Letting go of toxic people is an act of self-care. – Karen Salmansohn

Are you in a relationship that involves someone who emotionally, mentally or physically damages you? Do you feel like a shell of your former self since becoming involved with this person? After you spend time with this person, do you feel energized and refreshed, or do you feel drained and exhausted?

While toxic relationships are both damaging and devastating to those who are involved in them, they have a much deeper effect than most people realize. Despite popular opinion, most victims of toxic relationships are far from your standard “victim-type” personality; in fact, most are intelligent, attractive and capable. This is part of what attracts the toxic partner.

The Toxic Relationship Cycle

Toxic relationships start quickly and they are as firey as they are fast. But unlike their healthier counterparts, toxic relationships don’t settle into a comfortable place – rather, the toxic partner gets “bored” and quickly begins to devalue the victim. This will inevitably be followed by a discard phase, which will lead to what we call the hoovering phase – where the toxic person attempts to suck the victim back in.

Could my relationship be toxic? 

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Are you in a relationship with someone who is making you miserable?
  • Do you ever feel drained when you spend time with that person?
  • Do you often find yourself feeling tired and unmotivated or even sort of paralyzed?
  • Do you find yourself putting that person’s needs before your own?
  • Do you often feel shocked by someone’s disrespectful behavior?
  • Does someone in your life make you feel like you don’t matter or like you’re not as important as they are?
  • Have you ever described the way you feel as emotionally “dead” or numb (or something similar)?
  • Have you ever found yourself questioning your own sanity?
  • Have you started to think you’re just not good enough?

What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship is similar to a dysfunctional relationship but less repairable, often due to at least one partner being unable or unwilling to change and/or take responsibility for their wrongdoings. When you’re in a toxic relationship, you’ll find that it involves more negativity than positivity. Most importantly, a toxic relationship does not emotionally support one or both of the people involved. A toxic relationship will also often involve resentment, contempt, communication problems and varying forms of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

Being involved with a toxic person (or a narcissist) in a toxic relationship will lead to a serious loss of self and a significantly reduced ability to be happy, healthy and fulfilled in your life. These relationships often feel empty or one-sided and leave one or both partners feeling codependent and miserable.

Can a toxic relationship be fixed?

While dysfunctional relationships can often be repaired, toxic ones are less likely to be worth the trouble of trying. That’s because while it does theoretically seem that narcissists and toxic people are capable of personal growth and change, it is rarely seen. So, while most narcissists COULD change, they most often will not, at least not long-term.

Read This: Can a narcissist change? The experts weigh in

While a few clinicians claim that they can heal narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), their evidence is thin and often refuted. Remember too that the longer you remain in the toxic relationship, the further damaged you will become, mentally, physically and otherwise. And, despite appearances, toxic people generally maintain the same cycle of abuse throughout each relationship in their lives – meaning that your partner will not be happier with someone else. 

What are the signs I’m in a toxic relationship?

Be sure to click the links on the points that resonate with you below – each opens up to a detailed post that outlines the signs of a toxic relationship as they relate to that point.

Helpful Video Playlist: Signs of a Toxic Relationship


What causes toxic relationships?

I know, you’re probably asking yourself, “How did I end up in a toxic relationship?” I get it. It’s almost always a shock when you realize you’re in a toxic relationship, and this may be due to the fact that you’re a strong, intelligent and attractive person who generally reads people like a book. But in many cases, you also had a difficult or traumatic childhood, whether it was a result of abuse, neglect or some other sort of situational trauma.

There are certain features that make you an ideal source of narcissistic supply – learn about those features here.

Helpful Resources for Understanding Why You Got Into a Toxic Relationship

How do I know if my relationship is unhealthy? What do I do if my relationship is toxic?

Take the Toxic Relationship Test below to be directed to helpful resources for your situation. 

Is your relationship toxic?

Are you in a toxic relationship with a narcissist? Take this quick assessment and find out today.

Does this person use your fears against you in order to elicit a certain kind of behavior from you? Do you feel like this person is out to feel “better” than you? For Example: If you told this person you felt insecure about your weight, he/she might later make discreet pokes at it, or in a romantic relationship, make comments about others who are thinner than you are.

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

I’m not sure.

Does this person claim to know what you (or others) are thinking? If you deny that your mind’s working the way he/she believes it is, are you accused of lying, or does the person make gestures or noises that indicate that?

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

It’s hard to say.

Are you being told that things are normal when, deep down, you know for sure they are not? For example: Your boss asks you to blatantly lie to a client about the safety of an item. When you refuse, you might be told that ALL employees lie on behalf of their employers and that if you don’t want to be a team player, maybe you should find another position.

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

I’m not really sure.

Are you being accused of being “crazy” or called paranoid, stressed out—too sensitive or even hormonal? Do you get told that you need therapy or meds (or something similar)? Examples: “God, you need help!” or “You’re just like your crazy mother (brother, father, etc.)!” or “You really should consider getting some therapy – you’ve got some serious issues!”

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

I’m not sure.

Are you sometimes told that what you know to be true is not real? For example, if your mother says your significant other is a loser and that you need to dump him, after awhile, you might start to believe it and might even end up sabotaging the relationship because you begin to question your own judgment, thanks to regular conditioning during visits, phone calls and emails with her.

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

I’m not sure.

Does this person have selective memory? Does he/she deny that he said something that upset you if you confront him/her on it, will promise to do something and later tell you that it never happened? Hint: He/she might also use creative language to downplay his behavior and act as though your reaction is totally out of line.

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

It’s hard to say.

Do you lie to this person to “keep the peace” or avoid getting him/her all upset or anxious? Do find yourself at least bending the truth a little in order to avoid the verbal/physical abuse that is sure to follow any discussion or situation that is against the person’s “rules” or “standards” sometimes?

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never

I don’t know.

Have you stopped talking about yourself around the person? True or false: Depending on the depth of your relationship with him or her; you might even stop talking about yourself altogether. Then one day, when someone asks you a question about yourself, you’re stumped. You might even forget HOW to talk about you.

True. At least some of the time.

False. This isn’t an issue for me.

Unsure. This is a little confusing for me.

Are you depressed, angry, anxious or otherwise “unsettled” in ways that don’t feel “normal” to you as a result of this relationship? Do you often feel that you’re just not good enough for this person?

Yes, at least some of the time.

No, never.

It’s hard to say.

 

https://queenbeeing.com/signs-of-a-toxic-relationship-everything-you-need-to-know/ By Angela Atkinson