Toxic Relationships: Signs, Types, & How to Cope (2023)

A toxic relationship refers to a detrimental and unhealthy connection characterized by behaviors that undermine one’s well-being, such as emotional manipulation, disrespect, control, and a lack of support.

In these detrimental connections, you may feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or even attacked. Identifying toxic relationships is crucial for maintaining your emotional well-being and overall happiness.

By recognizing the signs and taking proactive steps, you can liberate yourself from the grip of toxicity and foster healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

Toxic Relationships: Signs, Types, & How to Cope (1)

Table of Contents

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

While signs of abuse are definitely toxic in any relationship, there are some more subtle ways in which a relationship can be toxic.

It may not always be apparent when someone is being toxic, so it is helpful to be aware of the warning signs.

Toxic Relationships: Signs, Types, & How to Cope (2)
  1. Feeling unsupported

Relationships can become very negative if there is a lack of support from one or both sides. A person in a toxic relationship may feel misunderstood and undermined in their relationship and may not feel encouraged to achieve their goals.

A toxic person may see every achievement of the other person as a competition and may always try to ‘one-up’ them.

You may feel there is no point in progressing towards your goals if it will never be enough for the other person to be proud of you. You may be left feeling as if your successes and interests do not matter as much as theirs do.

  1. Toxic communication

Often, you can recognize that someone is toxic in the way they communicate with you and others. They may be very sarcastic and be very critical of you while covering it up by stating that they were ‘only joking.’

They may always find fault with everything you do and blame you for everything negative that happens, never accepting blame themselves. They may also lie, be passive-aggressive, and gaslight, making you confused and have you questioning your sanity.

You can also observe how they treat others, especially those they don’t know. For instance, they may be unnecessarily rude to a waiter at a restaurant or pick a fight with someone who cuts in line.

  1. Distrust

While it is normal to experience a bit of envy from time to time, especially when you are in a new romantic relationship, constant suspicion and mistrust can become draining for the other person.

A partner may never trust you even when you have given them no reason not to be trusted, which can prevent you from enjoying your relationship.

A partner may monitor your location, keep wanting you to check in with them via text messages when you’re apart and may question you if you are late back from work or a social event.

You may feel as though your behaviors are restricted because you do not want to do anything that your partner feels unhappy about.

You may feel as if your life is being micro-managed by someone who needs to know where you are and what you’re doing every minute of the day.

  1. Disrespect

A toxic person can show disrespect in many ways. This can be through embarrassment, criticism, and putting you down, especially in front of others. They may not value boundaries and may try anything to make others look bad.

A toxic person may stonewall, meaning that they shut down and refuse to communicate with someone, especially when they are being confronted about their behavior.

They may refuse to acknowledge or listen when someone is expressing their feedback or wanting to share their emotions.

Disrespect can also be displayed through lying to the other person, name-calling, and being verbally unkind.

  1. Controlling behavior

A toxic person may have a need to control another person in a relationship. This is where there is an unequal power dynamic, usually with one person dominating another in a self-serving manner.

Some controlling behavior can include wanting to always track your location and making comments about what you wear or do in a way to control. For instance, they may say, ‘I don’t like when you wear that outfit. Don’t wear it again’.

The toxic person may always want to have things go their way, disregarding any other way.

They may even want you to spend all your free time with them, which could isolate you from friends and family and deprive you of your independence and other activities you may enjoy.

  1. Walking on eggshells

Someone who is in a relationship with a toxic person may try to do anything they can not to provoke the other person, avoiding any kind of conflict wherever possible.

You may never know what type of mood the toxic person will be in that day, and they may get extremely angry at the smallest thing. If you are afraid of the response you are going to get, you may end up behaving in ways or doing things you may not want to do to avoid the other person becoming upset.

Likewise, you may not want to share your true feelings or unhappiness with someone if you think they are going to become angry or put you at fault for something which you brought as feedback for them.

‘Some days, not often, he would be amazing, then others he would just be so mean, so horrible, it was confusing… one minute, I felt like he loved me, the next was like nothing but pure hatred. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time.’

‘Georgia,’ 32

  1. Neglected needs

When you go along with whatever the toxic person wants to do, even if it goes against your comfort level or wishes can mean your own needs get neglected.

