All relationships have their ups and downs and each comes with its own challenges. No two people agree on everything, and if they do, it is likely not a healthy relationship. Extreme agreeableness either means that one person is afraid to be themselves or they have detached emotionally from a relationship. Perfection is not attainable, but love, respect, and trust are. These should be the foundational building blocks of any relationship that you are involved in. If you consistently feel disrespected, controlled, used, or lied to, it may be time to assess whether you are in a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships are full of disrespect, hurt, betrayal, and deceit. Not sure if this pertains to your relationship? Keep reading to find out!
Lack of Respect
Toxic relationships are full of disrespect. Do you frequently feel that your opinions are unheard or disregarded? If so, it may be time to establish boundaries and communicate how you feel. Friends may repeatedly break their promises or parents may consistently judge your life choices. Romantic partners may be dismissive or openly flirt with other people despite your protest. All of these actions depict a lack of respect. It is worth giving people a chance to alter their behavior, but if improvement or effort does not occur, you may need to remove yourself from the situation completely.
Regularly receiving comments that undermine, belittle, or humiliate you can lead to feelings of degradation and low self-esteem. The people you surround yourself with should build you up and provide mutual support. However, it is worth noting that constructive criticism is not toxic. Constructive criticism may consist of comments and advice that are meant to empower and challenge you to be better, rather than tearing you down. Negative criticism is usually used to attack your character, appearance, or self-worth. Maybe your boss refuses to acknowledge your effort and makes you feel that everything you do is wrong. Or your partner constantly makes demeaning comments and aims to demolish your self-image. When you are immersed in these types of environments long enough, their voice becomes the voice that you speak to yourself with and you may begin to believe it.
Control and Manipulation
If your partner seeks to control you through manipulation or fear, this is a sign that they have malicious intentions. Maybe they try to isolate you or force you to abandon other close relationships, or they want you to separate from your friends and family. This is a tactic that people use to establish dominance over your mind and environment so that they can control your actions and emotions. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes you begin to question your own sanity. This can be used to break down your boundaries and make you believe that you are powerless to leave. Have you ever had evidence of your partner’s wrongdoings and no matter what you say they have an explanation? This is a form of gaslighting. Their actions are never wrong and they will take zero accountability while making you feel that you are the one at fault. You begin to see reality through their eyes and can no longer discern what’s real. This is toxic for your well-being and indicates an unhealthy relationship.
Insecurity and Accusation
Insecure individuals sometimes desire to drag others down to their level. In romantic relationships, insecurity can be exhibited through jealousy and accusations of infidelity. Maybe this happens occasionally, and it is squared away, but if this is a consistent fight, your partner’s insecurities could become toxic. Other times insecurity can be exhibited by making fun of others or pointing out negative qualities. Maybe a certain friendship comes to mind when thinking about this scenario. Or maybe your parents have their own struggles and cannot stand to see you do better in life so they begin to sabotage your success. It sounds crazy, right? Yet, it happens more often than you may think.
Relationships are all complex and unique. No two situations are the same, and sometimes it takes an objective view to guide you through toxic relationships. Not sure whether you want to continue in a relationship or curious if there is a way to lessen its toxicity? New Vision Counseling and Consulting can provide you with the guidance and information you need to make a decision that benefits your future and well-being in all of your relationships. We provide a judgment-free zone where our clients feel free to be their true selves. We want you to feel accepted and comfortable as you journey to transformation and restoration. Call our client care line today to learn about our counseling process and get matched with a therapist that accommodates your needs and lifestyle. We can be reached by calling (405) 921-1776. We can’t wait to hear your story!