The truth is that we will all have toxic relationships in our lives from time to time… The good news is that we can all choose to learn and grow. This means taking note of when we find ourselves acting out of anger or jealousy. It also means paying attention to how free we feel to be ourselves in our relationships, or if one tends to wear us out.
Take some time to assess which of your relationships are toxic or not, as well as which of them you want to try and work on versus the ones you may need to walk away from. Throughout this process, I would encourage you to always consider your part in them. The most significant mistake we can make is to assume we aren’t to blame for any of it. Whether our role was to enable their bad behavior or just getting into the relationship in the first place, whatever it is, we need to identify it. If we don’t, we could leave a relationship only to start another that ends the same way. In each partnership, there are two people, and each plays their role. If we figure out what ours is, what’s healthy or unhealthy about it, then we can work to change. We all deserve to have relationships built on trust, love, and mutual respect. Give yourself the opportunity to cultivate them.
If you are still questioning whether or not the relationship you are in is toxic, here’s a quick quiz to help sort that out.
Are You in a Toxic Relationship?
- Do you put off seeing them or responding to their texts and calls?
- Do you feel worse after having spent time with them?
- Have they ever threatened to hurt you physically or emotionally?
- Do they discourage you from doing things on your own?
- Have they asked to borrow money and not paid it back?
- Do they ask you for a lot of favors?
- Do you struggle to make decisions without them?
- Have you found out they were talking badly about you behind your back?
- Do you constantly feel like you are walking on eggshells when you’re around them?
- Do they repeatedly put you down?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, I would encourage you to consider ending
the relationship. If it’s safe to do so, try to communicate to the other person what you are feeling and
what changes you are trying to make. If both members of a relationship want to work to make it better,
we can overcome these toxic tendencies. However, it cannot be accomplished alone. So consider your
safety as well as your sanity, and make the choices that support your growth.
Published with permission from Are U OK?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health by Kati Morton, LMFT.