You may go above and beyond to ensure the other person is happy and safe, but they may not do the same for you.

You may try to bring up your emotional needs to them, but they turn it around so that you end up comforting them instead; thus, there is a lack of emotional reciprocity.

You may not be offered what you need, whether this is some space on your own or more independence.

You may also feel too independent if the other person constantly neglects you, leaving you to deal with your troubles on your own.

Toxic Vs. Healthy Behavior

It is normal to have differing opinions in every kind of relationship. Having disagreements does not necessarily mean that the relationship is toxic.

If a relationship is caring, encouraging, and respectful, then it is probably healthy.

However, if there is a continuous pattern of selfish, negative, and disrespectful behavior, then this may indicate that the relationship is toxic.

Healthy RelationshipToxic Relationship
Mutual respect and equalityLack of respect and power imbalances
Open and honest communicationPoor or manipulative communication
Trust and loyaltyDistrust and betrayal
Supportive and encouragingCritical and demeaning
Independence and personal boundaries respectedControlling and possessive
Emotional and physical safetyAbuse and violence
Compromise and collaborationManipulation and selfishness
Growth and personal developmentStagnation and suppression
Shared values and goalsConflicting values and goals
Healthy conflict resolutionEscalation and unresolved conflicts

Toxic behaviors in a relationship are often inherently unhealthy, damaging, emotionally draining and can damage others’ self-esteem and self-worth.

Healthy behaviors in a relationship, on the other hand, should positively contribute to self-esteem and emotional energy.

They are often inherently uplifting and secure and have an equal power dynamic.

What is the Impact of Toxic Relationships?

Toxic relationships can profoundly impact individuals, causing emotional distress, eroding self-esteem, and hindering personal growth.

They can lead to a range of adverse effects, including increased anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of self-worth.

‘My worth soon depended on his validation. My mood depended on his mood. It was exhausting. Every day going to battle… I now suffer with PTSD. I have very low self-esteem when it comes to my appearance due to the continuous negative remarks he would make… other people’s opinions of me can get to me.’

‘I get nightmares. Often, I’ll wake up after dreaming about an abusive situation.’

‘Georgia,’ 32

Narcissists and Toxic Relationships

A narcissist can be highly toxic in a relationship due to their pervasive pattern of self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and manipulative behavior.

They possess an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are entitled to special treatment and admiration from others. This mindset often leads them to exploit and devalue their partner for personal gain and validation.

In a relationship, a narcissist tends to prioritize their own needs and desires above their partner’s, disregarding their feelings and boundaries.

They constantly seek attention, praise, and adoration, often engaging in grandiose displays to maintain their self-image. They may belittle and criticize their partner, eroding their self-esteem and manipulating them into believing they are inadequate or unworthy.

Narcissists are skilled manipulators who employ various tactics such as gaslighting, blame-shifting, and guilt-tripping to control their partner’s emotions and actions.

They excel at creating a dynamic where their partner feels responsible for their happiness and well-being, while the narcissist avoids taking accountability for their own faults or mistakes.

Over time, being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally draining, causing anxiety, depression, and a sense of powerlessness in their partner.

The toxic cycle of emotional abuse and manipulation perpetuated by a narcissist can lead to a deteriorated sense of self-worth and a loss of personal identity.

This is not to say that all people who engage in toxic behavior are narcissists, but toxic behavior is extremely common in most narcissists.

Who is More Vulnerable to Toxic Behavior?

Although anyone can fall victim to toxic behavior, certain types of people are more susceptible to toxic people.

Those who are high in empathy may be a target for a toxic person as their caring nature means they are likely to do as much as they can to ensure other people are happy.

Empaths are probably more likely to want to change someone’s toxic behavior as they can see the good traits in that person.

Likewise, people pleasers may be more vulnerable to toxic people. They may worry that they have no value unless they do something for someone else, which toxic people can take advantage of.

Also, if someone has grown up in a toxic household such as having a gaslighting parent, or they had a chaotic upbringing, they may be more likely to continue having toxic relationships when they are adults.

They may be so used to being around toxic behavior that they see this as normal. They may be suspicious of anyone who is not toxic and be looking out for what the catch is.

Sometimes, people recreate patterns. They may be drawn to someone who confirms what they think about themselves.

