By Gena Sysavath
Web Content Contributor
Any type of relationship in your life should be bringing you happiness and growth for most of the time they are with you. However, there can be relationships (romantic, familial and platonic) that bring you nothing but misery.
I want to point out that I am in no way, shape or form a relationship expert and am only writing out of experience that I have had with toxic relationships. Everyone deals with things differently, but I am sure that some of what is written can help or be useful if you feel like you are in the same position. If not, you can be thankful that you are not or never will be a part of one, and maybe you can read the signs before it would ever get that far.
Some signs of a toxic relationship
Lack of communication/trust
A healthy relationship is based on trust and communication with one another. If you cannot communicate with your partner, there is probably a problem there.
Of course, there are people who just do not talk much, but even then, they would have to communicate to their partner to be able to maintain the relationship. Communication also includes listening to what the other says: if you just hear but not take in consideration what your partner is saying, then the relationship would fail.
Constantly feeling drained
If the relationship is not making you happy and productive, and instead you are feeling mentally, physically or emotionally drained, then you must reevaluate. You should not have to feel constantly drained by being with someone for a few moments.
You should not be in a relationship if you cannot be an individual first. By co-depending on one another you are hurting both yourself and your partner. I am not saying to not rely on one another, but just be there for one another instead of quite literally only depending on your partner/friend.
It is hard to be in any type of relationship with anyone if all you feel is negativity when you are with that person. There’s no need to compromise your mood for someone who is always bringing you down as a person. If they are not there to help shape you for a positive life, then maybe they should not be in your life.
If you are always finding yourself changing your opinions to please someone other than yourself, then you are in a very damaging relationship. You should not have to change what you believe in for someone else.
No acknowledgment to how you feel
If they try to force you to do something that you do not want and continue to do so even after you said no, it is abusive. It can be sexual, physical or mental, but if they try to exert power over you, leave. It is not a discussion: you do not deserve it. You do not have to be belittled by someone so that they can be happy.
Now these are only some of the signs that display toxicity in a relationship. There are many more and are definitely not limited to these few, but these also are some of the most common ones that quite a few of my acquaintances and I have faced. So, if you see these in your relationships, maybe feel a little weary if you can not find a way to compromise with your partner.
How to deal with the aftermath of a toxic relationship
Recognize what happened
You can be in denial that the relationship itself was toxic and you might even question yourself as you think about it. Was it my fault? Were they that bad? Why did this happen? It is natural to think these things and just because you thought of some of these questions does not mean it is true. If you face the truth, you will allow yourself to recognize how or why the relationship went in such a direction and therefore might be able to avoid it in the future.
Lose all contact
Block, delete and avoid. If the person was detrimental to your well-being you should trash them from your life. You can not keep such a negative energy around when you have finally decided to move on. Do not fall for the “I can change” act; you cannot change them, and they will most likely not change themselves.
This is not saying that they cannot change at all, but you are not their caretaker and you should not have to be the one to be responsible for who they are. It is not your job, so move on.
On another note, if you cannot completely cut ties– like if you shared a child or have to maintain a professional working relationship– then you must set boundaries and limit the contact as much as possible.
Surround yourself with POSITIVITY
Go to your friends and family that you know will have your back. Surround yourself with the positives in your life and do not take in anymore negativity that can hurt you. You need time to heal from such a draining time of your life and it is okay to rely on your friends as you try to figure yourself out again. Find the things you enjoy and go do it again.
Take time for yourself
Of course, you have to also find time for yourself, it is a given that you will need to do the things you like. You are the only one that is in control of your life, so if you go out and learn about yourself. Find a new hobby or maybe immerse yourself into a mental health day. Anything you need, you should do it. As long as it is not going to be ruining your life then go for it.
Do not let a relationship deplete you of who you are; it is not worth it. Do what you must to avoid such a person that is willing to drain you from doing and being the best person that you can be.
Of course, there are always a few people that will refuse to leave even if it is made obvious that you do not want them in your life anymore. For example, if they show up at your house without permission two years after the break-up although your friends and you have blocked them off on everything you can think of and made very clear that they are no longer welcome in your life, then maybe the authorities should be involved. That’s just creepy and very concerning, but that is only an extreme case.It is not okay for them to seclude you away from your friends.
It is not okay for them to belittle you and your feelings. It is not okay for them to make you do something that you do not want to do. What is okay to do is for you to leave something that will not benefit you and the life that you want.
Featured image by Gena Sysavath.