Toxic Relationships: How to Spot Them and Get Out

  • 9 mins read

It’s tempting for people to stay in toxic relationships with someone because you feel like you can’t leave. But the truth is, there are always other options. Your life and your relationships should be full of love, support, and honesty—and if they’re not, it’s up to you to take action. You’re worth more than what some people offer.

What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship is any relationship that has a negative impact on your mental health and well-being. That can be anything from a friend whose words feel like knives cutting you down to an ex who’s trying to get back at you for ending things by spreading rumors about you.

Sometimes, it’s easy to spot a toxic relationship: maybe someone is always criticizing or making fun of you, or maybe they’ve been calling you names since the day you met them. But sometimes, it’s not quite so obvious—especially if we’re talking about people who are closest to us and we don’t want to admit that they’re causing us harm.

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How to spot toxic relationships

So how do we know if our relationships are toxic? If we find ourselves feeling drained or drained after interacting with someone, it’s likely not a healthy relationship for us. We should also consider whether our friends encourage us to do things that make us feel good about ourselves—or whether they’re constantly putting us down or making us feel bad about ourselves instead.

You may be in a toxic relationship if your partner:

  • Is passive aggressive.
  • Has unexplained mood swings or changes of heart about little things that don’t matter.
  • Is very jealous and controlling, to the point where you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them.
  • Doesn’t respect your boundaries or try to control everything you do—from what clothes you wear to when and where you go out with friends, who they are (or aren’t), etc… They may even tell people negative things about themselves to make you look bad! Or they might use other methods of control such as jealousy, guilt trips or constantly making everything your fault by pointing out every mistake that YOU make but never acknowledging THEIR mistakes once in a while – because they always have perfect lives according to them anyway…

You might be in a toxic relationship if you feel like the following:

toxic relationships
  • You’re constantly putting your needs aside and focusing on the other person.
  • The relationship is one-sided and unhealthy, with either you giving or taking.
  • The relationship is harmful to both of you (for example, he makes rude comments about your appearance).

If this sounds familiar then it’s time for some tough love: You need to get out now before anything serious happens between either person resulting from these behaviors continuing unchecked.” You deserve happiness and love in a relationship—and that means getting out of a toxic one.

How do you get out of a toxic relationship?

1/ Put distance between yourself and the toxic person or people in your life.

It’s hard to cut the cord when you’re still in love, but it’s easier when you realize that toxic relationships can be just as bad or worse than unhealthy friendships.

If your relationship is causing you pain, don’t ignore your feelings—they’re trying to tell you something.

People are complicated, but so are relationships. And when someone is hurting us out of malice or spitefulness, it’s time to take a step back and look at how this person has affected our lives over time.

When you feel like you’ve been treated poorly or unfairly, it’s important to keep in mind that the other person may still be suffering and needs help. But if they’re just selfish and manipulative, then it might be a good idea to move on and start over with someone else.

2/ Stop feeling compelled to defend yourself.

You feel like you have to defend yourself. You feel like you have to prove yourself. You feel like you have to explain yourself. Stop. Just stop with all of that.

You don’t need to justify yourself or your behavior (or lack of it) to anyone, ever. Don’t let toxic people make you feel bad about who you are, or what’s going on in your life. The only person who can make any lasting difference in your life is YOU!

You might be thinking, “But I don’t know how to stop doing these things! It’s so hard!” And it is hard. But you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to someone about what you’re going through and get help from them first because sometimes the people closest to us are most likely also in our own way.

3/ Notice when you’re making excuses for someone’s bad behavior.

Excuses are a way of avoiding confrontation, conflict, the truth, and even a way of avoiding change.

Excuses are a way of avoiding responsibility and accountability, which is why they’re so easy to make when you’re in an unhealthy relationship! It’s easier to blame someone else than it is to take ownership over your own actions or admit that maybe there’s something wrong with the person you’re dating (or married/living with/etc). And if that person has been toxic for some time now and hasn’t changed at all despite your best efforts, what does that say about them? It says that their behavior isn’t going to change anytime soon—or possibly ever!

It’s time to stop making excuses for someone else’s bad behavior. Stop making excuses for your partner not being willing to change, or for them behaving in a way that you don’t like anymore.

4/ Never compromise your safety and well-being.

toxic relationships: safety is important

You should never compromise your safety and well-being for the sake of someone else, even if it is someone you love. This person might try to convince you that this is for your own good, but they are not putting your best interests first. You know what’s best for yourself better than anyone else does, so don’t allow yourself to be put in a situation where you’re unsafe or threatened.

A toxic relationship can also take advantage of your emotions and make them feel like they’re being taken advantage of. When someone is trying to manipulate you into doing something because they want something from you, that’s not love; it’s manipulation. If someone repeatedly asks favors of you without giving back anything in return—like money or time—then it may be time to reevaluate whether the relationship itself is healthy enough for both parties involved.

5/ Look for people who are supportive and encouraging, not competitive.

As you’re making changes, look for people who are supportive and encouraging, not competitive. A toxic relationship is about one person trying to prove something to themselves or others by bringing another down. Think about how you’d feel if someone were treating your friends that way—and then realize it should apply to your own relationships as well.

Be kind to yourself as you move forward in a healthier direction. It’s okay if things get messy at first: there will be ups and downs along the way! Notice when you’re making excuses for someone’s bad behavior (like “he/she was having an off day,” or “they didn’t mean what they did”), and never compromise your safety and well-being just because it would make them happy (or mad).

6/ Reach out to people who care about you if you feel safe doing so.

how to spot toxic relationships

If you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s important that you reach out to people who care about and support you. It may be tempting to only reach out to close friends or family members—and that’s okay! But remember that anyone who offers sympathy and support is someone worth talking to. If there are no close friends or family members around, don’t be afraid to reach out to people who aren’t either of those things. You can also consider finding an online community where people share similar experiences. Whatever route works best for your needs, remember not to let shame keep you from getting the help that will help get your life back on track.

7/ Be kind to yourself as you move forward in a healthier direction.

Remember that the person who mistreated you is not a part of your life anymore, so it’s okay to start treating yourself well. You deserve to be treated kindly and with respect.

You should also remember that you don’t have to deal with toxic people if you’re in a relationship where there are other options for support (friends, family members). If your partner is mistreating you and doesn’t care about how his or her behavior is affecting other people around them – think about whether this person deserves your time and effort at all!

If they don’t appreciate what they have now – why would things change if they have more?

Some relationships are exhausting and hurtful, but you have the right to put healthy boundaries in place so that you’re treated with respect by those around you.

Some people may think that setting boundaries in toxic relationships will cause them more harm than good. But the truth is that setting boundaries can actually help these toxic relationships improve over time because it shows someone who has been mistreating us how their behavior affects us and others around them as well.

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Toxic relationships can be difficult to leave, but it’s worth it. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness by the people around you, so don’t hesitate to say goodbye if someone isn’t treating you well. It’s okay if your life doesn’t look exactly how you thought it would when you first started dating someone—it doesn’t mean that person is bad or wrong, just that they’re not right for your journey at this time. Healthy relationships help us grow and learn more about ourselves; toxic ones only offer negative experiences that drain our energy and take away from our positive interactions with others who deserve our attention instead!

If you are in a toxic relationship, you should immediately seek counseling. There is no shame in seeking help from others who can provide emotional support and guidance so that you can make the best decision for yourself as well as your partner.

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