For example, if someone believes they don’t deserve to be heard, they may find it acceptable to be with someone who disrespects them or does not listen to them.

In this way, they are unintentionally triggering the emotions and responses they were used to having as a child or in a past relationship.

Toxicity Vs. Abuse

It is important to make the distinction between toxicity and abuse. Toxicity can include emotional and verbal abuse, but toxicity is not always abusive in nature and may not even be intentional.

The abuse stems from the desire to hold power over someone else and control their behavior.

Some signs that someone may be a victim of abuse include:

  • Diminished self-worth

  • Feeling very anxious and having self-doubt

  • Being isolated from family and friends

  • Feeling fearful and intimidated

  • Feeling put down and humiliated

  • Being gaslit – questioning sanity

  • Experiencing physical violence or threats of violence

If you relate to any of the signs of abuse, it is advisable to seek help as soon and as safely as possible through a trusted friend or family member, a therapist, or a domestic abuse advocate.

Can I be Toxic Without Realizing?

As previously mentioned, people can be toxic unintentionally. Often in relationships, people need to take a step back to reflect on their behavior and whether what they are doing is indeed toxic.

Below are some of the signs which may indicate that you are acting toxic:

  • You are always sarcastic – you may often mask your emotions behind humor instead of talking them through with someone.

  • You deal with conflict in a passive manner – you may present with sullen behavior, stubbornness to change, give subtle insults, or use passive aggression.

  • Everything is a competition – if someone shares an issue they have, you may tell them how you have it much worse than they do. This is different from relating to someone going through a tough situation. Likewise, if someone shares an accomplishment, you may not be able to help yourself from boasting about your own accomplishments.

  • You may secretly crave disaster because of the care and attention you receive – you may seek pity and comfort from others or want someone to give you advice, although you have no intention of following through with it.

  • You think that pointing out someone’s flaws will help them to change, but it will instead make them feel hurt.

How To Cope With A Toxic Relationship

If you notice that a relationship is toxic and want to work through the issues, then there are some steps you can take to address this.

Also, not every toxic relationship can be avoided, especially if you work with toxic people or have toxic family members that you live with.

Having healthy conversations, boundaries, and awareness may be able to help in some situations.


The first step to managing a toxic relationship is to acknowledge that there is a problem to be addressed. Usually, you can sense when something doesn’t feel right and that things need to change.

You may feel that the atmosphere is very negative and that your interactions with the person leave you feeling uncomfortable or decrease your self-esteem.

Identify the toxic behavior

It will be useful to determine what it is about the relationship that feels toxic. This could be how someone communicates to you, their jealousy, their controlling tendencies, or how they make you feel unsupported.

It may be one or many toxic behaviors that need to be tackled, but putting a name to the behavior can help to address it.

Take accountability

It may be that all the toxicity is coming from someone else. However, it is important to reflect inwards and see if there is anything that you are doing that is toxic toward the other person. It could be that both parties are equally as toxic towards each other.

Recognizing your own behavior and taking accountability is a necessary step to take to address the issues in the relationship.

This may also encourage the other person to reflect on their own behavior and feel less targeted for their toxicity if you also accept that you are part of the problem.

Communicate the issue

Once you have identified what you want to address with the toxic person, clearly and assertively communicate to them what the issue is.

The use of ‘I’ statements when describing your feelings and emotions should help keep the other person from feeling defensive.

Once you have addressed the issue and how it makes you feel, clearly explain to the person what it is you need from them instead and what the consequences of not meeting this need are.

An example of how to communicate this can be, ‘I felt bad about myself when you called me stupid. It made me feel worthless. Instead of doing this, I will need you to take a moment to calm down and think before you say things like this.

This is something I am not going to tolerate, and if this happens again, I worry that I will not be able to spend so much time with you.’

Notice any changes

After you have clearly communicated your needs, notice if their behavior changes. If they have made a clear effort to change and the toxic behavior is no longer present, then this was successful.

If they have not changed their behavior, then you need to decide whether this is something you can live with or whether you need to end the relationship or set boundaries.

Remember that you can only control your own behavior, so there is only so much you can do to make a positive change.

Set boundaries

If you can leave the toxic relationship safely, then this may be a consideration if you feel the toxic person is not going to change.

