Are You in a Toxic Relationship?
Toxic people can have a devastating effect on the lives of others who do not realize they were involved with such a person until it is too late. While they might be in a disguise, there are some tell-tale signs of toxic people that you should be aware of before you get emotionally invested with such individuals, and knowing the signs can save you from a lot of heartaches.
What is a Toxic Person?
Dr. Lillian Glass, a psychology expert, defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there are disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” Over the years, experts have expended this definition and have determined that a toxic person is one who displays personality disorders that causes him/her to try and get their way from other people in an unhealthy manner.
A toxic person will play the victim, bully the people in his/her life, and they do so in very subtle ways. Also, a toxic person will often cause the people he/she interacts with to change their behavior, causing confusion and the feeling that they are pulled to different and bizarre directions.
What are the Signs of a Toxic Person?
Now that you know a bit more about what it is to be a toxic person, here are the signs of a toxic person that will affirm your suspicions:
They gaslight people in their lives
Gaslighting causes the victims to feel as if they are losing their minds and imagining things that did not happen. A toxic person will behave in a certain way and then deny his behavior, even if evidence suggests he is guilty of particular behaviors. The toxic person will criticize those who confront him and attempt to shift the blame, causing his victim to undermine their own behavior.
They lie constantly
Toxic people are great liars, and they never seem to think that there is something wrong with their lies. They will make up excuses, even when it is not necessary, and will never take responsibility for their mistakes. They will not try to improve their behavior but rather give excuses as to why they are not wrong and why their behavior is justified.
They cannot empathize with their victims
Toxic people are virtually unable to put themselves in their victims' shoes; no matter how hard you try to convey how you feel, a toxic person will not understand what you are talking about. Solely but surely, you will find yourself avoiding talking about your feelings as you are met with contempt or silence by the toxic person in your life.
They undermine your self-esteem
To keep you from leaving them, toxic people will chip away at your self-esteem and make you feel as you are nothing without them being in your life. A toxic person will make you feel like you are a burden instead of a blessing, causing you to constantly feel unsure of yourself.
They crave attention
When dealing with a toxic person, you will feel as if you are completely drained from energy, which is what toxic people do. They have a constant craving for attention and adoration, especially from their romantic partners. There is not satisfying a toxic person's need for attention, which makes you feel like you are never good enough.
They threaten to end your relationship
When fighting with a toxic person, you will feel as if every fight could be the last one. why? Because toxic people are masters of getting their partners to feel like they will not tolerate any argument, especially those that pertain to their behavior. When you try to improve your communication, you will likely get the silent treatment from your toxic partner and find yourself apologizing for doing nothing wrong.
They make you feel on edge
Once toxic people get their claws into people, it becomes very difficult to let them go. You will find yourself making excuses to justify your toxic partner's behavior, and while you are uncomfortable with what they do, you still want them to like you. The toxic person will make you feel like you are unimportant, causing you to further attempt to keep him close.
They always have excuses for their behavior
They will cry, tell you sob stories about their past, and try as hard as possible to make you believe that their behavior is justifiable. They claim to hate drama, but drama seems to follow them around, to no fault of their own, of course.
They present cyclical behavior
One day they are quiet or mean, and one day they lavish you with love and flattery. They also treat you differently in public than in private moments, and you never know what to expect of them. They will keep you on your toes, and once you try to end the relationship, toxic people will suddenly try hard to win you over.
Toxic people are called that for a reason; they poison relationships and make people around them constantly feel inadequate. The best course of action is to stay away from such people, even when it is hard and even when they try to win you back. Toxic behavior is difficult to change, and you should not get sucked into the emotional roller-coaster of a toxic relationship time and time again.