Identifying Toxic Relationships That No Longer Serve You

It seems all seems normal.

The constant phone calls. Multiple texts in a row.  Trying to control what you say, do, or see. It’s in your best interest, they claim. Just looking out for you.

Does it seem like you are being smothered? As if you can’t make any decision without the input or guidance from your partner?

Does any of this ring a bell?

If there is any connection to what we just said, you may be in a toxic relationships. Looking out for one another is great, that is the way it should. But, at some point, it gets to be a bit much. Toxic relationships are exactly what it sounds like – relationships that are not healthy by nature.

Many people think that toxic relationships are the ones that only have physical or verbal abuse. In actuality, there are many more red flags you should be looking for when you are trying to identify a toxic relationship. Keep in mind, we use the term relationship here to encompass friendships, familial relationships and romantic relationships.

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Are They Controlling?

One of the tell-tale signs of a toxic relationship is when one person is trying to control the other. This can manifest itself in many ways, but most commonly is seen by:

  • Saying what you can and cannot wear or accessorize with
  • Controlling your finances completely where you can’t make a purchase without their clearance
  • Stopping you from communicating or seeing friends and family
  • Not letting you leave the house or go someplace without them accompanying you.

Who Do They Blame?

Then there are the very subtle signs of a toxic relationship. Or, signs that a relationship could become unhealthy.

When something goes wrong, do they always seem to blame others? Does it seem as if anytime they have a stressful day at work, it always involves something that someone else did or said? Who are they placing blame on? Does the issue always seem to be with other people?

This is a classic, but subtle, sign of a toxic relationship. All of the above means that this person does not have the emotional capability to recognize that they could be contributing to their own issues. Instead of taking accountability for themselves and how they react to others, it’s always other people who are the issue, not them.

How Do They React?

Do they seem to have an intense reaction if they are caught lying? Does it seem as if there is always an excuse or defense made when there’s conflict over their actions or words? When you admit that something they did or said hurts you, how do they react? Do they own up and acknowledge the hurtful actions? Or do they try to deflect and place the blame on you, instead?

Are they following through with promises they make? Even if it’s just simple things. If they never seem to keep their word, or they go back on things they said, they may be a toxic person.

Trustworthiness is crucial to any relationship, no matter if it is romantic or not. If someone has continued to show, in whatever way, that they can’t be trusted, then it is time re-evaluate their place in your life.

What To Do After You Realize There’s Toxicity In A Relationship

Reflecting on the above, you may realize that there are some signs of an unhealthy relationship. But now what? Do you cut ties all together?

It really just depends on the severity of the situation. Remember, just because a relationship is currently toxic, does not mean that it will always stay that way. Still, if you are in an emotionally or abusive relationship, you should definitely consider what you should do now to remove yourself from the situation. Always, always, always, put yourself and your safety first.

Otherwise, there may still be hope. Maybe the person doesn’t realize that what they are doing is toxic. We sometimes find that is the case. If you are unsure of what to do next, reach out to us for relationship counseling so we can help you find ways to move forward.

February 12, 2022