Surviving In A Toxic Relationship: Meaning of Toxicity in Relationships
Surviving in a toxic relationship is highly important. A relationship is considered to be toxic if it leaves you feeling unsupported, misunderstood, degraded, or attacked in some way. At its most fundamental level, a relationship can become toxic over time if it consistently contributes to a person feeling worse rather than better.
Relationships that are harmful to one’s health can form in virtually any environment, from the schoolyard to the boardroom to the bedroom. You can even have to deal with unhealthy relationships with members of your own family.
When your emotional, psychological, or physical well-being is threatened, the relationship may be unhealthy.
As a result of their heightened sensitivity to negative feelings, people who suffer from mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depression, or even just tendencies toward depression may be especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of unhealthy relationships.
For instance, a person with bipolar disorder who is in the midst of a mixed or depressive episode may have a somewhat weaker grip on emotional stability than others, and because of this, that person may be an easier target for toxic people. Toxic people may try to take advantage of this. On the other hand, toxic people can have an effect on anyone.
Surviving In A Toxic Relationship: Warning Indicators
You are the only one who can determine whether the negative aspects of a relationship outweigh the positive ones. But a relationship is likely unhealthy if someone regularly puts your well-being in jeopardy.
Abuse in a relationship can take different forms, but it’s always unhealthy, whether it’s verbal or physical. But there are other subtle signs of a toxic relationship, such as the following:
- You feel disrespected on a consistent basis or that your needs aren’t being met.
- As time passes, you notice that your self-esteem has taken a hit.
- You have the impression that you are being attacked, misunderstood, or treated with contempt.
- After talking to or spending time with the other person, you experience feelings of depression, anger, or exhaustion
- You two bring out the worst in each other’s personalities.
- Being around that person brings out your worst qualities. For instance, they seem to bring out a mean streak in you that you normally don’t have, and they make you more talkative than you would normally be.
- When you give more than you’re getting, which makes you feel devalued.
- Getting the impression that you need to avoid this person at all costs and tread carefully around them to avoid becoming a victim of their poison.
- You put in a lot of effort, both in terms of time and emotional stamina, to try to cheer them up.
- They make you feel like you are the source of every problem. They will spin the situation in such a way that you will be held responsible for things that you initially believed were their fault.
Surviving In A Toxic Relationship: Comparing Unhealthy and Good Habits
When determining when a relationship is unhealthy for one of the parties involved, it is important that you consider the behaviors that your partner exhibits often. If you have a self-centered, disrespectful, and negative partner, it is a clear case of a toxic relationship.
On the other hand, if he or she is constantly encouraging, compassionate, and respectful, then it is a clear indication of a healthy relationship.
It is important to be able to recognize the signs of toxic behavior in yourself or your partner. Here are some ways to tell if someone is doing both healthy and unhealthy things.
Examples of Toxic Behaviours In A Relationship
- Lack of Respect for Others.
Examples Of Healthy Behaviours In A Relationship
- Feeling safe
It is essential to keep in mind that unhealthy relationships do not only exist within the romantic context. They can be extremely stressful, especially if the toxicity is not managed properly. They can occur in families, in the workplace, and among groups of friends.
There are some unhealthy relationships in which only one party is to blame. Some people are just plain toxic to be around because they drain your energy with their negative behaviors.
They exhibit negative behaviours like constant complaining, critical remarks, and an overall negative attitude. Or, they may constantly argue with other people, explain why they are superior to others, or point out the shortcomings of others.
At other times, people behave in this manner toward everyone, but they are unaware of the impact their actions have on others. It is likely they don’t know how to read social cues well enough to know when they’re making people feel frustrated.
On the other hand, there are times when people are intentionally rude and hurtful. In situations like this, you might think that the other person’s mean words and actions are aimed at you. You always feel like you’re falling short despite your best efforts.
If any of the above apply, you should reconsider your relationship with the person. Their acts may affect your self-worth, emotional health, and physical well-being.
According to a study at University of Michigan in 2016, “negative relationship quality directly affects the cardiovascular system.” This hurts your health over time, and may even make you use unhealthy ways to deal with stress, excessive drinking or emotional eating.
Surviving In A Toxic Relationship: Dealing With Toxic Individuals
Dealing With Narcissists
Sociopaths and narcissists acquire energy from others’ attention and adoration. In their pursuit of supremacy, narcissists feel driven to one-up others and make them feel “less-than.”
If you share a proud accomplishment, they may try to pull you down by praising or insulting you. They might also make you wonder if they will be nice to you one day or the next. Or, on a regular basis, they might engage in a tactic known as gaslighting.
Narcissists have a difficult time taking responsibility for their actions because they are convinced that they are perfect and never err. In point of fact, they find it personally threatening to acknowledge that they do not possess perfect qualities.
When you’re dealing with narcissistic people, it’s not always clear if they know what they’re doing or not. If the other person’s behaviors cause you to feel bad about yourself, you need to put some distance between you or be on guard when they are around.
This modification in your behavior won’t alter them, but it can assist decrease the stress of dealing with them. The crucial thing is that you shield yourself from the emotional abuse you receive when engaging with them.
Things to Consider When Dealing With Narcissists
- Remind yourself that you’re not going to change them, and confronting them may just bring up more rage without resolving anything.
- Put distance between yourself and them.
- Recognize that you will have to take precautions if the other person is going to remain an integral part of your life.
Dealing With Toxic Co-Workers
If it’s a co-worker and the problem is proximity, consider thinking of a solid excuse to get your desk moved. If someone complains to you, forward them to a supervisor and continue working.. You may have to repeat this multiple times before they catch the hint.
Dealing With Toxic Family and Friends
With family members and friends, it’s likely to be more challenging, since there may be no easy way to remove the toxic person from your life.
If you have a toxic buddy, you may need to minimize the time you spend with them. If you’re concerned about offending them, reduce the rate of your visits over a number of months to make it less visible.
When the toxic person is a family member or close friend, it may also help to convince them to go to therapy. This may be what they need to address the problem that is making them toxic.
Surviving In A Toxic Relationship: Coping With Toxicity
Tips To Cope With Toxicity In Relationships
- Talk to the other individual about what you’re witnessing. Also, take responsibility for your part in the circumstance.
- Discuss the problem and decide if you want to adjust things to meet both of your requirements.
- Consider the relationship and ask yourself if the individual is damaging your self-esteem and mental health.
- Limit the time you spend with people that bring sadness into your life. If this individual is someone you need to interact with, such a family member or co-worker, you may need to limit interactions.
- If you wish to communicate about your issues, use “I feel” words when discussing your sentiments and emotions. Doing so helps keep kids from feeling defensive.
- Realize that some toxic people are unwilling to change—especially those who lack social skills.
- Try to stand up for yourself without getting into a fight when you need to.
When dealing with any form of toxic relationship, it is important to focus on your health and well-being. Hence, If someone drains your vitality and happiness, avoid them. And, if you’re enduring mental or physical abuse, get help right now.