What are the red flags for toxic relationships?

“Maybe I fell in love with a version of him that didn't exist.”
- Namrata Gupta

10 Red Flags For Toxic Relationships

10 Red Flags For Toxic Relationships That Should Never Be Ignored:

  1. The relationship takes over your life. You no longer put time into yourself. All of your time is devoted to the person you are entangled with.
  2. Communication is extremely difficult. They are verbally abusive. They don't listen to you. You can't get a word in during the conversation.
  3. What they say goes and your opinion never matters so you always end up doing what they want you to do.
  4. You physically fight.
  5. They are like Dr. Jekyl in public, but become Mr. Hyde when the two of you are alone.

6.They try to control what you wear, where you go. Who you are with and for how long.

7.They call your phone continually if you do not answer, regardless of whether you are at work or have already informed them that you will be busy at a certain time.

8.They try to dominate you sexually and get angry when you don't allow them to.

9.They try to rush the relationship forward quickly by love-bombing and imposing themselves into their life, family, friends, and social circles before you are ready.

10.You are reading this list because something in your gut tells you that you are in a toxic relationship. Listen to your gut.

“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” - John Mark Green

Don't ignore the red flags in toxic partnerships.

5 Red Flags For Toxic Relationships

Perseverance and persistence are commendable virtues. They allow us to surmount some pretty daunting odds. However, there comes a time when they get taken to extremes and they become a bit pathologic.

We are often indoctrinated on how deplorable it is to give up on something, and thus we usually tend to hold on to things that are no longer working.

There comes a time when holding on to something becomes a futile effort. We need to realize that at times we need to free ourselves from certain engagements and live our lives freely. Be it an unfulfilling job, a toxic relationship, or some heavy sentiment from the past, we have to know when it is time to let go.

Here are some five chief signs that we are holding on to something that is toxic and not working at all.

1)    It takes over your life
There comes a time when a problem or a worry hangs overwhelmingly like a sharp blade over every aspect of our life. When you find yourself ruminating day and night over something and can't seem to enjoy or stop thinking about something.

This robs you of every joy and excitement in life. Be it a job or a relationship, these signs signal that whatever you are worrying about is not good for you. It is high time to let go.

Stop, breathe, and free yourself. Life is short, and you should not spend yours trying hard to work on something that is not fulfilling. Do not live in constant fear or dread. Reclaim your life and learn to walk away.

2)    You are constantly dwelling on the negative
When a problem, job, or relationship makes you lose your optimism or vitality, it is time to let go.

When you cannot find a ray of sunshine in whatever you are doing, and when it seems that no matter how hard you try you cannot get a positive response or outcome, do yourself a favor and leave whatever it is that you are doing.

Sometimes the juice is not worth the squeeze, and holding on can simply cause more depression in your life.

3)    You start becoming something you hate. Life and situations can change us, sometimes for the worst. When we are holding on to something and we find ourselves becoming something that we do not recognize, we need to save ourselves and leave.

When you constantly have to compromise, change your personality or core values, and become something that is morally uncomfortable and you feel you are losing something of value, you have to let go.

Giving up small aspects of ourselves for the sake of a job or relationship or a grudge can eventually harden our hearts and make us lose our compassion and humanity. Do not let anything turn you into something you are not comfortable with. Simply let go.

4)    You start feeling worthless

Being stuck in an uncomfortable situation can make us lose our self-confidence. Those stuck in unsatisfying jobs and toxic relationships usually start to feel inferior and under-appreciated.

When you start feeling like you are worthless and can never feel good about yourself anymore, it is a sign that you must let go of whatever it is you are clinging to.

You need to walk away and start engaging in things that matter to you, things that make you feel that you are part of something worthwhile. This will boost your self-image and your confidence, making you feel good about yourself.

5)    When you constantly try to justify something

"But the pay is good and I get bonuses."
"He/She is really a good person at the core."
When you hear yourself constantly saying the words above or something along the same lines, you are trying to justify or excuse something that you know is not working for you.

ALSO Read: Breaking Off A Toxic Relationship

As humans, we often try to find reasons and excuses for clinging to things.Yet, the more we try to hold on to something that is not good, the more we ruin our physical and mental health. Stop giving excuses. The moment you start telling yourself lies, the more miserable you become.

Letting go is never an easy feat, and we often do not recognize that we are trying too hard to cling to something that is not good for us. We need to make a personal effort, to be frank with ourselves, to find a moment of quiet introspection and look objectively at the situation. It is only when we are willing to be brutally honest with ourselves that we get to start the long walk towards personal freedom.

