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Tea Time Talk: Toxic Relationships 💔

How-To Detect The Signs of Toxicity

By Carla SofiiLove Garcia Published 3 years ago 8 min read
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Relationships are meant to be beautiful with that warm and fuzzy feeling in the depth of your, that makes you forget about all your problems. Who are we kidding, nowadays, having a relationship is like having a second job, being married without the rings or ceremony, having children when you don't have children... but, worse, you two are arguing, name-calling, seeing things in each that aren't there, or simply doing things to the other person that you know will hurt them. It's your typical, old-fashioned toxic relationship (queue in the horror movie music!) I have been in a few of them myself, but when you're in them, you don't quite see the reg flags that are right in front of you. So, how do you detect the signs, and how do you avoid them in the future, keep reading.

1. Lack of trust

Lack of trust, questioning their every move, looking over their shoulder, wondering who they're talking to are all signs of a toxic relationship. Relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or family may be one of the biggest red flags in the relationship, it is the foundation. When you are choosing to make someone a part of your life but do not have the confidence to know your place on theirs, this is a sure sign that maybe you should walk away. I'm not saying that it cannot be fixed or that you cannot work on the relationship, but there is a point for which it gets more difficult to overcome certain doubts or premonitions if you feel that it is affecting your mental and emotional state, then do what is in the best interest of yourself, weigh out the pros and cons, and step away if it just isn't healthy for both of you to pursue it further. If you choose to work things out, sit down, explain to the other person that is on your mind, lay it all on the table, make sure you are both on the same page, when the issue is at bay, make sure that you have truly overcome the underlying concerns and move forward. Showing the other person that you can continue as nothing ever happened or that you no longer have doubts, then you are in a safe place to move forward.

2. Hostile Behavior and Communication

For this part of my article, I wanted to make sure I did not add an image that would depict one person or the other being more aggressive than the other; I wanted to start it off on a neutral note. Hostile behavior or communication can come in a multitude of ways; from as small as a demeaning comment, to as critical as physical violence. Nonetheless, it is damaging and harming mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Toxic behavior is anything that is not encouraging, enlightening, stimulating, or uplifting to the other person, and may have repercussions that may not allow the relationship to survive or recover. If anyone has ever been on the other end of the abusive behavior, you know how scarring it could be, perhaps haven't been able to find closure or have not been able to trust the same again. Verbal abuse may not seem as harmful as physical abuse, but words are mentally straining and can have worse, unforeseen negative repercussions of their own. If you are the offender, it's to think twice before doing or saying something that you wouldn't want to be done or said to you. If you were offended, please seek ways to recover and overcome for you to have internal peace; seek professional help, talk to a trusted friend, talk to anyone that may have gone through similar things that may help. If you are unable to self-identify if you are a victim of hostile behavior or communication, or cannot read the signs that you are being abused, please discuss the concerns with a trusted advisor or professional so they may provide advice that they help to open your mind.

