“I can’t control your behavior; nor do I want that burden … but I will not apologize for refusing to be disrespected, to be lied to, or to be mistreated. I have standards; step up or step out.”
~ Dr. Steve Maraboli
It’s never an easy thing to admit that a relationship has turned toxic. It’s never an easy thing to walk away from a relationship – even if it’s rife with problems. After all, we may still be in love with the person.
The truth is that many of us in a harmful relationship would rather live in denial.
The problem is, of course, that this is very unhealthy. In essence, we’re trying – in vain – to ignore a toxic relationship. But what we’re actually doing is unknowingly permitting the relationship’s negativity to seep further into our subconscious.
Is the relationship toxic?
First, we must be open to the idea that a relationship may be harmful. If we don’t acknowledge this vital truth, nothing else we do will matter much.
Here are some fundamental questions to ask:
– “Am I excited to be in this relationship?”
– “Am I happy and content?”
– “How’s my mood on most days?”
– “Do I get angry more often than I used to?”
– “Am I truly happy?”
Think about how you’re treated, and whether or not you’re proud to be around your partner. Do they lift your spirits or drag you down?
8 Signs of A Toxic Relationship
As you probably know by now, toxic relationships can harm your mental health. In turn, these effects can potentially diminish your ability to enter into another intimate relationship, if so desired.
Thus, it is essential to identify the signs of a noxious partnership and find the exit.
1. You’re more insecure.
Toxic relationships are turbulent and unpredictable. As a result, you may find yourself questioning whether or not you’re good enough, smart enough, or whether you’re even worthy of love.
Don’t fall into the trap of negative self-talk. Understand that what your brain is telling you is a lie. You are worthy of a fruitful relationship – and the faster you get away from the relationship you’re in, the faster you can recover your sense of self.
2. You have trust issues.
If you find yourself unable to trust anyone anymore, it may be a sign that it’s time to move on. Poisonous relationships are notorious for giving birth to a sense of distrust.
Depending on the degree of toxicity involved in the relationship, it may take some time to learn to trust another potential mate again. But you’ve already followed through on the hard part: walking away.
3. Your productivity suffers.
Our relationships take precedence over everything. When our relationships are in disarray, so is our life. Unsurprisingly, the psychological effects of a distressing relationship alter our brain’s ability to produce constructive thoughts.
Your bright future isn’t worth sacrificing for a relationship that likely won’t last.
4. You become anxious.
Toxic relationships cause a lot of anxiety. You may be worried about being criticized, upsetting your partner, or something else. Regardless of the cause, prolonged anxiety can be extremely damaging to mental health and well-being.
Anxiety is already the most common mental health problem in the United States. One reason is that the human brain is very susceptible due to its natural chemistry. No reason to put yourself even more at risk.
5. You become sick more often.
When we’re under mental duress, it’s common to experience physical effects. One prominent target of psychological stress is our immune system.
The immune system is responsible, of course, for fighting off infections, viruses, and other harmful agents. To ensure it’s health, we must understand it’s inseparable association with mental stress.
6. You become more negative.
We’ve said this numerous times: negativity is contagious. If you stick around it long enough, it’ll permeate into your being. Simply put, we can not continually subject ourselves to a toxic environment and not expect it to affect us in some way.
7. Your friends and family are concerned.
Listen, your inner circle will almost surely point out any apparent changes to your behavior. In extremely toxic relationships, a social “intervention” is very common. It may be, in fact, the norm.
While you may not want to listen, it’s important that you do – not only for your health and well-being but for that of who you love.
8. You know something’s wrong.
Intuitively, you understand the harm that the relationship is causing.
It’s crucial that you: (a) accept the fact that the relationship is causing you harm, and (b) muster up the courage to call it quits.
If you take away nothing else from this article, let it be this: your mental and physical health are the most important things in your life.
You can not possibly progress in any other area of life if either fails. Nothing and no one is worth jeopardizing them over. Reach out to your support system, seek professional help – whatever is needed to help you move on.