Stop making excuses and do not let situations rob you of your right to live a cheery and happy life. Learn to recognize the signs and let go before you fall into the pit of depression.

How To Get Your Power Back By Moving Forward

“You are holding a cactus plant in your hand. You are bleeding and cursing the cactus but not letting go of it. Cactus is not hurting you. Your own attachment with the cactus is hurting you.”- Shunya

There comes a time in life when we are overwhelmed by whatever is happening around us such that we do not see a way forward. The journey forward looks bleak and what is happening on the sides does not seem to offer hope either. Such feelings are not only triggered by huge events.

It can be a result of failing to get that one job we think is all we need to improve our lives, fear, loneliness and feeling low, being misunderstood, and missed opportunities among other things.

What makes things even harder is that when things are not going well we often dwell so much on these unpleasant situations to the extent that they steal a greater part of our lives.

We try to find answers as to why certain things are happening to us (why me?), wondering if we'd be in a better position if we'd done things differently (if only I'd done it earlier or differently) and whether things will ever get better for us and life be easier (am I cursed?).

Red flags for toxic relationships continued...

Once we start dwelling too much on these questions and many other, the spirit is overwhelmed and can't be nothing but low.

We give attention to negatives and the memory is put in a position where it recalls nothing other than more unfavorable situations from the past just to verify our thoughts that our lives are a mess and we can never have it easier like other 'normal people'.

Okay, the day is done, you have made it a point that you stay in that painful place and also made yourself feeling unworthy and unlucky. Then what? You are still in that same position if not worse than when you started.

Did looking back and entertaining the negative thoughts about yourself help in any way? No. That is a whole day or a couple of hours wasted on something that only pulls you back. If anything, dealing with our problems in that manner weakens us and keeps us from progressing.

“When you get out of it, you realize how toxic it actually was.”
- Steve Maraboli

The following can help you keep your eyes fixed on the goal even when you encounter obstacles:

1.    Let go of the past – do not hold on to your past. Some have missed great opportunities because they have been expecting history to repeat itself. Find ways to heal, hold on to important lessons that add value to your life, and give yourself a chance to live and enjoy life. Do not hold on to failed dreams or what could have been.

3.    Block any thoughts that validate feelings that you are nothing and are hopeless – nothing can make you powerless than a negative state of mind. Train your mind to look for positives more than you look for negatives in every situation.

2.    Learning to survive and live with challenges – everyone will certainly face challenges in their life regardless of social or financial status. Understanding that you are not spared from meeting challenges will make you more prepared to deal with them. Everyone else around you also has issues.

Understand that they are part of life and there often is something to learn from them while they can also force you out of your comfort zone. Allow challenges to always push you forward and you will be unstoppable. Stress less. Stressing does not change the situation.

4.    Learn how to deal with uncertainty the right way uncertainty does scare many people while to others it is the suspense that makes life more interesting.

Facing uncertainty head-on helps you gain confidence and exposes you to new things and opportunities.

Life becomes more adventurous as you challenge yourself to stand up to uncertainty than when you pull back and give up before giving it a try.

5.    Get rid of the belief that you are destined for failure – when we have lost so much and have had our fair share of unfortunate events, we tend to ask ourselves whether our lives are meant to be like that; characterized by unending pain and disappointments.

However, we only get such ideas when we give ourselves time to do a stocktake of our lives based on past events. When you look forward with hope for a better future you get the energy to march on with confidence and create strategies to improve your life, while the belief that you are destined for failure keeps you from moving. You stop trying or, you do less because you believe you will always fail even if you give it your best.

6.    Talk to someone – having someone or a group that can help keep you going is important. Most people do get to a point where they feel hopeless and no matter how hard they try they can’t change how they feel about the situation. Having a support group can remind you where you are going and why you cannot look back.

7.    Stop with the blame game change your thoughts and take full control of your life. If you wait for people to take responsibility for what happens in your life or what they did to you, you will be stuck in that place. Whatever happens or is done to you, the power to keep things moving is in your hands. No one can defeat you unless you defeat yourself first.

“Sometimes trying to fix them, breaks YOU.” - Steve Maraboli

It is not easy dealing with unfavorable situations but, what if we tried to keep a level head? What if instead of crying going backward, we cry looking ahead and in doing so, we also try to ensure that our eyes are clear enough to see the way?
If you want to live a more prosperous and happier life, you need to learn to keep looking ahead no matter what.

HELPFUL READING My Partner Has Low Self Esteem


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  • National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
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