“There is no such thing as a perfect relationship.” Making a relationship work takes effort, and it is not because people (in general) are challenging to deal with. Not one individual is the same as the other, which means we all have to learn to accept and adapt the other person’s quirks, flaws, moods, etc., the same way that they’ll do with us. And that’s okay because most of the time, it’s worth it.
There are some relationships that are harder to keep though than others. For others, there are more disagreements and challenges, but because these relationships matter so much, they are willing to go the extra mile to maintain them.
However, not all relationships are worth keeping. These are relationships that can be detrimental to our well being, or what is known as toxic relationships. If a relationship reaches this point, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it cannot be saved, but it requires a lot of work. More often than not, it may require you to leave that relationship actually to turn it into something healthy.
6 Signs You are in a Toxic Relationship (Not Just Romantic Ones)
So how can you know if you’re in a toxic relationship? A toxic relationship can come in many forms, and here are some of them:
You are never good enough. You’re in a toxic relationship when a person often gives unsolicited suggestions on areas where you need to improve, is unsupportive in what you do or your interest, and basically finds fault in you and in what you do. This type of person is also not ashamed of belittling you in front of other people, even though he or she may say it’s just a joke.
There’s an imbalance in power. When you are in a relationship, no one should be dominating the other. Any type of relationship where one person clearly has more power than the other is a toxic one. If one person is always the one who is making the decision, and it is pointless for you ever to give your opinion, then that person is toxic. This person may also not take “NO” for an answer. It can also be the other way around, the passive-aggressive type, where you are left to decide not because they can choose not but because they want you to be responsible for the outcome of the decision.
Too possessive. Early on, you may appreciate the jealousy, especially when it is not too controlling. However, suppose a person becomes more and more controlling and suspicious, like constantly monitoring or asking about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, and doesn’t allow you to be by yourself. In that case, this is a sign of being in a toxic relationship.
Keeps bringing up past mistakes. We all make mistakes, and even the most loving and loyal people can do something hurtful or say stupid things, but we learn from them and strive to do better. Even the healthiest and strongest relationship can crumble when one or two of you keep bringing up past mistakes.
You find yourself having to make excuses for their bad behavior all the time. Everyone can have a bad day or stressful weeks, and things that need to work on. However, always having to rationalize their bad actions, such as lack of empathy, being obnoxious to friends and family, and being unavailable emotionally, is not customary in a healthy relationship. If the person is not willing to make an effort to improve even after you express your concerns, then you should ask if that relationship is still worth keeping.
You are the only one making an effort. We often hear this line, “It’s a give and take relationship.” It’s always nice to give, but relationships involve more than one individual. Yes, sometimes we need to do things separately, and it’s healthy to take some solo time in a relationship. However, when your partner is continuously not spending time with you, does not share important things, and does not make an effort to show any appreciation for what you do, you should question the point of having a relationship with that person and whether you’re on the same page.
Ultimately, you can tell if you are in a toxic relationship based on what you feel and what people who love you are saying. A relationship is not all rainbows and butterflies and takes a lot of compromise. But it should not always make you feel bad about yourself. You should not feel trapped and drained all the time. And we are not only talking about romantic ones. Relationships with our colleagues, boss, friends, and even family can become toxic too. Any type of relationship that can cause more harm to your well being, or where there is one person who is undermining you can be a toxic one.
How to Walk Away from unhealthy relationships
There is always a good reason we build relationships with people, and that’s why it is so hard to cut off relationships even when they become toxic. Here are some helpful steps you can take to move on from toxic relationships:
Ask yourself if it’s doing you any good. List down the pros and cons in keeping the relationship. Keep a log of what you feel. Moving on or removing toxic people in your life can be easier if you realize how costly it is for you to maintain a relationship (or how you are miserable most of the time). Or you might discover that maybe the pros are significant enough to keep the relationship (in the case of family ties). If it is not serving you well, then let go.
Take good care of yourself. When you’re in a relationship with a toxic person, you need to feel confident, positive, and healthy, so you are in tip-top shape to handle anything. Moreover, if you feel good about yourself, it is easier for you to be independent of the person who is not doing you any good. It is easier for you to leave a toxic relationship. And in the case of toxic relationships in a workplace, feeling good about yourself will make it easier to deal with toxic people without letting them get the best of you.
Surround yourself with people who genuinely love and value you, especially those who are positive. Family and friends who truly love you will give you the right kind of support you would need, especially when leaving a toxic relationship that you work so hard to work out. Also, choose the company of positive friends, being around miserable and negative people will not help since their negativity might rub off on you (emotions are contagious!).
Focus within. You may not always have control of what is going on around you or how people will act towards you, but you can still choose what to feel from within. Regular meditation can help you let go of things that are stressing you out instead of dwelling on them. Another effective way of healing from within is through Reiki sessions, which is a gentle yet effective form of healing that can help a person feel calmer and more relaxed, or to heal around deeper, painful emotional wounds I would suggest, Intuitive Energy Healing sessions as they provide the deepest form of emotional energy healing possible and are three to five times more effective than Reiki. Intuitive Energy Healing allows us to release those negative emotions. These blockages have been formed, or seemingly cords with another person, making it so terribly hard to distance ourselves from him or her no matter how hard we try. To find support through energy healing, you can click here for an appointment. Distance healing sessions are also available for anyone who prefers an online appointment, or live outside of Hong Kong.
A relationship that diminishes who you are is never worth keeping. Your loyalty and love for a person should never go against your respect and love for yourself. In irredeemable toxic relationships, healing only begins in saying goodbye, and though it might hurt for a while, your future self will be thanking you for it.