The health of your personal relationships can be as critical to your overall health as eating well and exercise. Toxic relationships can cause unneeded stress and other emotions that slowly and silently contribute to diminishing your health over time..
Sometimes we think of a ‘good’ relationship and a ‘bad’ relationship as two very black and white, cut and dry concepts. A good relationship is one that is peaceful and ideal while a bad one is where abuse, constant fighting and perhaps even infidelity occur. But the toxicity of a relationship is not always obvious. Below are 7 ways to spot if your relationship may be toxic.
#1 How Apologizes Are Handled
Good Relationship: You and your partner can both open up, both can admit your faults and move on.
Bad Relationship: An apology is a rare thing, and it’s usually heavy-handed.
“Some people have difficulty with apologies because it can create a sense of vulnerability.” says Anne Brennan Malec, a licensed clinical, marriage, and family psychologist. She explains that even when this happens, a caring partner will bite the bullet and say they are sorry rather than to continue to hurt you.
#2 What You Focus on About Your Partner
Good Relationship: You mostly focus on your partners positive characteristics, maybe splicing in some changes you would like to see.
Bad Relationship: You mostly focus on the negatives and voice your complaints constantly.
Healthy relationships have a significant focus on what is going right. A partner that is constantly frustrated and focused on everything that is going wrong fuels a toxic relationship.
#3 The Silent Treatment
Good Relationship: Partners understand they are adults and do not engage in a lot of silent treatment or immature fighting. Everything is worked out with effective communication.
Bad Relationship: You’re both constantly ignoring each other, engaging in petty, childish behavior.
“The person who’s left behind doesn’t know what’s going on, or whether their partner is even still interested in being with them.” says Malec. This can be especially damaging to a partners sense of self worth.
Good Relationship: You trust your partner to get stuff done.
Bad Relationship: You can’t be sure if they’ll keep their promise.
Toxic relationships always have a sense of anxiety and mistrust brewing in the background. You can’t trust your partner’s word. Often times, past baggage will create this problem for a partner who is very dependable. If you find yourself doubting your partners dependability with no substance to back it up, take time to really try to understand why.
#5 The Frequency of Fights
Good Relationship: Fights are not the norm, and blow ups are even more rare.
Bad Relationship: Forgetting or misplacing something could start World War 3.
“It can be hard for people to recognize that having different opinions doesn’t mean anyone’s right or wrong,” says Malec. “I frequently see deep levels of resentment and criticism in toxic relationships.”
#6 Your Comfort Level With Being Alone
Good Relationship: It’s okay if your partner goes out for a drink with a friend, you can spend the evening alone no problem.
Bad Relationship: 30 missed calls, 25 texts, 15 voicemails…
A co-dependent relationship at that level is not good for either person. You should be able to spend time apart without paranoia. This behavior can be a result of little trust in your partner, in which case, needs to be addressed.
#7 If You Can Open Up
Good Relationship: You can express your opinions and share your thoughts without fear or worry.
Bad Relationship: You keep everything bottled up inside; it keeps the peace.
“It can be a subtle sign that you’re afraid of upsetting your partner.” says Malec. Your partner is your other half, and you shouldn’t be afraid of telling them how you feel. A good partner will always encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings even if it means they may not like what they hear.
What are your thoughts?
Khyrunnessa Rabbani - I am perfectly imperfect! Passionate believer if you love your body and yourself and the rest will fall into place.