A toxic relationship is one that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked. On a basic level, any relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better can become toxic over time. Toxic relationships can exist in just about any context, from the playground to the boardroom to the bedroom.
Toxic relationships lure us into their deadly embrace by promising care, support, and nurturance, but ultimately we end up feeling drained, confused, and defeated.
Due to the mistreatment we receive in toxic relationships, we start doubting ourselves, our emotions get manipulated, we get tormented, and left traumatised.
Whether we unwittingly step into toxic relationships that systematically devalue us or get them in the form of dysfunctional familial ties, their effect on mental health can be catastrophic.
Different types of toxic relationships:
- The controller. If your man or woman is constantly trying to control your every move, run!
- The Debbie Downer.
- The liar.
- The perfectionist.
- The manipulator.
- The cheater.
- The binge drinker.
- The crazy competitor.
While a healthy relationship contributes to our self-esteem and emotional energy, a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy. A healthy relationship involves mutual care, respect, and compassion; an interest in our partner’s welfare and growth; and an ability to share control and decision-making.
Don’t dwell on the past. Sure, part of repairing the relationship will likely involve addressing past events. View your partner with compassion. Start therapy or find another support system what works for you. Practice healthy communication and be accountable. Heal individually and hold space for the other’s change.