Mental health is more important now than ever before; it impacts every area of our lives. The importance of good mental health ripples into everything we do, think, or say. Thankfully, over the years, physical abuse has been highlighted and people are now more aware than ever.
However, a key in determining our mental well-being is the situations and people that shape our lives. Quite often, emotional abuse goes unnoticed because there are no physical bruises as evidence of your pain.
Toxic relationships will cause monumental breakage to people, families, and workplaces, but they aren’t necessarily the territory of the weak, downtrodden or insecure. Strong, healthy, independent people can find themselves in the white-knuckled grip of a toxic relationship. Research shows that 1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.
What Is A Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked. On a basic level, any relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better can become toxic over time.
Toxic relationships can exist in just about any context, from the playground to the boardroom to the bedroom. You may even deal with toxic relationships among your family members. Here are some red flags to identify a toxic relationship
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Signs of A Toxic Relationship
- You feel a toll on your self-esteem over time.
- You feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked.
- You feel depressed, angry, or tired after speaking or being with the other person.
- You bring out the worst in each other. For example, your competitive friend brings out a spite-based competitive streak that is not enjoyable for you.
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- You are not your best self around the person. For example, they bring out the gossipy side of you, or they seem to draw out a mean streak you don’t normally have.
- You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around this person to keep from becoming a target of their venom.
- You spend a lot of time and emotional strength trying to cheer them up.
- You are always to blame. They turn things around so things you thought they had done wrong are suddenly your fault.
Can I fix it?
All relationships are worth the fight until they’re not. In a toxic relationship there will always be fallout:
- moodiness, anger, and unhappiness become the norm;
- you avoid each other more and more;
- work and relationships outside the toxic relationship start to suffer.
This might sound crazy to some people, but love should not be the reason to stay in a relationship, and that’s because it can cloud our judgment in these other very important areas. Trust and respect are cardinal for a healthy relationship to nurture!
If you prioritize the love you get out of a relationship over the respect you’re given, you’ll tolerate being mistreated until you lose your sense of self.
When dealing with any type of toxic relationship, it’s important to focus on your health and well-being. Consequently, if you’re dealing with someone who drains you of your energy and happiness, consider removing them from your life, or at least limiting your time spent with them. And, if you’re experiencing emotional or physical abuse, get help right away!