For a relationship to be healthy, there has to be mutual respect, support, love and effort.
If a relationship with a friend or relative feels one-sided where you’re the one that keeps giving and they keep taking…
You may be in a toxic relationship.
Sometimes we love the person so much we feel obligated to keep giving our support to someone who doesn’t deserve it.
Many times though you don’t know you’re being mistreated until you recognize something’s wrong in your relationship.
To understand the dynamics of a toxic relationship, you need to open your eyes to these 14 signs!
After examining your relationship with these signs you can begin to rebuild or separate from that friend or relative.
The process begins first by realizing that you don’t have to be treated this way and you deserve better!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship
1. They Are Unsupportive
Feeling like someone supports you is a cornerstone to any healthy relationship.
I’m not talking about financial support. I’m talking about emotional support.
You want a friend or relative that supports your decisions and dreams.
Someone being in your corner cheering you on gives you a sense of self-confidence.
However, if you have a toxic relationship with someone the person is unsupportive.
Such examples of someone being unsupportive include:
~They don’t consider your feelings
~They do not try to be there for you emotionally
~You’re left feeling unloved
~They don’t want to listen to what you have to say (you’re constantly interrupted, you never talk about your life only theirs, etc.)
There are many people that are simply “picky” or “opinionated.” We’ve all encountered people like this in our life.
But in a toxic relationship, being picky takes on a whole new meaning.
When someone is overly-critical, they are critical towards you!
If you feel yourself constantly hearing negative feedback about the things you do and say, then that person’s judging you too harshly.
Although it’s nice to have a friend or family member give us unbiased advice….
It’s another thing when someone offers their opinions about you and your life without you asking for it.
Especially if the opinion makes you feel ashamed, guilty or less confident.
No one has the right to make you feel this way! If you experience this with someone, it may be time to cut ties with this person.
3. You Feel Worse Being Around Them
Have you ever been around someone who just drains your energy?
It’s possible you may not recognize it, but each time you spend time with them your left feeling emotionally worse.
Your encounters with them could leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, stressed and negative.
Negative feelings after spending time with someone is never good! You should leave feeling supported, loved and happy.
Related Articles: 8 Reasons Loneliness Happens In Motherhood
4. They Talk Behind Your Back
This is never good! It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or family member, talking behind someone’s back is never ok!
There are two ways someone can talk behind your back:
-Talk about you in a negative light
-Reveal things to others you don’t want revealed
In a toxic relationship, this person can’t help but talk about others.
While you may never know the reason why they do this, it still leaves you feeling terrible.
5. Plans Revolve Around Them
Do you make plans with them only to be canceled on later? Or stood up?
This happens frequently when you’re in a toxic relationship.
You keep trying to make contact with them, but they keep canceling.
Worse yet, the only time they can reschedule is when they know you are unavailable!
For instance, your friend always wants to schedule plans when you’re working. (They are aware of what hours you work).
When someone does this, they’re “telling” you a couple things through their actions:
~They don’t respect your time or feelings
~They really don’t want to spend time with you
~He/she is not trying to be in your life
6. Lack Of Trust
A lack of trust in someone is very easy to spot!
Ask yourself the following questions:
~Do you trust this person with information you don’t want anyone else to know?
~Can this person keep a secret?
If you answered no to these two questions, there is a lack of trust in the relationship.
If you have to be careful with information you disclose around this person, then it’s a toxic relationship.
7. You Feel Obligated To Be With Them
This sign certainly applies when it is a old friend or a relative. Instead of wanting to spend time with them, you feel you “have” to.
Whether it’s an obnoxious and negative cousin or an old high school friend, you feel you have to maintain contact.
One of the reasons you may feel obligated to be with that person is because you feel guilty if you don’t.
When it comes to relatives, there seems to be an unspoken law that tells us we have to maintain contact.
But if that toxic relationship is with a relative, you feel you’re suppose to see and communicate with that relative which brings you feelings of guilt if you don’t want to spend time with him/her.
If you find yourself not wanting to spend time with someone and instead you feel you “have” to, then it’s a clear sign of a toxic relationship.
8. You Have Nothing In Common
Sure opposites to attract! There’s plenty of people who love someone that’s the complete opposite of them. So how do they make it work?
They respect each other’s different values, opinions and life styles.
When two people don’t have much in common it can happen with time.
Over time, people grow and people change. If two people have a difference in values, a relationship disintegrates.
It takes hard work to maintain a relationship through time, but if someone’s core values change it can have a profound affect on what you have in common.
Basically, you both live different lives that can’t coincide together. All you have in common is a shared history.
9. You Feel Frustrated With Them
While you don’t go behind their back to talk about them, you still feel constantly frustrated.
