Toxic Relationships – more Red Flags you should never ignore
This blog is the second of two about Toxic Relationships – more Red Flags you should never ignore. Signs of a toxic relationship are sometimes easy to spot – infidelity or physical violence – but there can often be more subtle signs that something’s just not right between you and your partner, or between you and a close friend, a work colleague or a family member.
The label “toxic” means something that drains life and energy. Before you know it, you are feeling weak and feeble, subject to the whim of the person to whom you’ve given your power. Keeping a finger on your own emotions can help you develop insight about the people in your life, so you can choose healthier situations.
You can’t seem to do anything right
The other person constantly puts you down as not good enough. Perhaps they criticise your appearance, the way you speak or the way you live your life. Over time this can lead to you feeling a sense of shame – that you somehow aren’t good enough. It’s really important to understand to understand that you aren’t the problem. There is something wrong with the other person – he or she is unhappy and he or she isn’t communicating that to you. Until he or she is honest with why he or she is really frustrated, nothing you do will seem to be enough.
Growth and change are seen as negatives
Relationships have to evolve in order to last but both parties must be on the same page here. In a toxic relationship, whenever you aim to grow and improve yourself, the other person responds with mockery and disbelief. There is no encouragement or support for your efforts. Instead, they keep you stuck in old judgments insisting that you will never be any different than you are now.
You’re just not happy anymore
It isn’t realistic to expect to be happy in every moment of your relationship, but as a whole, this person should make you happier. He or she should make you feel supported and capable of doing whatever you want to do.
You feel you have to put on a “mask” when you are with them
Controlling doesn’t always mean physically threatening or violent. It can simply be that you feel frightened to share your opinions—you’re constantly walking on eggshells because you’re afraid of your partner’s emotional reactions. You don’t feel free to speak your mind. You have to put on a different face, a mask, just to be accepted by that person.
You NEVER get your own way
The other person is always calling the shots, always making the plans – whether it’s over a small thing like whether to go out or stay in, or a big thing like how whether to see certain people or where to live. In a toxic relationship, one partner eventually gives up because they just don’t feel heard.
Listen to your intuition
While some challenging relationships can open our eyes to new perspectives and expand our awareness, others can shut us in, hinder our development and eventually cause us much harm. Our intuition will alert us one way or the other. It’s really important to know when you’re in a toxic relationship so you can choose something better for yourself. Take deliberate action according to your gut feeling.
If you’re in a physically abusive relationship, get help today. Don’t wait.
Need some advice and support?
If you are experiencing difficulties in a relationship whether with a partner, a friend, a family member or a work colleague, and would like to talk it over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!
See these other blogs: All you need to know about Relationships, Stress and Relationships, Couples Counselling, Key Communication Skills