Relationships are the source of happiness and satisfaction in life. However, these relations can become troublesome and toxic. Sometimes the lines between healthy and unhealthy behavior in relationships can be so blurry that the red-flag signs of toxic relationships eventually get missed.
Red-Flag Signs of Toxic Relationships
While in healthy relationships, people may disagree at times yet they openly discuss issues and make decisions together. They give time and respect to each other and enjoy companionship. On the contrary, people in toxic relationships often feel drained. They feel unhappy, and spending time together is hardly on the list of priorities.
They may still love their partner but might never stop arguing over petty things. Here are some classic signs of toxic relationships that no one should ignore:
Lack of Trust and Support
People in toxic relationships cannot rely on each other. They do not support, encourage, or trust each other. They no longer care about others’ needs or desires.
Healthy relationships provide a sense of security and stability even at times when people feel vulnerable. On the contrary, toxic relationships never make people feel positive or trustworthy about their partner or any other relation.
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People in toxic relationships often find themselves yelling at each other, calling names, throwing things, and showing physical abuse. Disrespectful and hostile treatment towards the partner or any other family member includes silent treatment, playing blame games, and constant interruptions.
Instead, people in healthy relationships try to understand their partner/ relative and respond more responsibly. A healthy relationship requires mutual respect, kindness, and open communication without sarcasm and criticism.
Neglecting or Disrespecting Behavior
Sometimes the disrespect is not in words but actions. People in toxic relationships are constantly late, casually forget events, and show disrespect in many other ways. While some people may indeed struggle with keeping plans and schedules, toxic people intentionally delay things.
Display of Controlling Behavior
People in relationships do not have the right to control the actions or beliefs of other people involved. However, toxic relatives often try to display control by making threats for the loss of something. It can be companionship or time with children. Other telltale signs of controlling behavior include:
- always correcting another person
- threatening to leave them
- being willing to know everything about them
- trying to manage their money
Dishonesty and Resentment
Even the smallest lies are enough to destroy the credibility of a relationship. Other signs of toxic relationships are frequent lies that indicate disrespect and unwillingness to spend time with your partner. Further, holding grudges and anger for longer may gradually erode the intimacy between people.
High Expectations Without Willingness to Give Back
People in toxic relationships consistently keep asking about what makes them happy, eventually ignoring the needs of their partners. Healthy relationships function on healthy boundaries.
In a toxic relationship, one person is either texting more, getting delayed responses, or giving frequent reminders for behavior change. People in one-sided relationships share choppy conversations and are hardly available for the other when required. It is also often reflected by an unequal division of labor and responsibilities.
Feeling Unhappy and Drained
Although ordinary life changes like sickness and loss of a job may create minor tension in relationships. However, people in toxic relationships are often on the edge, even from outside stress factors.
Further, such people experience a toll on their physical health or mental well-being. They often feel like walking on eggshells where a mere mention of a problem may provoke extreme tension.
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Tips to Fix Signs of Toxic Relationships and Develop Healthy Relationships
People can gradually fix toxic relationships over some time when both sides are willing to make amends on their behalf. They can rebuild healthy and mutually beneficial relationships by identifying harmful behavioral patterns and fixing them one by one at a time.
Consulting a relationship counselor is also a good idea when it seems daunting to fix things by themselves. Here are some tips for mending a toxic relationship:
Practice Reflective Listening
The foundation of a healthy relationship is to understand the perspective and priorities of another person. Both sides should be willing to identify the issues and needs of each other to stay accountable for their relationships. They should try to shift the focus of their communication from blaming to developing a sense of understanding. Once people can work out a way to find solutions together, they can turn their bitter relationships into sweeter ones.
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People in a relationship must consider it a mutual responsibility to fix issues and be accountable for their actions. Recognizing toxic behavioral patterns that have been harming a relationship in the past is the best way to start fixing them.
Both must take self-responsibility and act with self-awareness. Also, they must acknowledge their contribution to a relationship and try correcting their part.
Be Willing to Invest
People should be willing to invest their time in fixing and healing a toxic relationship. Sometimes all you need to improve a relationship are frequent conversations and spending some quality time together.
Self in Relationships
Be Open to Outside Help
Despite all efforts, if nothing seems to work, it is wise and advisable to enroll in individual or couples counseling sessions. People can effectively address their relationship issues with a piece of professional advice.
Relationship counselors are well-trained in identifying easy-to-miss issues contributing to the toxicity in a relationship. They provide unbiased support and offer a neutral perspective to your relationship issues. These professional counselors can teach effective strategies to address and resolve conflicts and establish healthier behavioral patterns.
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