You feel frustrated with their behavior, what they say, the choices they make and how they treat you.
In a toxic relationship, your always left with a feeling of inadequacy.
With you feeling overly frustrated, you’re raking your brain trying to figure out why they act the way they do.
For someone whose a toxic person, their actions can’t always be explained.
Since you can’t understand their behavior, you try and rationalize it instead and begin to forgive them all over again.
It’s a vicious cycle of hurt; frustration; rationalization; forgiveness and repeat!
10. Overly Negative
Attitude plays a large role in the friends and relatives you make and keep in your life.
No one wants to be around a person who’s always negative.
I’m not talking about negative talk related to a stressful situation. I’m talking about the “poor me syndrome.”
Someone who’s constantly in a negative state of mind.
When that person speaks….
~They have something negative to say about everyone.
~Every life situation has a negative tone to it.
~Each statement you make is met with a negative rhetoric.
Being around someone so negative about everything can leave you emotionally drained. It can even diminish your own mental health over time.
You may even start to become depressed or think negatively yourself after interacting with him/her.
Related Articles: What Anxiety Feels Like: 27 Illustrations For Understanding
11. They Keep Taking
Does you relationship feel like it’s only one sided?
If you answered yes… Then it’s a hard and hurtful fact to face. A relationship needs to be two-sided to be healthy.
Someone who keeps taking and taking from you without giving back is never ok.
If you find yourself always supporting and putting toward the effort in the relationship, then it’s a toxic relationship.
12. They Don’t Take Responsibility
Responsibility doesn’t just come with going to work on time and paying bills. It always applies to relationships.
A friend or relative consistently making excuses for things pertaining to your relationship is not taking responsibility.
Taking responsibility for one’s actions is key to respecting another person.
It let’s you know that they are human and make mistakes.
But if they are unable to apologize for their behavior or the way they treat you, then they are not taking proper responsibility.
This gives many toxic people the ability to continue their hurtful behavior toward you with a lack of responsibility.
This is extremely frustrating! It’s hurtful when excuses are made, but yet it’s never their fault.
Many times, the blame for their behavior will be shifted back onto you.
When the blame and responsibility for their horrible behavior is blamed on you, I personally believe this is borderline mental abuse.
13. You Feel Like You Are Being Set Up For Failure
You’re overly judged, taken advantage of and your friend or relative lacks responsibility for their actions.
Because they are lacking responsibility, everything is always someone else’s fault. This includes you!
Since there is no responsibility for that person, behaviors and actions can be turned around against you.
This will only lead to you feeling miserable. On top of this, you’re left wondering “What did I do wrong?”
A toxic person wants you to feel this way whether they admit it or not.
With this person it seems that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try in the relationship…. It’s just not good enough.
For many, a toxic person will be overly dramatic and what sympathy from others about how you act toward them.
For instance: They shame you on social media because you haven’t talked to them for over a week. Therefore, they tell everyone “you hate them” in order to gain sympathy from others.
If you’re dealing with this sign in a toxic relationship, it’s the worst!
No matter how hard you try in the relationship, it’s not going to change how they set you up for failure.
14. Everything Is About Them
Every conversation is shifted in focus from you to them.
Every text is accompanied with their unnecessary life drama. Every time you get together it’s always what he/she wants to do.
A relationship needs to cater to both sides. Your voice needs to be hear just as much as theirs.
If it’s feeling one sided, then you will begin to feel ignored.
If your left with a feeling of loneliness or not your voice is not getting heard after you spend time with them, then everything is revolving around them.
Final Thoughts About A Toxic Relationship
Now that you’ve looked at 14 signs of a toxic relationship you’re probably wondering how to change it. Well there are two things you need to know before trying to change the relationship…
~You need to recognize that you’re in a relationship with a toxic person
~You need to realize that you deserve to be treated better
If you’re in a state of denial about your relationship being unhealthy, it will remain unhealthy.
If you think you somehow deserve the treatment you receive, the relationship is not going to change.
The best way to produce change in a toxic relationship is first by using “I” statements when addressing the issues.
For instance: “I feel like you are mistreating me when you cancel plans on me the last minute.”
If they come back with a mean retort and shift the blame onto you without taking responsibility, the next step is to start separating yourself.
This includes no longer seeing each other and talking less (or not at all) through social media, text and phone calls.
I know it’s hard to start the separation process, especially with a family member.
I’m going through a separation process with a family member myself and it’s not easy.
I’ve simply got to the point now where I can’t handle being mistreated anymore. I deserve better and so do you!
Every person deserves healthy relationships where you’re not left feeling worse after you talk or spend time with someone.