Suppose you cannot leave the toxic relationship because they may be your co-worker or a family member. In that case, you can put boundaries in place to ensure you are limiting the amount of toxic behavior you are exposed to.

If you have a toxic co-worker, for instance, you could ask your boss to work in a different location away from this person or ask for your breaks to be scheduled at different times.

If the toxic person is a family member or a friend, you could limit the number of times you visit them or cut back on how much you text or phone them.

Leaving a Toxic Relationship

Toxic Relationships: Signs, Types, & How to Cope (3)

If you decide that the relationship cannot be saved from someone’s toxic behavior, there are some ways in which you can safely leave:

Seek emotional support

Try to open up to your loved ones about what you are going through. They may be able to give you suitable advice for how to cope with the toxic behavior, leave the situation, and can give insight from an outside perspective.

They may also be able to offer you a place to stay if you plan to move out of a home that is shared with a toxic person.

Get additional support

It may be helpful to get support from a therapist or domestic violence advocate who can help you make a safety plan and any additional resources you may need to leave the toxic relationship.

Bring a trusted person

As well as being able to give emotional support, a trusted friend or family member could come with you to end the relationship with the toxic person.

This is especially useful if you do not feel completely safe having this conversation with the toxic person. If a trusted person is present, you may also be less likely to be swayed by the toxic person to stay in the relationship.

Stick to your boundaries

If you have decided that you are going to cut contact with the toxic person, then it is important to stick with your decision.

If you continue to let them back into your life after giving them multiple chances, they may think that they have gotten away with their behavior and that there are no consequences.

Be assertive with the toxic person and clearly set out what you plan to do.

Change your phone number

If you think you may be tempted to get back into contact with the toxic person or think they will bombard you with calls and text messages, it may be wise to change your number or at least block them.

Seek therapeutic support afterward

It can feel very distressing to leave a toxic relationship. You may have lowered self-worth and confidence from being in a negative situation for a long time.

You can seek therapy to help build yourself back, increase your self-esteem, and make it less likely that the effects of the toxic relationship will follow you into new relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to fix a toxic relationship?

In some cases, with mutual effort, willingness to change, and professional help, it may be possible to improve a toxic relationship.

However, it heavily depends on the specific circumstances and the commitment of both individuals involved. It requires open communication, boundary setting, and addressing underlying issues.

It’s important to recognize that not all toxic relationships can be fixed, and the focus should always be on personal well-being and safety.

Seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial in navigating the complexities of a toxic relationship and determining the best course of action.

Can relationships with family or friends be toxic?

Yes, relationships with family or friends can indeed be toxic and are not exclusive to romantic relationships.

Recognizing if you are in a toxic relationship with friends or family involves paying attention to patterns of consistent disrespect, manipulation, emotional abuse, excessive control, constant criticism, lack of support, and feeling drained or diminished after interacting with them.

What are warning signs to look out for when starting a new relationship?

When starting a new relationship, be cautious of warning signs such as excessive jealousy or possessiveness, a lack of respect for boundaries, controlling behavior, dismissive or disrespectful treatment of others, inconsistent communication or unreliability, and a refusal to take responsibility for their actions.

Pay attention to how they handle conflicts, their level of empathy and understanding, and whether they respect your autonomy and individuality. Trust your instincts and don’t ignore any red flags that may indicate potential toxicity or compatibility issues in the future.

Can a person become toxic later in the relationship?

Yes, a person can become toxic later in a relationship.

Love bombing, an excessive display of affection and attention at the beginning, can be a warning sign. It often serves as a manipulative tactic used by toxic individuals to gain control.

Once the initial phase subsides, their true toxic traits may emerge, such as emotional manipulation, control, and abuse.

It’s essential to remain vigilant and assess the consistency of their behavior over time. If there is a sudden shift towards toxicity after the love bombing phase, it is crucial to recognize the red flags and prioritize your well-being.

If you need to talk to someone…


If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for confidential assistance from trained advocates.


or text “Start” to 88788.


If you want to access support over the phone, you can call:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 – (run by Refuge)

The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327 (run by Respect )

The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428 (run by Galop)

Women’s Aid is a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. We are a federation of over 180 organisations providing just under 300 lifesaving services to women and children across England – 1-800-799-7233


Birditt, K. S., Newton, N. J., Cranford, J. A., & Ryan, L. H. (2016). Stress and negative relationship quality among older couples: Implications for blood pressure.Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences,71 (5), 775-785.

