If you see these seven toxic behaviors just leave the relationship.
We value relationships; we build them, we put time and energy in them; so when something goes wrong, we tend to find excuses, to normalize the experience, to dismiss the problem to remain in the relationship. Sometimes this is a good strategy. Some other times this is disastrous, as the behaviors we tend to excuse and forgive are toxic- they are bad for our mental health and well-being. If you tend to say “Oh, it’s so typical of him” or “That’s just the way she is” stop and observe these people, their behavior and its impact on you. Toxic behaviors of the significant people in your life make you miserable and stop you from enjoying your life. Look out for these toxic behaviors that friends or partners may show.
The other person tries to control you. This may be subtle, as in asking you seemingly innocent questions, such as “Oh, I didn’t know you preferred X! Let’s have Y anyway because this is what I really like.” Control may come in others forms, such as when the other person doesn’t allow you to express your likes, dislikes, and opinions, when they talk over you, when they try to dominate you when in the company of others. Or they may control you by asking you to dress or behave in a certain way or when they gaslight you and try to prove you “crazy” when they make you question your own feelings, perceptions, and sanity. They tell you a lot “you are crazy, this didn’t happen,” or “You sure? You forget a lot,” or “It’s just your imagination.” This way the other person exerts power and control over you.
2. Belittles you
Your partner or friend has a way of looking down at you and dismissing your achievements, big or small. They tend to tell you that what you did was not a great deal and make you feel that you are worthless. They compare you to others and they are overly critical of you as a person. If you react and ask “then if I am not worth it, how come and you don’t find another partner?” they will avoid answering you but will tell you “If it weren’t for me, nobody would be looking at you” and, again, they will turn the situation in this “I am powerful, You are not.”
3. Disrespects your feelings and thoughts
Another toxic behavior is when your partner or friend marginalizes your feelings and thoughts and disrespects them; “You shouldn’t be afraid,” “It’s nonsense, that’s a ridiculous idea,” and similar comments show that the other person doesn’t respect your feelings and thoughts. They dismiss them and try to manipulate you.
4. Name-calling and labeling
That’s another toxic behavior that people often tolerate. Your partner or friend tends to lash out at you, call you names or even label your behavior, saying you are “lazy/crazy/bad,” etc. Sometimes they call you names or they criticize your character and behavior, trying to pinpoint what is “wrong” with you, what are your weaknesses and shortcomings. When the other person starts the conversation with “You always…” or “You never…” is like pointing the finger at you; they accuse you and see you in the worst possible light. There’s no discussion with a person treating you this way.
5. Projects his/her feelings on to you
Your partner or friend is insecure and not responsible for their feelings; so they find the easy way out, to accuse you of harboring their own strong and unacceptable feelings. They try to make you own their feelings and accuse you of feeling the way they do, while at the same time they deny their true feelings. Thus, they may tell you “you are angry” when in fact they are angry and don’t acknowledge it, while you see them displaying signs of anger such as clenched jaw and fists, a frown, etc.
6. Ridicules you, scorns you, or they are plain rude
If your partner or friend has the habit of ridiculing you, mocking you, rolling their eyes when you speak and other similar behaviors, that’s a sign of a toxic behavior- and a toxic person too. People who care about you tend to see your positive characteristics and your strengths; if they see your weakness they try to cover them up in front of others and privately try to help you be your best self
7. Refusal to communicate
Perhaps the most toxic behavior of all is when the other person shuts you down every time you bring up a sensitive issue, every time you want to talk about your relationship, your take on it, your needs, dreams, fears, etc. In these instances, the other person will try to avoid you, make you feel you are responsible for the lack of communication (i.e., you picked the wrong time, you had an attitude, etc.). Following that it’s common that you take the responsibility for the other person’s refusal to communicate; you start blaming yourself and being highly critical of yourself for the failed communication.