Updated: Feb 25
How many times have you heard about protecting the environment and recycling waste but there is a deeper impact that is all too often ignored? In the same way, we ignore the impact of toxic relationships on our life. Where is the respect, the accountability, the caring, and the guidance from the partner in our lives? How do you stop toxic people from damaging you or your relationships? Are you able to identify toxic people in your life? Making a change and finding the courage to break toxic ties is daunting. We carry these decisions with us for the rest of our lives. It takes courage, bravery, and strength to stand up for ourselves and remove toxic people from our lives.
While we may have friends who we consider a positive influence on our lives, it is important to note that some could be encroaching on our lives by subtly overstepping boundaries, e.g. one-sided relationships, financial & emotional blackmail. These are just some of the many ways that you could be contending with a toxic relationship that appears normal on the surface. This type of behaviour can be presented by parents, family members, and colleagues too. These individuals may also have a significant impact on your relationships and immediate family. Should any of these relationships lack respect, trust, and affection, they are a sign of being unhealthy. In most women’s lives relationships are the most important factor that determines their quality of life. Ordinarily, relationships count for overall well-being in both males and females. As described here, Intimate relationships may not be the only source of toxicity in your life, however, counts as the most significant.
Intimate relationships have a different level and form of toxicity, I have listed some of the traits, behaviours, and some guidelines on how one can respond
Some traits of a toxic relationship
Fundamentally, it is a person who has a lack of empathy which results in self-serving behaviours.
There is a demand for you to live up to their expectations.
Refusing to see things from your perspective.
Toxic behaviour often represents an inability to feel genuine understanding and compassion for the other person.
Types of Behaviour in a toxic relationship
Physical Abuse – partner hits you, pushes you, or makes any contact that is not acceptable to you.
Emotional Abuse – partner will hurl abusive words to you, manipulate or subtly break down your self-confidence, lying or exaggerate, compulsive cheating.
Dropping Hints in a subtle passive-aggressive manner.
Blaming, Threatening, blackmailing each other, loving jealousy - (whereby a partner is jealous of a work colleague or friend in a way that you don’t suspect it but will make comments.
Silence – they just ignore you.
How to respond
Deal with Issues Individually.
State your feelings and desires openly.
Take responsibility for your feelings and do not blame your partner as that is an indication of poor maintenance of personal boundaries.
Trust is broken, rebuild it and talk about ways to achieve this.
Feeling neglected or ignored – talk about ways to restore the feeling of appreciation.
When you're in a romantic relationship it can become difficult to ascertain if you are in a toxic relationship or not, as we have a bias towards the situation and make excuses for the unacceptable behaviour. If you can relate to the above, then there are some guidelines on how to approach the matter with your partner. If you feel your situation is beyond resolving then seek out professional help, you are worth it.
Written by: Viloshni Moodley