Cacioppo, J. T., & Cacioppo, S. (2014). Social relationships and health: The toxic effects of perceived social isolation. Social and personality psychology compass, 8(2), 58-72.

Farrell, A. K., Simpson, J. A., Carlson, E. A., Englund, M. M., & Sung, S. (2017). The impact of stress at different life stages on physical health and the buffering effects of maternal sensitivity. Health Psychology,36 (1), 35.

Umberson, D., & Karas Montez, J. (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy . Journal of health and social behavior,51 (1_suppl), S54-S66.


What are signs that a person is too toxic for a relationship? ›

Your relationship may be toxic if it is characterized by behaviors that make you feel unhappy, including disrespect, dishonesty, controlling behaviors, or a lack of support.

What are 5 signs of a bad relationship? ›

This includes:
  • Control. One person makes all the decisions and tells the other what to do, what to wear, or who to spend time with. ...
  • Dependence. One person feels that they “can't live without” the other. ...
  • Digital monitoring or “clocking”. ...
  • Dishonesty. ...
  • Disrespect. ...
  • Hostility. ...
  • Harassment. ...
  • Intimidation.

How do I stop obsessing over a toxic relationship? ›

What To Do When You Start Thinking About Your Ex?
  1. Do something you enjoy to help you get your mind off your ex. Work out, start a hobby, hang out with friends, or do anything else that's good for you.
  2. Practice meditation and mindfulness. ...
  3. Avoid talking to them or lurking on their Facebook. ...
  4. Seek help.
Apr 27, 2023

What are 4 behaviors that may exist in an unhealthy relationship? ›

Unhealthy and Abusive Relationships

These behaviors can include grabbing, pushing, pinching, yelling, making demeaning comments, hitting, strangulation of the neck, not letting you spend time with friends or family, or making you feel guilty for not spending time with your partner.

What is gaslighting in relationships? ›

What Is Gaslighting in A Relationship? Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which one person makes another person doubt his or her perceptions, experiences, memories, or understanding of events that happened.

How do I know if I'm the toxic one? ›

You tend to manipulate things

Manipulation ranges from gaslighting and lying to hiding information from your partner. If you're doing any of these things, you're clearly manipulating your partner and are the toxic one in the relationship. Ultimately, it will only erode your partner's love and respect for you.

What are 4 signs your relationship is failing? ›

It may be hard to accept, but when you notice some signs like abuse, lack of trust, lack of communication, and disrespect, it may be some signs that your relationship is failing, and time to call it off. Even when you try your best to put the relationship together, the damage may be too severe.

What are the three stages of an unhealthy relationship? ›

Toxic relationships generally follow three stages: idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. Learn about each of these stages and the impact it has on you.

Do toxic people know they are toxic? ›

People with toxic traits know they have them

It's natural to assume someone's bad behavior is a conscious choice. But many people with toxic traits don't realize that their behavior impacts others. You may have toxic traits that you don't know about. Some toxic traits, like absolutism, manifest subtly.

How do you know when to leave a relationship? ›

If both partners are giving equally, the relationship will work. But if your partner takes you for granted or doesn't respect you, that means trouble. Sometimes this is a result of relationship stressors that can be fixed. If you feel deeply that your partner no longer values you, it could be time to leave.

Why is it so hard to let go of a toxic relationship? ›

Lack of control

People who are in an unhealthy relationship frequently attempt to end it. But they don't in the end. It occurs because some people have low self-esteem and, due to that, they believe they have no control over relationships and situations. As a result, people choose to stay rather than leave.

Can toxic relationships be fixed? ›

Yes, toxic relationships can change. But that comes with a very big if. A toxic relationship can change if and only if both partners are equally committed to overcoming it with lots of open communication, honesty, self-reflection, and possibly professional help, individually and together.

What are the 4 things that destroy relationships? ›

The Four Horsemen
  • Criticism – Complaints are fine. Criticism is more global — it attacks the person, not their behavior. ...
  • Contempt – “… name-calling, eye-rolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humor. ...
  • Defensiveness – “… defensiveness is really a way of blaming your partner. ...
  • Stonewalling – Tuning out. Disengaging.

