What Is A Toxic Relationship? Signs & How To Cope Up

Gwen Adams

Toxic relationship

A toxic relationship is an abusive relationship, being in toxic relationships can make you feel emotionally drained out and can be stressful too. To know whether you are in a toxic relationship, you would need to look out for some major signs. We have mentioned some of these key signs below to help you out.

What is a Toxic Relationship?

A toxic relationship means a relationship in which you feel demeaned, underserved, and emotionally abused by the other person, there is no love and hitting pick up line and showing love. A toxic relationship meaning is pretty broad, it is not limited to just romantic relationships. Be it professional life or personal life, toxic relationships can be present anywhere. Primarily, being in any relationship that makes you feel inferior instead of helping you grow can be toxic.

What is a Toxic Relationship?

A relationship becomes toxic when you feel threatened by the other person. It can involve psychological abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. You may even face such toxicity from your family and friends. Often people with mental illnesses, like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety issues are more vulnerable to toxicity in a relationship because of unstable emotions.

Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship

It is very important to avoid any kind of toxic relationship because it can have a severe negative effect on your mental health. It’s tough to decide whether a relationship is toxic but if you have good knowledge of toxic relationships, then can be easy to point it out. If there is any kind of physical, mental, or emotional abuse is involved then it is definitely a toxic relationship.

Any relationship where you are getting threatened through words or actions is a toxic relationship too. Often the signs of a toxic relationship are subtle and you don’t realize it even when you are facing it. Being unaware of these signs causes a great deal of harm to mental and emotional health. It brings a lot of negative energy into your life which can cause some critical issues in your daily life.

Signs You're in a Toxic Relationship

The Relationship Scorecard

Keeping a score refers to getting blamed by your partner for your past mistakes. When both the partners blame each other for their past mistakes, then you can say they are keeping a relationship scorecard. In such situations, the relationship becomes a blame game where both partners try to put each other down by blaming them. They try to show each other who has made more mistakes so the one who has made lesser mistakes can gain control over the other.

On the surface, it may look just like normal banter between couples but if it happens consistently, then it can make the relationship toxic. It becomes mentally stressful and because of pushing the blame; it does not solve the real issue. Instead of being right, the focus shifts to proving who is more wrong. To deal with this, it’s better to focus on individual mistakes unless it directly concerns the relationship.

Holding the Relationship Hostage

It means threatening to leave the relationship by criticizing or complaining to the other person. Such behaviour turns into emotional blackmailing and you may also feel insecure because of the regular threats given by your partner to leave you. You need to realize that the other person is only trying to gain control over you. Such mind games can be harmful to your mental health.

Both partners need to share their negative thoughts without threatening the relationship. If there would be no freedom of expression in a relationship then, partners will not share their feelings. This will further lead to distrust, doubts, and insecurity in the relationship which eventually makes the relationship toxic.

All Give no Take

If your relationship is only about your partner, taking care of his/her needs, and making them happy then it can be a sign of toxicity. A relationship is not about just one person, it’s about both the person contributing equally to the relationship. It’s good that you care about your partner and consider them your priority but you should not compromise yourself in this.

Your partner should not ignore you and take you for granted when you are in a relationship. If he only expects things from you but never reciprocates the same love and care to you, then it’s a major sign of a toxic relationship. You become the only giver in the relationship but you don’t get any love and care from your partner. Instead, they ignore your feelings, demean you and try to dominate you emotionally.

Constant Disrespect

Mutual respect is a key aspect of any healthy relationship. It’s not only love and care that helps your relationship to grow, giving each other respect is also a vital part. It shows that you both understand each other well and the chances of any animosity between you two are very less. If there is a lack of respect in the relationship then the chances of conflicts increase. If you or your partner is being disrespectful to each other, then it’s a sign that you are in a toxic relationship.

Getting disrespect from your partner can affect your mental health and you might have a feeling of inferiority in the relationship. This should never be the case, a relationship should make you feel content and should not make you feel undeserving. Getting treated like this can bring negativity to the relationship and toxicity would keep increasing. It’s better to confront your partner about such behaviour and if this continues, you need to let go of the relationship.

Hostile atmosphere

Good relationships make you feel safe and comfortable. You are more likely to open up and share your feelings when you feel safe with someone. Without the feeling of being secure in a relationship, you won’t have peace and you may feel stressed. If someone feels threatened or is constantly afraid by their partner, then it’s a major sign of toxicity. In such cases, your partners try to threaten off leaving the relationship.

It is very important to not ignore such behaviour. Otherwise, it can cause a lot of emotional and mental stress. If you feel your partner is hostile towards your relationship, then it means you are in a toxic relationship.

Lack of trust

Trust is the pillar of a relationship, but when someone is in a toxic relationship, then trust between partners decreases. Trust issues cause a lot of arguments and conflicts in the relationship which fills the relationship with negativity. One or both the partners doubt each other, because of which they don’t share their feeling much. This further increases the tension in the relationship, and the victim might feel that they are being downgraded and criticized.

Staying in a relationship where there is no trust between partners makes no sense. This would only lead to more toxicity in a relationship and the negative feelings may also come in. Understand that it’s not worth staying in a relationship where you are constantly questioned and are not believed.

Feeling drained

If you feel mentally and emotionally drained out by spending time with your partner, then you are probably in a toxic relationship. A good relationship would not make you feel emotionally and mentally tired. Instead, it should make you feel satisfied and joyful to have such a relationship. Of course, there are always ups and downs in relationships and this can cause stress at times.

Feeling drained out does not affect only you, it can affect others around you as well. You may feel frustrated and mentally exhausted because of which you can face difficulties in your daily life. This can further affect your professional life and you might not have the same productivity at work as you do.

Occupied with imbalance

When you are in a good relationship, things always seem to work. Even if there is an argument between partners, they figure out a solution for it. You maintain healthy boundaries so that none of you feels uncomfortable and the relationship would feel balanced. A toxic relationship might make you feel you are always missing something.

You may feel an imbalance in the relationship because of the uneven distribution of power between you and your partner. Your partner might have controlling behaviour and may often force his/her decision on you. They would try to show that they are the superior ones in the relationship and you should treat them like it.

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There are many reasons someone might have gotten into a toxic relationship and these reasons would not necessarily be positive. You need to understand that a toxic relationship is not good by any means. The more you would ignore it, the more it would harm you, both mentally and physically. Understand that you deserve better than this and don’t let others’ toxicity ruin your mental health.


What causes toxic relationships?

Some of the major reasons for toxic relationships can be a narrow mindset, lack of understanding, lack of empathy, and passive-aggressive behaviour.

Can a toxic relationship be fixed?

Yes, it can be fixed if both the partners are ready to work on building a strong and healthy relationship.

How do you get out of a toxic relationship?

Share your feelings about the situation with your close friends and family. After this, confront your partner about the situation that it’s working out.

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