I wrote an article on how to avoid toxic relationships and wanted another article that gave some examples of what a toxic relationship may actually look like. These examples do not cover all the characteristics of a toxic relationship, but can be used to give you a better understanding of what to look for. I also want to point out that everyone from time to time can display “toxic” behaviors and that the list I am about to give is for someone who displays these behaviors on a more regular basis and not just during a one time slip-up So here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Does the other person constantly put you down, make you feel as if you are not good enough, or mock your personality or looks? No one should be in a relationship which tears them down instead of building them up. While people who love us encourage us to rid ourselves of bad habits, it should never be done in a manner that makes us feel unworthy of their love. Others should also not make us feel bad about qualities in which we have no control over changing.
2. Do you feel like everything is always about them and never about you? If you feel like your feelings and opinions are never heard or considered, then you are in an unhealthy relationship. People do not always have to agree, but if they always fight to have the last word and are not open to yours, then you have a bigger issue at hand. Good partners want to know what is going on in your life and inside your head. They care about your feelings and deepest desires.
3. Do you hide things about yourself or try to act in a way that is not true to who you are in order to be accepted? It is great if a loved one inspires you to become a better person, but changing yourself because you feel like it is the only way to be accepted is not the same thing. Partners who pressure you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable should be avoided. Find someone who helps you become the best version of yourself and not just who they want as a partner.
4. Do you feel like you are unable to change or grow? Toxic partners insist that you act a certain way and resent or mock you for trying to improve yourself. A lot of times they may be jealous of your improvements or afraid that your improvements will make you want to leave them for something better. This is not a loving response and they should instead encourage and support your growth.
If you are still unsure if your relationships are toxic, seek out an unbiased third party’s opinion and pray about it.