What are 7 signs of an unhealthy relationship? ›

  • 10 Signs of unhealthy/abusive behaviour. Whilst all relationships have their ups and downs, an unhealthy relationship is one where a partner or close family member shows behaviour that is disrespectful, controlling or even violent. ...
  • Obsessive behaviour. ...
  • Possessiveness. ...
  • Manipulation. ...
  • Guilting. ...
  • Belittling. ...
  • Sabotage. ...
  • Isolation.

What are toxic things to say in a relationship? ›

Toxic phrases that can slowly destroy your relationship
  • “You don't deserve me.” ...
  • “Stop asking if I'm okay. ...
  • “You're pathetic.” ...
  • “I hate you.” ...
  • “You're a bad parent.” ...
  • “You're being crazy.” ...
  • “You're so needy.” ...
  • “I'm over this.”
Feb 13, 2023

How do you outsmart a gaslighter? ›

Here are eight tips for responding and taking back control.
  1. First, make sure it's gaslighting. ...
  2. Take some space from the situation. ...
  3. Collect evidence. ...
  4. Speak up about the behavior. ...
  5. Remain confident in your version of events. ...
  6. Focus on self-care. ...
  7. Involve others. ...
  8. Seek professional support.

What is narcissistic gaslighting? ›

Narcissistic gaslighting is a form of gaslighting that is abusive and motivated by wanting to exert control and feel superior. Gaslighting manipulates another person (or group of people) into doubting their own memory, perception, and potentially their sanity.

How do you outsmart toxic? ›

Do's and Don'ts for Dealing with Toxic Behavior
  1. Stick to reality.
  2. Don't join in.
  3. Understand your feelings.
  4. Talk to them.
  5. Prioritize your needs.
  6. Don't try to fix them.
  7. Walk away.
  8. Stay neutral.
Nov 21, 2019

Is my partner toxic or am I? ›

If a relationship stops bringing joy, and instead consistently makes you feel sad, angry, anxious or “resigned, like you've sold out,” it may be toxic, Glass says. You may also find yourself envious of happy couples. Fuller says negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem are all red flags, too.

How do toxic relationships start? ›

Fundamentally, toxic relationship behaviors are the result of a lack of empathy. Whether that be demanding your partner live up to your expectations, or refusing to see things from their perspective, toxic behavior often represents an inability to feel genuine understanding and compassion for the other person.

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or is refusing to communicate with another person.

What is the biggest failure in relationship? ›

Trust Issues

The lack or loss of trust is one of the most harmful impediments to a couple's long-term success. Without trust, a relationship misses two of the key anchors for forging and maintaining a strong bond: safety and security.

At what point do most relationships fail? ›

Studies have shown that relationships generally end within 3 to 5 months from the day they begin.

What are toxic cycles? ›

Toxic relationships have three main stages: idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. "Love-bombing" occurs during the idealizing phase. During the devaluing phase, you are picked apart. During the discarding phase, there may be an attempt to suck you back into the relationship.

What are the three R's of relationships? ›

Basically it comes down to three important things — resilience, respect, and responsiveness. Showing respect is one of the most powerful, loving things a couple can do in their marriage.

How do you break a toxic cycle? ›

Toxic relationships: How to break unhealthy patterns
  1. Be active in your relationship. ...
  2. Make time to connect and share experiences. ...
  3. Take a step back and try and look at your relationship objectively. ...
  4. Learn to have better arguments. ...
  5. Beware that the thing you were once attracted to can be the thing that undoes you.

What is a truly toxic person? ›

A toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life. Many times, people who are toxic are dealing with their own stresses and traumas. To do this, they act in ways that don't present them in the best light and usually upset others along the way.

What triggers a toxic person? ›

Many people who behave in a toxic manner have been through trauma themselves, and instead of dealing with that trauma, these people start exhibiting toxic traits. These people usually don't know how to process trauma and stress in a healthy manner, so they end up being unpleasant around people.

What happens when you let go of a toxic person? ›

Letting go will likely come with guilt, anger and grief for the family or person you thought you had. They might fight harder for you to stay. They will probably be crueller, more manipulative and more toxic than ever. They will do what they've always done because it has always worked.

