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Being in a Relationship With a Toxic Person


You may have heard the term “toxic person” and not know what that means. One thing to remember is that people engage in healthy behavior or toxic behavior. How do you know if someone is a toxic person? Understand that the person who is engaging in toxic behavior has likely experienced trauma. Because of the wounds of their past, they may be acting out that trauma and victimizing others or bullying them. You know that they’re toxic if they’re hurting you. If they’re hurting you emotionally, physically, or any other way, it’s a sign that this person isn’t good for you to be around and that they’re toxic for you. 

How do you know if you’re in a relationship with a toxic person?

Here are some signs to identify if you’re in a relationship with a toxic person. 

  1. You’re fearful of spending time with them or being around them
  2. They make you feel shame about who you are
  3. You’re trying to fix them or come to their rescue
  4. You feel emotionally exhausted after being around them
  5. They don’t respect your boundaries
  6. You say no to them, and they dismiss you
  7. You feel uneasy and disengaged from yourself when around them because it’s too painful

Toxic people are often highly manipulative. They’re not interested in what you need or in an equal give and take; they care about getting things for themselves and their agenda. They don’t care about your boundaries and want to accomplish whatever is important to them without considering your needs or seeing how they might affect others along the way. 

Judgment and the Toxic Individual 

Toxic people can be extremely judgmental. They look at your behavior and are critical of what you’re doing rather than looking at themselves. Narcissistic people especially struggle with taking responsibility for their actions. They may not apologize or have any emotional insight regarding what they did. Toxic individuals judge you but don’t take responsibility when they’re at fault, and sometimes, they’ll make judgments about you or attempt to make you feel insecure so they can feel better about themselves. 

Toxic People Are Not Loyal or Consistent

One of the hallmarks of many toxic people is that they change depending on their mood. Depending on what will achieve their goal, they’ll behave in a way that will get them what they want. They might be kind and loving when they want something from you, or they may become angry and start to guilt trip you so you’ll give them what they want, whether what they want is a physical object, an emotional response, or something else. They might start threatening you or guilt-tripping you if you express the want to leave and they make you put up your defenses. Things are always more difficult than they need to be, and there are a lot of unnecessary fights. They might try to get you to question yourselves. They’re not caring toward you and are only interested in themselves. You might feel trapped and wonder how to get out of a toxic relationship.

How to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship

If you feel stuck in an abusive relationship, you might accept your situation because you can’t see outside of it. Your partner is engaging in toxic behavior, and you may feel hopeless to get out of the situation. In reality, there is hope. Your partner may have a clinical diagnosis that makes them engage in toxic behavior, such as being a narcissistic sociopath. If that’s the case, they could benefit from counseling. But, most importantly, you need to get help for yourself. Going to see a therapist and talking about the relationship can help you realize dysfunctional behaviors and dynamics and work on yourself. You need to be strong and true to yourself, and you deserve to feel good about yourself. If you aren’t being treated with respect in your relationship, you don’t need to stay. Online therapy can be beneficial for you if you’re interested in betting yourself. Make sure you seek help for yourself and remember that you can’t force others to get help. People don’t change unless they want to, and that’s one of the things that’s hard about a toxic relationship, but you don’t need to stick around and let it hurt you. Going to therapy can help you to better your life, get your needs met, and have healthy partnerships moving forward. 

Getty photo by fizkes