Humans are social animals, so it is necessary for almost every human to form relationships with one another. In most instances, these relationships are beneficial and healthy for a human's life. In some cases, these relationships turn into unhealthy ones that end up hurting a person and their progress through life. The bad person constantly will do certain things that hold the other person in the relationship back. These relationships are hard to deal with because individuals know they need to get out of them, but they do not know how to safely leave. Others may not even know what a toxic relationship looks like.
They Don't Take Responsibility For Their Actions
A bad relationship may be present when they don't take responsibility for their actions. They may always blame the other person in the relationship of focus on attributing bad actions to outside causes. On the other hand, if they take responsibility for anything good that happens, the relationship is just as toxic. This sort of relationship will result in frequent arguments. It will also leave the other individual feeling worthless and inadequate. Leaving a relationship like this is better for all involved in the relationship. While this may be a somewhat easier problem to handle, not taking responsibility can turn into a different problem very quickly.
Communication Breaks Down
When communication breaks down, which is called stonewalling, the relationship is likely in danger. Stonewalling occurs when a person refuses to respond to interactions or responds evasively. Stonewalling will effectively destroy every attempt at communication made by one person to the stonewaller. Without being able to communicate, it will be impossible to talk about serious problems that may arise within a relationship, leaving the problems to grow towards an explosion. Communication breakdown by stonewalling is a sure sign of a toxic relationship. If this problem cannot be mended, it is best to get out of the relationship before it turns into something potentially dangerous.
They Gaslight You
When someone in a relationship gaslights the other all the time, the relationship is likely toxic. Gaslighting is extremely dangerous because it is hard to tell it is going on. The goal of gaslighting is to make a person feel as if they are going insane by manipulating them through psychological means. A person who is gaslighting someone else will begin slowly and gradually increases the intensity as time passes. They will lie, deny they said something, and even use things close to a person as ammunition in their manipulation. Gaslighting makes it much harder to leave a relationship because a person is always left questioning whether they made everything up or not. The erasure of reality is certainly a sign of a dangerous, toxic relationship.
They Constantly Put You Down
When they constantly put you down form of control, you are likely in a toxic relationship. The person will be rude and dismissive toward everything said to make a partner not want to talk anymore. This works similarly to stonewalling, except with a response. The response is destructive rather than constructive, and will eventually shut down communication. It will also allow the person to control their partner. When their partner is not trying to mend problems or work with the person toward improvement, the toxic person can control the relationship, which can easily lead the partner into a dangerous and undesirable situation. Leaving such a relationship is key to improving life.
They Are Abusive
The most dangerous and obvious sign of a toxic relationship is when someone is abusive physically or mentally to their partner. This type of relationship is often the hardest to leave. A mentally abused person is likely to have been gaslighted and blame themselves for everything that has gone wrong, so they are unlikely to leave the relationship themselves. A person who is physically abused is likely to be too scared to leave a relationship since their partner may try to come and harm them for leaving.
In most cases, the partner will be both mentally and physically abusive. Someone is very unlikely to leave such a relationship without help. When any form of abuse is involved, the relationship is undoubtedly a toxic one that needs to end.
Toxic relationships can be hard to spot for individuals who do not know the signs, but they can still be hard for someone who knows the signs and is involved in one. Feelings for a partner often cloud judgment, leaving a person stuck in an unhealthy relationship. The best thing for individuals in this situation is to have an excellent support system that will help them see the toxicity of the relationship and guide them toward leaving it.
They Are Persistently Unreliable
One common sign of a toxic relationship is if the other person is consistently unreliable. However, keep in mind unreliability isn't always a sign of toxicity. In addition, not all adults can be expected to keep every single plan or be there for every single moment. Some physical and mental health conditions, such as chronic fatigue and depression, may make it very difficult for individuals to engage socially. Adults working forty hours per week also tend to be exhausted, and they might not always feel up to following through on plans. But a toxic person's unreliability will have consequences. They may not follow through on promises they've made, which leads to others having to shoulder burdens and consequences. They may cancel or change plans at the last minute when it's important for them to be solidified. They may appear to have very little concern for the consequences their unreliability has for others.
The Drama Doesn't Stop
Another sign of a toxic relationship is if the drama doesn't stop. A little negativity is not only necessary for survival, but can even be healthy. It's good to have space to vent. But if individuals are experiencing constant negativity and drama, it is draining on their mental health and energy levels. Toxic individuals often pick fights and end up in the center of drama. They may constantly demand that others, particularly someone they are in a relationship with, pick sides or give them emotional support. They may be exceedingly negative without offering any positive thoughts to offset that. An individual with toxic relationships often goes from friendship and relationship to friendship and relationship very quickly. They may also frame things as though they've been victimized. One of the most telling aspects of toxicity is if an individual is more interested in milking the pain of a situation than finding a solution. Thriving on negativity isn't healthy.
They Don't Offer Any Support
One hallmark of a toxic relationship is if they don't offer any support. Toxic relationships are not always actively abusive. In fact, sometimes both individuals have negative effects on each other. But in a toxic relationship, at least one party ends up feeling more drained than supported by the dynamic. It's an imbalance that causes a great deal of negativity and stress. Lack of support is one of the most common factors contributing to this. A friend might constantly seek emotional support from another after fights with others or life stresses, but when it comes time for them to provide support, they might not make any effort or appear to have any interest in helping. Different individuals have different ways of showing support. Not everyone has a natural instinct for how to give helpful advice or offer comforting gestures. But some individuals will show support through standing up for someone else or offering companionship so that person won't be isolated. If someone makes absolutely no effort to support another person, especially if they seem to be sabotaging them, they might be a toxic presence.
Constantly Left Feeling Drained
Some individuals don't realize they're experiencing a toxic relationship dynamic. They just constantly feel drained and unhappy around the other person. They may even dread interacting with the other individual because of how stressed the interactions make them. An individual's interpersonal relationships should have a positive effect on their life and outlook, not a negative one. It's true that not every single interaction an individual has will always be positive. But if their relationship has a pattern that leaves them feeling fatigued, it may be toxic. This isn't always due to wrongdoing on the other person's part. They may have very different energy or emotional support needs. It's important to make an effort to set boundaries. If the other person is unhappy with the boundaries, dismisses their feelings, or ignores the boundaries entirely, it might be time for the individual to cut ties with them. Life is full of enough stress without adding to it by surrounding oneself with negative influences.
Another common element in toxic relationships is having no trust between the parties involved. This may occur because of previous patterns of behavior. For example, if a person has been unreliable in the past, the other one might not trust them to be relied upon in the future. They might also not trust someone to offer emotional support or to respect boundaries if that person has failed to do so in the past. At the same time, the other party might not trust them on whether or not they've had a toxic influence. They may act as though others can't be confided in, relied upon, or considered as a support option. Trust issues are a really fast way to make relationships fall apart. If an individual doesn't trust the other person isn't lying, they might engage in behavior like sneaking through their belongings and private messages. This invasion of privacy can, in turn, lead to their trust in that person being broken. It's a vicious cycle that's much better remedied by engaging in healthy communication and boundary setting.