How do you let go of someone you love emotionally? ›

These tips can help you start the process of moving forward.
  1. Acknowledge the truth of the situation. ...
  2. Identify relationship needs — and deal breakers. ...
  3. Accept what the love meant to you. ...
  4. Look to the future. ...
  5. Prioritize other relationships. ...
  6. Spend time on yourself. ...
  7. Give yourself space. ...
  8. Understand it may take some time.
Jan 14, 2020

How toxic relationships affect your mental health? ›

Toxic relationships create mental strain and stress, and even all out health problems. Our emotions and nervous systems can only handle so much. This study found that toxic relationships increased anxiety and stress disorders, while health relationships decreased anxiety and stress disorders.

How long until you let go of a toxic relationship? ›

Let it be six weeks, six months – whatever feels right for you. In that time, give the relationship everything you've got. When that 'one day' comes, be honest and act from a place of strength, self-respect and self-love.

How do you find peace after a toxic relationship? ›

Have a Strong Community. During your healing journey, it's important to surround yourself with people who genuinely love and support you. Whether it's close family members, friends, or even your therapist, having people to talk to and lean on during difficult moments will help you find peace after a toxic relationship.

Can a toxic relationship ruin your life? ›

A toxic relationship takes a huge hit on your self-esteem. If your partner is horrible to you or insists on betraying you whenever they can, the result will be a lack of self-esteem. It's not going to bode well with other areas of your life. You will start to doubt yourself as a person, friend, or coworker.

What is 1 thing that kills a relationship? ›

1 thing that 'destroys' relationships, say researchers who studied couples for 50 years. As a psychologist and sexologist, we've been studying relationships for more than 50 years combined, and we've found that no matter how you slice it, most of them fail because of poor communication.

What kills relationship fastest? ›

Blame and shame. Aside from all-out abusive behavior, blaming and shaming may be the fastest way to kill your connection. Both behaviors communicate contempt for your partner, displaying that you view him or her as beneath you or deserving of scorn.

What ruins intimacy? ›

Rage, disrespect, and emotional stonewalling may not be relationship-ending in and of themselves, but continuing patterns can wear people down. An inability or unwillingness to respect your partner's thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can destroy the trust and intimacy in any relationship.

What are red flag phrases? ›

The term "red flag" is used, e.g., during screening of communications, and refers to specific words or phrases encountered that might indicate relevance to the case.

What is toxic love like? ›

A toxic relationship is one that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked. A relationship is toxic when your well-being is threatened in some way—emotionally, psychologically, and even physically.

What is the hallmark of a toxic relationship? ›

Your relationship may be toxic if it is characterized by behaviors that make you feel unhappy, including disrespect, dishonesty, controlling behaviors, or a lack of support.

How does a toxic person behave in a relationship? ›

Toxic people love to manipulate those around them to get what they want. This means lying, bending the truth, exaggerating, or leaving out information so that you take a certain action or have a certain opinion of them. They'll do whatever it takes, even if it means hurting people.

At what point is a relationship too toxic? ›

A toxic relationship is one that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked. A relationship is toxic when your well-being is threatened in some way—emotionally, psychologically, and even physically.

Can a toxic person love someone? ›

Real love cannot happen in a toxic relationship.

You must first cleanse your relationship before you can even think of finding true love within it. But sometimes that isn't possible. Relationships are always difficult. Two people have to merge their lives and validate each other's decisions.

Can a toxic person change for someone they love? ›

Toxic people can change, but it's highly unlikely. What is certain is that nothing anyone else does can change them. It is likely there will be broken people, broken hearts and broken relationships around them – but the carnage will always be explained away as someone else's fault.

How do you disarm a toxic person? ›

Read on for tips on how to respond to this type of behavior.
  1. Avoid playing into their reality. ...
  2. Don't get drawn in. ...
  3. Pay attention to how they make you feel. ...
  4. Talk to them about their behavior. ...
  5. Put yourself first. ...
  6. Offer compassion, but don't try to fix them. ...
  7. Say no (and walk away) ...
  8. Remember, you aren't at fault.
Nov 21, 2019

What are the three stages of a toxic relationship? ›

Toxic relationships generally follow three stages: idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. Learn about each of these stages and the impact it has on you.


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