co-worker who doesn’t mince words. But when the fun comes at the expense of others, it’s time to question the basis of that friendship. People who constantly gossip and talk about others are bound to bring down your mood as well. Except that there is a good chance that he/she is also talking about you behind your back.
Meeting together feels like a chore
If you tick off that monthly meeting with someone on your to-do list like you do weekend shopping, you should make a change. Maybe you feel drained after the time together or you get annoyed because he*she is always late. Breaking up with friends is hard, but you should talk to them about it and take action if necessary.
You are suddenly moody and insecure
Sometimes it’s not someone else’s action that signals a toxic relationship, it’s your own: If you suddenly feel like you’re becoming paranoid or don’t trust the other person, ask yourself why. Is it because of you? Are you feeling bad and is it spilling over into your relationship? Maybe your gut feeling wants to tell you something. Open up to your counterpart and talk about your insecurities. At the latest, the reaction to your openness will create clarity.
You can’t be yourself
All of these warning signs have one thing in common: they are a sign that you are not being yourself around a certain person. Relationships often become unhealthy when you shy away from showing a certain side of yourself because it might not be accepted. If you have the feeling that you have to wear a mask, that you always have to perform, it is extremely exhausting and unhealthy in the long run. Bottom line: Ask yourself if the other person brings out the best in you. And surround yourself with people where the answer is a resounding “yes.”