No relationship is perfect, but a good relationship makes you feel happy, loved and respected. You feel secure and trust the other person not to hurt you or abandon you, and the relationship improves the quality of your life.
However, not all relationships are good, and a toxic relationship can leave you feeling upset, angry and drained.
No-one plans to be in a toxic relationship, but sometimes it is hard to see clearly when you are totally invested in a relationship. You can start to change and lose yourself, and you may accept the pain as part of loving the other person.
However, it is unacceptable to be treated like this (especially by someone who is supposed to love and protect you.) Here are 25 signs that will help you to recognize a toxic relationship so that you can leave and protect yourself.
1. Feeling drained whenever you are with them. Seeing them doesn’t fill you with energy; instead it saps you and leaves you feeling mentally exhausted.
2. They are passive aggressive. Instead of talking to you openly, they make sly jibes and comments to bring you down and upset you. Being open is a way to bond, and being sneaky is a way to push someone away.
3. There is lots of drama! A true friend doesn’t like to shake the foundations of your friendship, so this is a clear sign of a toxic personality.
4. The relationship is stagnant, and there is no growth or development.
5. They judge your decisions, instead of respecting them. They think that they know better than you when it comes to your own life, and you often feel belittled.
6. They are dismissive of your emotions, but place a lot of priority on their own emotions.
7. The atmosphere when you two are together is more hostile and awkward than relaxed. Constant tension is a sign of a seriously unhealthy relationship.
8. They bring out the worst in you.
9. You don’t feel like they support you. They are disinterested in your good news, and they rarely ask about your career and goals.
10. They are very narcissistic. Most of your conversations revolve around them, and they love to ask for your advice and opinions – but they never actually use the advice, as they were just looking for a chance to talk about themselves.
11. There is a lack of trust. You often suspect that they are lying or making excuses.
12. The relationship is one-sided. Maybe you always cook and clean for them, but they refuse to do small favors for you. A healthy relationship is well-balanced, with both parties making an effort to show the other that they care.
13. You blame them for the unhappiness in your life.
14. You don’t choose to go to them for emotional support, and instead you seek out other friends.
15. They are unreliable. They make promises that fall through, and they never consider that they may be to blame.
16. They have the attitude of a victim. They often feel that the world is unfair to them, and they can get stuck on past events that hurt them, rather than choosing to move on.
17. You sometimes feel trapped by their presence.
18. You often intentionally avoid them. You choose to stay late at work so you don’t have to go home to see them, or you make up excuses when they ask to hang out with you.
19. There is a sense of jealousy in the relationship, although it is rarely acknowledged.
20. You fight with each other without communicating. Your fights go around in circles, and they often intentionally choose to say hurtful things instead of actually solving the problem.
21. They don’t make you feel good about yourself physically, and they are quick to point out flaws.
22. They are a source of negative surprises, such as breaking something you love, making a mess in your home, or repeatedly asking you for money or help.
23. Whenever you fight, one of you always becomes defensive. You rarely have an argument where you both openly discuss your feelings.
24. You often feel lonely when you spend time with them.
25. When you fight with each other, they can become threatening. They often say things like “If you don’t do this my way, I’m going to leave.”