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What makes a relationship toxic

People who consistently undermine or cause harm to a partner (whether intentionally or not) often have a reason for their behavior, even if it’s subconscious. 

Maybe they were in a toxic relationship, either romantically or as a child. Maybe they didn’t have the most supportive, loving upbringing. They could have been bullied in school. They could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health disorder.

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A toxic relationship

Is any relationship between people who don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there is competition and there is disrespect.

A toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant and draining for the people in it, to the point that negative moments outweigh and outnumber the positive ones.

Warning signs

The most serious warning signs include any form of violence, abuse or harassment, which should be dealt with immediately. But in many cases, the indicators of a toxic relationship are much more subtle: Persistent unhappiness, negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem, feeling like you can’t talk with or voice concerns to your significant other.

  • If you feel that you’re in physical danger, you may need to involve the authorities. 
  • If the harm is emotional or mental, you’ll have to decide if it’s possible to work through the issue. 
  • If underlying triggers such as depression or trauma are influencing one or both individuals’ behaviors, therapeutic or medical treatments may help. 

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For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

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IDEAS

Holding The Relationship Hostage

It's when one person has a simple criticism or complaint and blackmails the other person by threatening the commitment of the relationship as a whole.

Without the freedom to be honest, a couple will suppress their true thoughts and feelings leading to the creation of an environment of distrust and manipulation.

Remember that two partners who are capable of communicating feedback and criticism without judgment or blackmail will strengthen their commitment to one another in the long-run.

Jealousy

Being jealous is actually a toxic behavior. We can’t control our feelings, and sometimes we get jealous over things. But it’s important not to express that jealousy in a way that can hurt our partners, or in a way that’s toxic and upsetting.