The word “toxic” has been thrown around and overused on the internet with the addition of social media and mental health content. Perhaps you’ve seen a post or video about traits that might make someone “toxic.” Have you ever wondered if your relationship falls under this category?
There are many ways to define the term “toxic,” and at times, the definition has become subjective to the person using the phrase. What you think of someone’s behavior might not be considered “toxic,” while another person may feel very strongly that it is. A better way to describe a relationship would be in terms of whether it is “healthy” or “unhealthy” for you. Let’s break down the differences within each relationship.
Signs of a healthy relationship:
- You feel supported and safe
- Communication is open
- You are both comfortable navigating disagreements or conflicts in a respectful manner
- There is no resentment towards one another
- They are respectful of your boundaries
- They meet your needs
- It feels like a partnership
- The relationship makes you happy
Signs of an unhealthy relationship:
- You feel unsupported
- You don’t feel safe mentally, physically, or emotionally
- They threaten to leave you
- They are abusive physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially
- Open communication does not feel like an option
- Disagreements are “resolved” with aggression, yelling, silent treatments, or passive comments
- There is resentment by one or both people towards the other
- They are a source of significant worry, unease, sadness, or loneliness
- You are prevented from seeing family or friends
- Your needs are not being met
While every relationship is unique, if you identify your relationship as having a lot of healthy traits, it likely is not “toxic.” However, if your relationship is better characterized by the unhealthy characteristics listed above, this could mean that your relationship is negatively impacting you in one or more ways.
You are the best judge of whether or not your relationship is working well. Ask yourself, “Do I feel supported by this person?” and “Does this person respect my needs, differences, and boundaries?” If you answered no to either of these questions, examining what needs to improve or change in your life could be helpful to give you the support and security in relationships you need.
Do you need help processing your relationship, have limited support, or want to learn how to improve your relationship? If so, contact us today and let us support you in your journey to better meet your needs.