The Perils Of A Toxic Relationship

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Human beings are made to be together – we are social beings that crave affection and attention. This desire to have a meaningful connection can sometimes lead us down the wrong path or attract us to the wrong person. Sometimes it may be the result of loneliness or even desperation, and those feelings will compound over time. When we choose a relationship with a toxic person, they can be damaging to our health and wellbeing.

 

What is a Toxic Person Or Relationship?

You may be wondering, Am I in a toxic relationship? How do I know if I am with someone who is a toxic personality? A toxic person is one who demands a lot of your time and attention, so much so that they take everything you have to give and give little back in return. A toxic relationship can be physically and emotionally exhausting, like an emotional vampire who sucks the life out of you and your relationship.

If this description sounds like your current relationship or describes your current partner, you may be in a toxic relationship right now. In fact, toxic people and relationships can come in a lot of forms, whether they’re a romantic partner, friendship, or even a parent.

Many times we hang onto toxic people in our lives because we sincerely believe that we can make things work. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Toxic people will always be toxic and tear down the things we build, no matter how hard we try. The only way to understand how damaging this type of relationship can be is to get away from it.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

How Do I Know If I Am In A Toxic Relationship?

Toxic people can be both attractive and manipulative; in fact, this is how they get their way more times than not. If you feel like you’re always feeling guilty for things in your relationship or if the people in your life are tired of hearing about you and your relationship issues, you may be in a toxic relationship.

A toxic person will always put their needs ahead of yours — in fact, many times you won’t feel like you have a say in the relationship at all. You may even feel unworthy or the “lesser half” of the partnership when you’re in a relationship like this.

 

Signs Of A Toxic Relationship:

 

1. Impacts your self-image or damages your self-esteem

The way we see ourselves, our self-image, is closely tied to the relationships we have and who we identify with in those relationships. We often spend time with people who empower us to be better or who encourage our talents … People who enable the best parts of our personality and love us for who we are. When we surround ourselves with these types of people, the effect is obvious. Our lives are happy and bright, and we often experience more success in our professional lives. A toxic relationship will sabotage this in every way possible. It is the polar opposite and will wear away at your positive self-image. Imagine the effects of a relationship like this over time. It can really tear you down and destroy your confidence.

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young couple

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2. Demands of both – time and energy

When you’re in a relationship that is toxic in nature, you’ll be spending a great deal of time making sure the other person is doing well. You will end up spending even more time over-analyzing moods, emotions, things they said, and more in an effort to understand or avoid things that make them uncomfortable. A toxic person is usually narcissistic, and everything revolves around them. If you feel like there’s not a lot left for you, it is very possible that you’re in a toxic relationship. These experiences are very demanding of our energy and as a result, can leave us feeling drained or used.

 

3. Fosters a negative environment

A toxic relationship not only breeds negativity, but it feeds on it. You will never make a toxic person happy; it is an impossible venture. There will never be a perfect experience or event for a toxic person, and you’ll will always be the scapegoat if things don’t go as planned. In this situation, negativity will always be the dominant emotion. You’ll feel like you have a dark cloud hanging over your life and your relationships. In a situation like this, it is important to understand that you are not the cause or reason of your partner’s unhappiness. They will be unhappy regardless, and you are not at fault.

 

4. Sets up a pattern for future partnerships

A toxic relationship will define how you look at relationships in the future and possible even taint relationships. It will set up an expectation for all relationships that come after and possibly trap you in a vicious cycle. If you have experience with a toxic person, it is highly likely that you’ll seek out others in the future. This is because we learn from our personal experiences, so we apply the past to our present. It may also make it harder to recognize when a relationship is bad for you.

 

5. Impacts to your health and wellbeing

It is well-known that stress can impact your health in a negative way, so just imagine being exposed on a daily basis! It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy and in good shape, mental health plays a huge role in how we feel physically. A toxic partner is a drain on all your resources, including mental and emotional. Stress has been known to cause health issues like ulcers and impact your overall happiness. It can be incredibly difficult to recover from anxiety or stress-based illnesses because many of them impact you psychologically.

 

READ ALSO: The Secret Of Happy Relationships Infographic

 

As you can see, the impact of a toxic person and relationship can be hazardous to your health. There’s really no good reason to stay in a relationship where you are not valued either. When you’re in a toxic relationship, you can sometimes overlook the negative effects on your life or even make excuses for your partner; however, be aware that these relationships have perils that should not be ignored. It may be difficult to end the relationship, but your wellbeing and happiness is much more important in the long run.

References:

www.beyondintractability.org

www.cmhc.utexas.edu