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Signs You Are In A Toxic Relationship

Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

iStock_000010897556SmallIt is sometimes hard for us to know if we are in a toxic relationship because we may love our partner so much, we might have lower self-esteem as a result of the relationship and believe we “can’t do any better”, we may feel we cannot leave or do not want to leave the relationship because we have so much invested into it, or we think that it will get better soon. A toxic relationship is one where it physically, mentally, and emotionally drains you of positive energy. You begin to lose yourself in the relationship and your friends and family may not even recognize who you are anymore…even you may not recognize yourself anymore.

Here are some signs that you might be in a toxic relationship:

1 – You feel like nothing you do is right or good enough.

Your partner might put you down for every little thing you do. You may feel criticized and mocked, resulting in you feeling ashamed, guilty and unworthy. This unhealthy aspect of the relationship is hurtful to your self-esteem and self-confidence, and makes you feel as though you can’t do anything right.

2 – You feel you have to limit yourself, refrain from saying certain things, or cannot be your whole true self.

You feel as though you can’t be yourself around this person, and might even be afraid to speak your mind. Your partner might even be jealous of your other relationships, resulting in you withdrawing from your relationships with family and friends. You might even begin to change your personality or behave in a different way then you normally would because you are afraid to upset your partner or afraid they might end the relationship. Which leads to the next point …

3 – The cyclical pattern of arguments and forgiveness.

Perhaps you and your partner get into an argument or confrontation, and your partner then turns the situation into being your fault. Your partner says awful and hurtful things, makes you feel low, and ends the relationship with you. Your partner then apologizes, perhaps buys you gifts, says how sorry they are, and promises to change and be a better partner … and you forgive them and get back into the relationship. Does this sound familiar? This is a common cycle that tends to happen in toxic relationships, and it further hurts your self-esteem and dignity. You find that you are always the one apologizing for everything that your partner perceives is wrong with the relationship, but it’s often not even your fault.

4 – It’s never about you, your accomplishments, or your personal growth.

Whatever accomplishments you may have are shut down and not given the support, encouragement or congratulations it deserves. A partner should be encouraging and not be putting you down or making it all about them, their success or only their personal growth.  Sometimes, they might even be jealous of your success and they want to be in control of everything that happens. You often feel criticized or made fun of for your accomplishments.

If these signs sound familiar, it might be time to evaluate the relationship and see if this is something you can continue. Being constantly put down and feeling negative is not healthy for your mental health and physical health. So, where to go from here? Identifying these signs is the first step to letting go of the toxic relationship and freeing yourself. Through self-reflection, talking with close friends and family, and seeking a mental health professional and psychotherapist are beneficial ways to help build up your self-confidence and self-esteem and understand the toxicity of the relationship.

By: Kaitlyn Dinner

About Kaitlyn Dinner

Kaitlyn is the Director of Client Care of KMA Therapy, a team of psychologists, psychotherapists, and counsellors in Toronto.

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