3. Controlling and Manipulative Traits

Once you are invested in a relationship or have established your place in a relationship, you become confident and comfortable in your surroundings with those people, but if you don't acknowledge the signs of a controlling person early on, then you end up either getting used to their antics or suffering from not knowing how to get out of the situation. It's better to make sure to keep an open mind, to acknowledge when you are in a manipulated situation, and to have an exit strategy. This article is not solely about romantic relationships, a controlling relationship can be anyone, any group of people that manipulate a person's mentality or mannerisms in a negative way that are meant to demean the person on the submissive end. For example, I was in an abusive relationship with a guy for almost two years; we went where he wanted to go, hung out with the people he wanted to hang out with, do what he wanted us to do. As uncomfortable as the circumstances were, I didn't read into the signs soon enough, I ended up being antagonized, physically abused, went days without eating, drinking at all hours of the day, sleeping on kitchen floors just so we can be together, having sexual relations in front of his friends while in the same room, and being physically abused by his family. It wasn't the ideal situation to be in, I figured that out years after I was with him, I was manipulated mentally and physically for so long, that it started to feel normal. The last act that had me begging for mercy and praying that I would have the ability to get out of this relationship alive, was the day that we were in my car in the middle of a heated argument, he didn't like what I had to say, in a drunken rage, he started hitting me really bad that I blacked out; if it wasn't for one of his friends that were coincidentally walking past, I don't think I'd be here writing about it. He opened the driver's door, pulled me out of the driver's seat, and laid me on the ground to see if I was ok. I don't remember much of that day, just the fear in my heart and the thought of never seeing my family again, was enough to reevaluate my options, and I never went back. Of course, being around the same group of people, seeking refuge with a married couple of his friends, fearing going home to my family and telling them, I stayed there for a few weeks, in talking to them about what happened, I realized how damaged and broken I was after everything I went through, not knowing if I'd be able to recover. I sit here now writing about those horrid days, still in tears and pain, but now being able to acknowledge and evaluate the red flags of a controlling, abusive person and knowing when to get out. If you are one of those people and need help, please speak to someone that you trust or a professional, don't live in fear of the outcome, you may be causing more harm while procrastination and prolonging the repercussions of the abuse.

4. One-Sided Relationships (All Take-No Give)

I do strongly believe that a lot of us have been in this situation at least once in our life that we have found ourselves giving more than we are receiving back, this is a sign of a toxic relationship. I am sure there is a family member, friend, partner, or even a colleague at work that reaps the benefits of your kindness, and to not see the end reward is devastating. Take it from someone that is giving by nature, never looks for anything in return, and doesn't read into the signs of when I'm being used. At least, I used to be that way until I found myself drowning in disappointment, deception, despair, and much regret. I was always the person that wouldn't mind lending a hand, putting other's needs before mine, assuring that everyone had what they needed, bending over backward, and not reaping the reward of doing good by everyone. Maybe because I was blinded by the sheer illusion of everyone else's happiness, always being the one who would tell people 'don't worry about me, I don't need anything', and it being taken literally. But the older I got, the more I channeled into my self-worth and started putting myself first in every scenario, don't get me wrong, I am a giving and caring person, just not to the point that it will leave me regretful at the end. I have put my foot down with the small circle of people that I've chosen to keep in my life, have set higher expectations that we can both benefit from, and I am now leading a more positive experience. If you are a giver, don't ever think this is a bad thing, but evaluate what is it that your giving, your time is precious, your life is valuable, and your desires are equally as important as everyone else. Make sure as you give something, to also expect something in return, so people understand your demands and expectations; this can be as simple as a conversation, behavior changes, lessening the sense of neediness from the other person, and the amount of responsibility that you are taking on.

5. Excusing The Toxic Behavior

Making excuses for unhealthy, unruly, pessimistic, toxic behavior is a sign that you are in the trenches of the toxicity that the people in the wrong have put you in. Excuses are coverups for the things that you know you would be called out on if you explained to an outsider the things that you are putting yourself through. All of the sections listed above tie into the excuses and dismissive habits that have been created, therefore not allowing these people to take responsibility for their wrong-doings. Unless a toxic person can see how their behaviors have affected you or have caused negativity in your dynamic, then the excuses will not help to smooth or subside the behavior. I wanted to end the article on this topic because I do believe that brushing things aside or believing these types of people will change, is a bad example on the victim's end for not holding the offenders accountable for their actions. Please carefully consider assessing the situation you're in, create a pro and con list of the things that you find to be troubling in your relationships, take time to yourself to have a moment to breathe, and this should help to determine whether or not you should continue allowing these people the privilege of being in your life or if you should cut ties and move on. I hope this helps someone that may not be able to come to terms with their circumstances, I promise that I have been there before, blinded by love and hope, I wouldn't be coming from a place of concern if I had not been through these types of relationships. Thank you.

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About the Creator

Carla SofiiLove Garcia

Writing is my passion... find me on Twitter @goddesswriter90.

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