It’s hard sometimes to know a toxic relationship when you see one – especially if it’s you that’s in it. Often, the person causing the toxicity can be very sneaky, and will never be obvious in their methods of hurting you or the other person involved. Here’s how to identify if you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship.
How to identify a toxic relationship – look at the facts
- Do they make the other person involved feel bad about themselves?
- Do they make a good apology, and then make the same ‘mistakes’ again?
- Do they get defensive when pulled up on their actions?
- Do they make their partner feel guilty when things go wrong between them?
- Do they threaten to break up with their partner every time they make a mistake?
- Do they humiliate their partner for a cheap laugh?
- Do they constantly belittle their partners achievements?
- Do they cause trouble where it’s not necessary?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s likely you’re dealing with a toxic relationship. Now that you’ve learned how to identify a toxic relationship, here are ways to deal with it.
How to tackle a toxic relationship
- Speak up when the person is making their partner feel bad. Whether it’s you or a friend who is being attacked, make sure it’s made clear that the behaviour is inappropriate and unacceptable.
- Give the person an ultimatum. You (or the person involved) should tell the partner at hand that there’s only so many times they can get away with the same mistakes. Let them know if it continues, they’ll be single in a flash.
- Make the person at hand take responsibility for their actions. They’re not bulletproof, and they shouldn’t act it. Let them know that everyone makes mistakes, but anyone who can’t own up to them is a coward.
- Make it clear to the troublesome person that they are the problem. They’re in a partnership, so they should act like it, rather than laying the blame on the person they supposedly love.
- If they’re threatening a break-up, let them do it. They’ll come crawling back when they realise they made a stupid mistake. With all their problematic behavior, it also gives you an opportunity to consider whether they’re worth taking back.
- Put your foot down. Let the person know that humiliating someone is not a healthy part of any relationship, especially a ‘loving’ partnership. Pull away from any behavior designed to hurt you.
- Argue your point. When you’ve done something you can be proud of, show the problematic partner that even though they don’t support you, you can support yourself.
- Avoid troublemakers. It’s as simple as that. When people are beginning to display behaviors such as the ones above, a simple solution is to end the relationship. If you want to fight a little longer, follow the above steps. If you don’t, cut the cord before you get in any deeper.