Chances are we’ve all come into contact with a toxic relationship at some point, whether it’s your own or someone else’s and spotting the signs can sometimes be difficult and dealing with it can be even harder.
Whether it’s a romantic relationship or just a friendship toxic relationships aren’t good for you, and knowing the signs and what to do can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing.
Life Coach Carole Ann Rice shares her tips for spotting the signs of a toxic relationship and the things you can do to deal with it.
Signs you’re in a toxic relationship
A sense of dread
If you have a feeling of dread when you’re seeing a person, that’s always a good sign that is something not right with the relationship. The relationships we have in our lives should all have their positive qualities, and if they don’t and they leave you feeling uncomfortable then you need to reduce how much time you spend with this person, for your own health and sanity.
The feeling of belittling
Having a laugh and joke can be a fun and interesting part to any relationship, but if you consistently feel putt down or belittled by one person, then that’s a sign you shouldn’t be seeing them regularly. Over time the constant belittling will wear you down, and it can even have a detrimental effect on your own self-esteem, something that no one should be privy to.
No sense of care
Relationships are two-way streets, you need to give as much as you take and if they don’t show care for you then why are you showing it back? When was the last time they asked you about yourself? If they only use you as a person to vent to, and refuse to listen to you when you need to speak, then this isn’t a healthy relationship.
If they consistently do things to hurt you or waste your time and don’t apologise for it, then consider whether your relationship is actually healthy. When you take time out of your day and they undermine that by being late over and over, or not turning up at all, you need to consider your worth and ask yourself if you really need to waste any more time on this person.
It stops you from making changes
Whether it’s making a change in jobs, going on a big trip, making a healthier lifestyle choice or a new friendship or relationship, if a person in your life is putting down any plans or goals that you have for yourself, then you need to find out why they are dampening your success. A big sign a relationship is unhealthy is when a person is putting a stop to you being a better person.
How to deal with toxic people
Take a stand
If you accept there behaviour, it’s only going to enable it further. It could be down to you to make the change in the relationship and force the change that needs to happen. Don’t lose your patience one day, instead talk to them calmly about how you’re feeling and explain how their behaviour has had an impact on your feelings. Make it clear that you’re not willing to tolerate any longer, and if changes aren’t made then explain that cutting them out could be the only option.
Make them aware
The reality is they could very well be unaware of their behaviour and how it makes you feel, if you make them aware of how they act and the impact it has on you, you could very well be the force of change that they need.
In some cases, this might very well just be the person they are, and they can’t be changed. If this is the case, it’s time to remove yourself from the relationship and ensure that any toxic feelings are eradicated from your life.