Talk Nerdy To Me’s @StaffWriter:
It can be hard to spot a toxic relationship before it’s too late. Sometimes, the signs are there, but we choose to ignore them. Other times, we’re so wrapped up in the toxicity that we can’t see anything else.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that we know how to identify and avoid these relationships before they do more damage. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common warning signs of a toxic relationship and offer ways to get out before it’s too late.
Signs that Your Relationship Might Be Unhealthy
While it’s important to know the warning signs of a toxic relationship, it can also help to know what makes a healthy relationship, so you’ll have something to compare your current situation against.
Here are some common characteristics of an unhealthy relationship:
No Trust: If a partner isn’t willing to confide in you or trust your decisions, it can be a sign that they’re not worthy of your friendship.
No Honesty: If you feel like you always have to question who your partner is with or what they are doing behind closed doors, there’s no honesty between the two of you. This lack of ethics can also lead to lying about day-to-day things, which only compounds the problem.
Unhealthy Power Dynamic: When one person has more control than the other, it means that there’s an unhealthy power dynamic at play. It’s tough to build a healthy relationship on top of this foundation.
Unwarranted Jealousy: If you’re constantly being shamed for going out with friends, wearing certain clothes, or seeing a therapist, it shows that your partner doesn’t trust you. You should feel free to pursue whatever interests you without fear of judgment from a healthy partner.
Saying One Thing and Doing Another: This is the hallmark of toxicity. We all have disagreements in relationships from time to time, but if your partner can’t come through on their promises or be upfront about how they feel it’s not okay. A good relationship needs both people to be able to communicate their feelings honestly so they can work through any problems together.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means.
There are many different patterns that indicate a toxic relationship, which is why it’s important to look at the bigger picture.
Be Aware of First Date Red Flags (Toxic Telegrams)
Unfortunately, toxic relationships don’t come with flashing lights and warning signs telling us to stay away. They crop up when we least expect it, and sometimes they begin before we even realize what’s happening.
If you’re looking for a sign that there may be something wrong with your date, take note of these common first date red flags:
- The person drinks or uses drugs excessively
- The person badmouths their ex
- The person is rude to the waitstaff or service people (e.g., store clerks)
- The person puts down others (e.g., looks down on other races/religions/social classes)
- They mention violence lightly or make violent jokes
Early Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Having a close friend, coworker, or family member who is toxic can be detrimental to your mental health. It may help to know what you’re looking for when it comes to spotting the signs of a toxic relationship early on in order to avoid further damage.
Let’s take a look at some common red flags:
Emotional Abuse: Being told that you’re too sensitive and need to toughen up is a sign of verbal abuse. Feeling like your relationship depends on how much you fight back against this treatment will show that your partner may be emotionally abusive. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for standing up for yourself and doing what’s best for you.
Physical Abuse: When your relationship has become physically abusive, it’s time to cut ties. There are many signs of physical abuse, including being pushed, pinned against a wall, or any other contact that makes you feel threatened. If you’re afraid of your partner, even if they’ve never laid a hand on you before it’s time to get out now.
Emotional Blackmail: A partner who constantly puts you down or tries to make you feel guilty is emotionally abusive. Constant threats, guilt trips, and ultimatums are signs of emotional blackmail. You deserve better!
Not only do these relationships lack trust and honesty, but they also tend to be very one-sided with an unhealthy power dynamic at play.
Love Bombing: If your partner has only been nice to you since the beginning of your relationship, it’s possible that they’re love bombing you. Love bombing is a tactic used by manipulators and abusers to get what they want from their victims – namely, control.
Love is not supposed to feel like something that is done out of obligation. If you feel like you must put in all the effort while your partner is hardly trying, it might be time to call it quits.
Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a way for abusers and manipulators to keep their victims under control by playing with their perception of reality. Common examples include being purposely misunderstood or being told that something didn’t happen the way you remember it.
Your Partner May Be Toxic If…
There are three fundamental questions to ask yourself in your search for the truth:
- Do they respect you?
- Do they listen to you?
- What kind of behaviors do they exhibit when frustrated or upset?
Do They Respect You?
Someone who respects their partner will consider how their words and actions affect others. If your partner constantly badmouths other people, it shows that they don’t care about others’ feelings and can’t be trusted.
Do They Listen to You?
Someone who is truly concerned for your well-being will take the time to listen and understand where you’re coming from. If they aren’t interested in what you have to say, it should show that they don’t care about your feelings and needs.
What Kind of Behavior Do They Exhibit When Frustrated Or Upset?
A person who cares about you will not take out their frustration on you.
Your partner should be responsible for their own emotions and treat you with respect even when they’re feeling angry or upset, which means that they’ll either talk things through with you calmly or walk away until they can control themselves and apologize properly.
If this list has allowed you to recognize any toxic behaviors in your own relationships, know that it’s not too late to get out of this pattern! Here are some tips for avoiding creating or continuing a toxic relationship:
- Stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself
- Don’t blame yourself for the way your partner is treating you
- Realize that the relationship isn’t healthy if your happiness depends on your partner