They are rude to anyone whom they deem “less important” than them. Ask yourself, are they rude to the waiter/waitress when you go out for a meal? How about the taxi driver? Do they mock poor or homeless people? These can all signify a person who lacks consideration for others and the ability to feel genuine warmth.
Do they disrespect your friends and family? Do they make them feel uncomfortable? Sometimes we can’t get along with everyone and that’s okay, but if someone makes absolutely no effort with your loved ones and constantly criticizes them for no valid reason then that’s a very bad sign. Abusive partners will often attempt to stir up issues between the individuals in your life as a way of gaining control over you; they want to be the only one you have time for. If your friends feel uneasy around your partner due to their behavior (whether you witness it or not) then clearly this is a huge red flag and should not be ignored. If they make your loved ones uncomfortable they will ultimately make you feel that way. Which leads me to my next point.
They lack respect for your personal boundaries. Usually, it will start off as little things you can easily sweep under the carpet. Perhaps you’ll tell them that you don’t want to hang out only to find them at your door half an hour later, suddenly you’re out because you feel obliged to do so. Maybe you tell yourself it’s romantic they were so desperate to see you. Soon you will find they’re touching you even after you say no or slowly you begin to realize you can never breathe fresh air because their presence clouds it wherever you go.
They begin to exhibit controlling behavior. If you’re out too long they bomb your phone with messages accusing you of cheating; you must ask permission before you can go somewhere without them; they obsessively check in on you “because they love you” yet you feel as if you’re suffocating. They dictate what you’re allowed to wear and who you are allowed to associate yourself with. Perhaps most sinisterly, they’ll bring out the silent treatment and endless amounts of manipulation tactics, which leaves you feeling so guilty you end up giving into their demands.
Slowly, your confidence is peeled off. At the beginning when you first embarked upon this relationship you probably felt comfortable within yourself, now you feel worthless. You only like yourself when you’re with them, you’ve threaded your own skin into theirs because they’ve managed to convince you that no one will ever want you. They tell you that you’re so lucky to have them, as they berate you and blame you for every failure. They seem to know your deepest insecurities and they use it against you until you find yourself believing them.
Physical abuse. If they hit you that is abuse no matter what they tell you. You did not “provoke” them and you did not do anything to deserve it. This is one of the most dangerous forms of abuse and you must try to leave immediately. They will do it again.
They don’t respect you. Looking at your relationship you’ll see perhaps they’ve cheated on you, assaulted you, completely discarded your feelings and belittled your opinions. They don’t listen to you or ask you how you feel and what you think because they don’t care.
The beginning felt perfect. All too often, abusers treat you like royalty at the start of any relationship. This is because they’re trying to establish trust and ensure you are completely in love with them before they proceed to their manipulation tactics and abuse. They want to trap you so that you believe escape is impossible. You’ll experience a rollercoaster of emotions and will be swept off your feet, things feel like they’re moving so fast but it feels “right.”
They pull away, they come back, they pull away… This is often an unrecognized red-flag. You’ll feel desperate to win their affections again that you’ll do anything for them and try so hard but it’s never enough. Nothing will ever be enough. Ever felt like you’re in competition with others for their love? Do you feel you must earn their love? Are you exhausted from being with them and do you feel so sad but you can’t quite put your finger on why?
You are expected to “look after” them. Working all day to come back to a house that needs to be cleaned and dinner that needs preparing? Maybe it’s the opposite way around and your partner comes home and flies into a verbal rage if you haven’t done your duties for the day. Either way, you should not have to feel responsible for your partner. They aren’t a child.
You’ve been cut off from your loved ones. It happens so slowly you probably didn’t realize at first, yet as time went on you can’t help feeling so isolated. Your partner probably told you that all you need is them, but something feels so wrong about that.
Gaslighting. You tell them something they did hurt your feelings, they deny it ever happened. It did happen… didn’t it? You ask yourself if you’re really starting to lose it. You aren’t, they’re manipulating you. They twist the truth into lies, telling you that you’re so selfish and that you’re being overdramatic if you ever mention that when they flirt with other people it makes you upset and uncomfortable. They’ll cause you to question everything until a day comes where you begin to ignore your own intuition and feelings because they’ll reinforce the message that how you feel simply doesn’t matter.
Refusal to accept no as an answer. Whenever you tell them you don’t want to something they won’t listen. If your partner has ever forced you to do anything at all that you didn’t want to do then that is abuse.
Your loved ones strongly dislike the relationship ship. They’ll try to warn you about various things. Perhaps they’ll feel the relationship is moving too quickly and you don’t really know your partner all that well, or they’ll tell you they feel a strange vibe. Usually friends and family don’t dislike your partner for no reason, so it’s important you listen, especially if you find it hits a nerve. Part of you probably knows they’re right.
Constant lies. If your partner lies to you often even about very mundane things, this is a definitive sign they could be very toxic in the future.
Nothing is ever their fault. Toxic and abusive people can never admit when they’re wrong. Typically, if they do apologize, they will somehow find a way to throw the blame on you. “I wouldn’t have cheated if you did this…”