It can be really hard to recognise when a relationship becomes toxic. You can be blinded by the previous good times, or the good times that still exist and make excuses for the toxicity that prevails. “Toxic” can seem like a dramatic use of a word. However, a “toxic relationship” is an accurate way to describe a relationship that negatively impacts one or multiple people. It can be really hard to end relationships. It is even harder to end a toxic one because quite often, in a toxic relationship, one person is manipulated by the other. These signs are just a few examples of scenarios that can exist within a toxic relationship. If you’re feeling that any of these apply to you, step back and consider, could your relationship be toxic?
Someone can exhibit control over you in a variety of ways. This doesn’t just have to be physical. This could be control over your phone, who you can text or when you can use it. It could be about who you can speak to, or who you can’t speak to. Including, your friends and family. If someone is exhibiting extremely controlling behaviour over you, this is a significant sign of a toxic relationship.
This comes hand in hand with signs of a controlling person in a relationship. In a toxic relationship one person could manipulate scenarios, people’s words, attitudes and even your own thoughts. Manipulative people have the ability to design situations to fit their own agendas. Within a toxic relationship, this would be used to control another person just exactly how you want them to behave. They could even manipulate how you think and feel, about yourself or others.
3. Always your fault
You can see how these signs build and manifest. A manipulative person also has the ability to turn problems around ensuring it is always your fault and not theirs. Even when you try and address a problem with them, they always manage to turn it around, and make it about a different issue. Oh and that’ll still be your fault.
4. Guilt complex
In a toxic relationship you can often feel guilty. This is a syndrome of all the other behaviours and toxic signs. You end up apologising, a lot. Sometimes you don’t even know what you are apologising for. Sometimes you might apologise because it’s “easier.” If this is scenario is occurring, where you apologise to frequently appease the another person, it could be a sign of a toxic relationship.
5. Text talk
A toxic relationship can involve a person using messages to punish or control you. For example, by not messaging you back as part of an agenda. Which can lead to you thinking you have done something wrong or upset the person. The person could also constantly message you, maintaining an unnecessarily active and controlling presence in your life, even when they aren’t physically there. They will also probably get really angry if you don’t reply, or don’t reply quickly enough.
The toxic person in the relationship may criticise you frequently. This criticism could be little and often, but, it will still have negative effects. Constant criticism is a form of control. This can cause significant insecurities.
7. Time exhaustion
A sign you are in a toxic relationship is time exhaustion. If one person does not care about, or is frustrated by, boundaries this is a toxic sign. For example, if they get jealous or angry with you for spending time with others, or alone, or just not with them.
8. You can’t see it, but your friends can
You might not be able to see this person’s toxic behaviour. If a lot of your friends and people close to you are giving you warnings about this person, they are probably right. Even if this person isn’t exhibiting the signs they are being accused of by others to you, this demonstrates the manipulative behaviour of this person.
Some people could form a toxic relationship together, just because of their personalities. Some people aren’t inherently bad. However, I am not making excuses for toxic people, just mentioning that sometimes it can be scenario based.
Remember, these signs can appear in any form of “relationship” you have. Look out for the signs and don’t be afraid to end relationships. It can be really really hard end a relationship, especially one that might have been so good at one time. No one ever wants to give up on a relationship either. However, a toxic relationship can be so detrimental to the mental health and lives to one or both participants.
If any of this article has really affected you, please check out these links that provide an extensive list of helplines: