Is it possible that you or someone you know is in a toxic or emotionally abusive relationship?
Think about it.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be with an intimate partner.
You can be in a toxic relationship with anyone from a parent to a sister-in-law to a co-worker, but the warning signs are pretty much the same.
Here are ten red flags that your relationship is toxic:
This person changes like the weather. You never know when they are going to be loving and attentive or mean and distant.
2. Game Playing
They love emotional games. Such as if you miss a phone call they will ignore your calls.
They demand you do exactly as they wish at all times or else they’ll start withdrawing love or playing games.
4. Passive Emotional Manipulation
They give you the silent treatment for no reason.
5. Walking on Eggshells
You have to keep secrets from them because they get angry even about little things.
6. Everyone and Everything Else Comes First.
You are at the bottom of the list. Taking out the garbage is more important than giving you any attention – even on your birthday.
7. No Emotion
This person doesn’t allow you to express your emotions or to talk about how you feel. It’s always about them, their feelings, and what you’ve done wrong.
8. Distant Lover
‘Push you pull you’ is their favourite game. They pull your close only to push you away.
They don’t listen to you at all. Or when they do pay attention they laugh saying you don’t know what you’re talking about.
10. Confidence Knocker
They continually knock your confidence.
Here is what happens as a result –
1. You don’t feel good about yourself.
You hardly recognize yourself. You have stopped trying to defend yourself against your partner’s criticisms. He believes he’s always right, so you must be wrong. You aren’t free to speak your own truth. You used to be happy and full of energy; now you’re emotionally drained and exhausted. In a healthy relationship, the other person supports and encourages you to be yourself rather than putting down your ideas, opinions, and ambitions.
2. You don’t communicate.
When you two disagree, your partner ignores the problem or simply refuses to discuss it. You’re ready to talk it through until you resolve the issue. But in a toxic relationship, arguments—even petty ones, like what to watch on TV—can lead to verbal, physical, or emotional abuse.
3. You find yourself falling into negative habits.
Perhaps happy hour has become a far too frequent even and you realise you are drinking way too much alcohol every night. What had been fun at first has become an anxiety-inducing situation where you feel pressured to drink far more than you are comfortable with.
This could be embodied in any type of addictive behaviour— like smoking, drugs, shopping, or gambling, or not going to work, isolating in the house, etc.
4. You are being controlled by the other person’s jealousy.
At first, you thought it was love. You had found the person who would complement you completely. Instead, their jealousy has cut you off from your friends, your family, and, in fact, from anyone who isn’t your partner. They don’t even like you talking on the phone to anyone but them. This is not love; this is unhealthy control.
5. Your friends and family don’t like your relationship.
No, they aren’t blind to his charms. Chances are, they see what’s happening more clearly than you do. Instead of being so defensive, really think about what they say (assuming you give them an opening to even speak about it).
Emotional abusers manipulate in relationships because they are not able to directly communicate their needs. They use games and emotional manipulation to gain control over their partners.
While emotional manipulators may on the surface appear powerful and in control, the reality is that they are insecure about the status of the relationship and for this reason continually test their partner with games and challenges.
Emotional abusers live in deep fear that if they communicate what they want, they will be in some way rejected for showing a weakness or vulnerability.
The victim of emotional manipulation will over-time lose their sense of self-worth from being made to feel as if they can do nothing right.
Surviving Emotional Abuse
The route to escaping emotionally abusive relationships is one of learning how to directly and clearly express your own needs. It is not possible to be emotionally manipulated in your relationships if you clearly express your truth at all times.
If someone is being unreasonable, it means that you don’t just let it go to keep the peace: you learn to speak up in order to draw a healthy, boundaried line of what is and what is not acceptable in your relationship. In this way you demonstrate that you are not a victim: you stand firm in your personal power.
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Has this article helped you get clearer about the health of your relationships? Do you have any insights or stories you would like to share? Just comment below.