Toxic relationships are like shackles that hold you down. Relationship is the feeling of freedom and togetherness, not bondage and authority. When relationships become a lot authoritative and suppressing, it is time to take a step back and redefine the relationship.
A toxic relationship can be anything, it can be your friend, a relative or your partner. Whatever the name may be, the signs that it is becoming toxic are similar across relationships. There are many signs and red flags that you mostly ignore when it comes to toxic relationship. This is because you are very close to the person and feel the connection, that makes you not notice the most basic issues.
What does a Toxic Relationship look-like?
They first gain your trust. They do this by giving you immense importance. They say that you are their first priority and they will always think about your good. They take your side in quarrels and fight for you. Now while this may seem like a caring person, it is not! The difference between caring and toxic relationship is that while they will take your side, they will also show that you won a quarrel because of them and if they weren’t there, you would have caused damage.
Things get more toxic when they start fighting your battles for you. They don’t let you take charge or put your point. They take the entire charge of your fight on themselves. You will be like I can fight my own battles and this is a really small one. What they should do is support you in small battles, not fight them and them boast about how they helped you with it.
The thing that is very common is self worth. You tend to lose it with the time you spend with them. They make you feel guilty for things that you should not be sorry about. They blame everything on you and they do it so convincingly that even you cannot deny it. “A relationship with a narcissist is very dismissive, where your needs and wishes are dismissed to a level where you always feel like you’re a second figure/character.” says Pallavi Barnwal, a relationship coach.
“I know you better, you have this habit” is a sentence that shows their attention to your behaviour, even if it is not something you do. If you let it slide once, it happens every single time that they consider every issue as your fault. They also make you feel guilty that how they always fight for you and prioritise you while you cannot do much. Girl, it is because they don’t let you as they want you to be completely dependent on them by doing errands for you.
They also try to cut you off from people. By now, they have built a trust by fighting battles(boasting later) and taking stand (boasting again) for you. They also consider you priority, take you to meals, give you gifts even when you refuse etc. Now you trust their words and then, they start talking about how a lot of people say bad about you to them. And how they are still sticking to you after so many bad things they heard.
Obviously, they make up these stories as they never give proof for them. This makes you hate those people and distance from them. And soon your circle confines to a single person, them. It also makes you feel how bad of a person you are that people talk ill about you and that something must be wrong with you.
They show themselves as victims of all the bad things happening. They gain sympathy by telling you stories without proof. They don’t consider your issues but instead tell how difficult it is for them. And you, since you are already guilty, sympathise without any proof of their talks. When talking about one sided relationships, Pallavi Barnwal says, “Narcissist people are very discontented in nature…..they have issues with the world, the government, their families and or colleagues too”
All these problems indicate that you are in a toxic relationship and you need to get out of it immediately.
Different studies show that bad relationships can actually make us sick, negatively impacting our mental and physical health. Research by the University of California Los Angeles found that healthy adults who had negative social experiences had increased levels of inflammation.
It’s recommended that you look out for signs when you are in a relationship. While it may not be necessary always, but a little precaution can save you from mental and emotional torture that you suffer. Do not ignore red flags.
Toxic relationships wear out your mental state by making you feel guilty, incapable and inferior, so if you feel such emotions, look where things might be wrong. A toxic relationship should be ended immediately before it can cause you more damage.
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