The first time I heard the words “toxic relationship” I was not quite sure what it meant. And ever since, I have tried to pay close attention my relationships to see if I could identify its traits.
The funny thing about toxic relationships is that you may not be aware that you are in one. It usually happens with someone whose presence you are used to. They are in your life often, every day or all the time. Life sometimes feels incomplete without them. And this sometimes makes it difficult to detect, especially if you are not mindful.
But there are signs to look out for, and ways to tell whether you are in a toxic relationship or not.
Not quite long ago, I had to sever myself from a toxic relationship with a very close friend. Until I started to ask myself certain questions, I did not know that I was in a toxic relationship.
So I am writing this in hopes of helping one or two people find out whether they are in a toxic relationship or not. Now here are six ways to tell if you are in a toxic relationship, as observed from my last toxic relationship.
1. They Demand Too Much
I am not talking about someone who is needy. Even needy people, I can handle because they are just that… needy.
But no. I am talking about a friend who demands so much from you, without any apparent consideration for you. They ask without regard. They demand almost as if it is an obligation you owe them.
They may not get mad or annoyed if you do not meet their demands. But they will not think twice about asking here and there. If you have one such a friend, you might want to watch out for the next points; that might just be a toxic relationship.
2. They Are Not Sensitive to Sensitive Issues
Not to things that are important to you, they are not. They do not appear to be sensitive, especially with issues you consider sensitive. You could be hurt by a situation or something that gets to you, and they could tease you about it. It is almost as if they have no regard for the things that matter the most to you.
Were there times you went to a friend with something heavy on your mind, and they just laughed at it? And even when you told them “hey, this is really important to me; I am serious” they still did not take you serious? Well think again… You just might be in a toxic relationship, if this is a norm between you two.
3. They Will Not Sacrifices for You
As much as you are happy and willing to sacrifice for them, they will not reciprocate. Sometimes, you ask yourself why you even bother to do anything for them. And then for some reason, it starts to hurt when you do nice things for them because this has gone on long enough.
But out of your kind heart, you cannot pass on an opportunity to help them, to meet with their demands and to put your happiness on the line for them.
Life is not about benefits. But after doing so much for someone you consider a friend, there are expectations. And if they are not willing to make sacrifices for you as much as you are willing to make sacrifices for them… you might be walking on glass.
4. They Have Double Moral Standards
If there is one thing I dislike so much, it is double standards. It is hypocrisy and injustice, if you ask me. It is simply not fair.
Have you ever done something that your friend condemns in a way that makes you hate yourself? But when they do the same, you are not even allowed to think about scolding them. And they will often respond with “you will not understand” or “my case is different”.
They will condone, support and even do the same things that they condemn. If it benefits them, they believe it is okay and will justify their actions. That includes telling lies, preferential treatment, stealing, cheating, and so on.
That there is someone who is inconsiderate, and someone you should beware of. And if this happens regularly often with your friend, then watch out… they may be stealing your happiness like this.
5. They Are Vengeful
Vengeful people do not care whether you hurt them on purpose or not. They will think up some way to make you pay for your wrongs. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, could sometimes be their mantra.
And their vengeance can come in different forms. It may be mild or harsh, physical or emotional, or sometimes even psychological. But they will get their pound of flesh and get even eventually.
It is enough not wanting to hurt a friend or do them wrong. But the fear that you may have wronged them, and not know how they plan to pay you back… that is not a good state of mind to be in all the time.
6. They Will Not to Talk Issues Out
It feels bad enough to offend a friend. But it feels even worse when they are not willing to talk issues out. For whatever reason, there are some issues that will hit the heart hard, and they will refuse to talk about it.
When such a thing happens, you can be sure that they will plan their comeback. Sometimes, that comeback could be a change in the dynamics of the relationship. And trust me, you will be in the dark on that decision. Then the next thing you know, everything is different and you do not know why.
So these were the major traits that I could identify from a relationship with an ex best friend. It was a hard pill for me to swallow when I decided to cut off.
I had to pull back and relate from afar, for the sake of my own happiness. And when I did, it felt like a big rock was lifted off of my chest and my life. lol. It was that bad!
Now I am happier and I am glad I ended that relationship because it was stealing my happiness. It made me a little depressed and I hated myself every once in a while. I could not continue to live that way. I had to put an end to it.
Watch out for these traits in your relationship. If most of them are present, then there is a chance that you are enduring a toxic relationship.
Until next time, stay happy!
Now what about you? Are there other ways you use to identify toxic relationships? Or have you found this article useful?
Please share in the comment section below. Thanks!