Not all of our relationships in life are that good, in fact some of them can be downright toxic. Toxic relationships will test you, trial you and leave you feeling deflated and defeated and they can turn up in many different places. You could be in a toxic relationship with a partner, a sibling, a parent or even a work colleague. And these unpleasant relationships could be literally draining your resources and leaving you completely depleted.
Unfortunately, depending on the nature of the relationship, signs for toxicity can be subtle or very obvious and you may not even be noticing the red flags popping up because you are too close to the source to see what is going on. It's kind of like a 'can't see the woods for the forest' type of scenario.
So, what are the signs to look for when it comes to identifying a toxic relationship? Well, let's get down to brass tacks and identify some things that you need to be on the lookout for.
1. Lack of Support
Healthy relationships are supportive and caring, there is usually a desire to see others succeed so if there is competition or a lack of encouragement or care, this is cause for concern. Basically, if the time that you spend with someone no longer feels positive, if there is a lack of trust or care or if the other person is only ever worried or concerned about their own needs, then this is a red flag.
2. Toxic Communication
If conversations are mostly filled with sarcasm, condescending tones and snide remarks then odds are the relationship is toxic. There will be a lack of kind or respectful talk and much of what is said will be delivered with contempt. You may find yourself avoiding contact with this person, avoiding their calls or doing other things just to avoid further argument or hostility.
3. Envy or Jealousy
If you are constantly suspicious of someone's motives or have a feeling that you cannot trust someone, then you may have a toxic relationship on your hands. If someone treats you with suspicion, displays envy or jealous around your actions, choices or successes this is considered to be a serious red flag that should not be ignored. Controlling or manipulative relationships are extremely toxic and can be also become very dangerous and/ or abusive.
Healthy relationships let go and move along after problems or hiccups. Toxic relationships do not. Holding on to grudges and not letting go of things chips away at peoples ability to be intimate and trusting. Over time this gap becomes a chasm that cannot be crossed. Any relationship that nurses grievances and makes you feel unsafe to speak up is toxic.
Any patterns of disrespect are cause for concern. Always being late, forgetting events, speaking to you poorly in front of other people, gaslighting you or saying provocative or insulting statements are all part of a toxic relationship demographic. Consider patterns in these behaviours and how they affect your ability to have a healthy relationship with the person in question.
6. Constant Stress
It is not normal to always fight with someone or to always have tension. Sure life happens, sometimes things do get stressful: a family member is ill, job loss, financial stresses happen, but if someone is always stressed without much reason and projecting this on to you, that is considered to be a toxic relationship trait.
7. Ignoring Your Needs
Going along with whatever someone wants and says all the time is not healthy. If you feel like putting forward your needs is going to trigger an argument then you have a toxic relationship on your hands. Also, if you clearly outline a need or boundary that needs to be respected and the person in question continues to ignore or disrespect that need, then is safe to say that this is a toxic one-sided relationship.
8. Walking on Eggshells
Any relationship that laves you feeling like you are walking on eggshells is seriously toxic. if you worry about bringing up things, you feel like you'll provoke tension if you speak up and you always need to go out of your way to avoid conflict then you are in a very toxic relationship.
However, it is important to know that although many people assume that toxic relationships are doomed, this isn't always the case. The deciding factor? That both people in the relationship want to change. If only person is invested in creating healthy patterns, than there is unfortunately very little likelihood that things will get better. In order to move forward look for these positive signs that your relationship still has a chance:
- An ability to accept responsibility
- A willingness to invest in the relationship
- An ability to shift from blame to understanding
- Openness to outside help and support
With time, patience and diligence, toxic relationships can be improved, so don't be afraid to acknowledge if you are struggling with a toxic relationship that requires further support or intervention. Make sure that what you are experiencing isn't an abusive relationship rather than a toxic one and again seek support and guidance if you feel like this may be the case.
We aren't all blessed with high functioning, loving or supportive relationships and no-one has to tolerate being treated poorly or being disrespected. Toxic relationships are extremely hard work and can be exceptionally detrimental in the long run, so always remember your worth and the importance of healthy relationships. You deserve to have good healthy relationships, so don't settle for being treated poorly by the people who should treat you better.
Release Date: 2021
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 111 mins
An American drama directed by Fisher Stevens, written by Cheryl Guerriero and released on Apple TV+ streaming services, Palmer delivers a simple story that offers just enough heart and honesty to not feel forced or cheesy. At it's centre, Palmer is all about people being given permission to just be themselves and it is delivered in the most touching way.
Eddie Palmer returns to his home town after a 12 year stint in jail. Staying with his grandmother and desperate to find a job and improve his station, Palmer attempts to walk a straight line. However, in a small town, people don't forget easily and he soon finds himself involved in the problems of others, especially his problematic neighbour and her flamboyant son Sam.
Touching is an understatement, this film is deeply moving and heartfelt. And although it isn't necessarily delivering anything new or original, what is lacks in artfulness and mastery it makes up for with good intentions and likeable characters.
Justin Timberlake proves that he can do a lot more than sing and dance by shining in his lead role as Eddie Palmer, and he is well supported by Juno Temple, June Squibb and Ryder Allen as the delightfully colourful character, Sam.
Make sure you have a tissue at the ready, this film will get to you.
FINAL SAY: I know you're mad at me. It's okay. I'd be mad at me too.
3 Chilli Peppers