From experience, I have had my share of toxic people and relationships. Whether a friendship or intimate relationship, I’ve been through both. Fortunately, since I’ve already experienced some of these terrible relationships, I now know pretty well how to identify them. So you won’t have to. Hopefully.
Sometimes it’s hard to identify a toxic relationship, maybe because it’s one of those “too good to be true” situations or you have been blinded by love or maybe you’re in a more binding relationship and you share something or someone dear to you- a child or friend for example. It could be downright challenging to understand what kind of mess you are in or to break something like that off. Nevertheless, here’s a few of my top ways of identifying a relationship full of toxicity.
1. YOU ARE NEVER YOURSELF
Stumbling over words or never knowing what to say or the fact that you second-guess yourself constantly. Thinking “is that joke too much” or “oh that’s stupid, don’t say that.” This is my first indication. Why? Because if I can’t be myself around you, I most likely see you as a judgmental person. If you’re going to judge me, I don’t need to be around you.
2. YOU FEAR YOUR MINOR ACTIONS WILL HAVE MAJOR CONSEQUENCES
If you think commenting honestly about someone’s favorite music will wither your relationship with them to ash, mainly because that person can’t or won’t take criticism, the relationship could be toxic. Take me for instance, I used to have a friend that could never be corrected. I had been recently out of real estate schooling and I knew the real estate market pretty well. I dont think of myself as an expert at real estate, but I knew what I was talking about. This friend of mine had this way making me feel like I never knew what I was talking about. We got into a discussion about investing and the art of flipping homes. And all of a sudden I realized that I was keeping my mouth shut on purpose. It wasn’t because I didn’t know what I was talking about. It’s because of this “friend” of mine made me feel like an idiot. Like I should be second-guessing myself. Or like if I spoke up loud enough I’d just straight-up upset them. And I didn’t want to put our relationship at stake for correcting them.
3. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THEM
This is a big indicator! Many times in my life I found myself in a situation where if I go to a friend for advice about something very dear to me or specifically about me, the conversation will easily turn into a rant of their own. I found myself not even being able to express myself or voice my opinion to a close friend because no matter what I said turned into a problem of theirs. I found myself giving advice rather than receiving it. Every. Single. Time. People like this most likely don’t even understand what they are doing, they just do it. Which, if you think about it, makes the situation even worse because it means that they are just that selfish. They can’t even take a second to step back and look at themselves. Being that selfish gets you nowhere. And if there’s a person in your life like that. I’d suggest you rethink how important the relationship is.
4. YOU ARE ONLY IMPORTANT TO THEM WHEN THEY NEED SOMETHING
This sort of correlates to my previous statement. It’s just another way someone can be selfish. You are not important enough to be checked up on, but you are important enough to them that if they need a few bucks or a babysitter for a night out, or when they’re in major trouble they’ll call you. Only when they need something is when you come up in their mind. You are such a reliable person and such a generous person that you’re probably the first on their list to call. But if you think of it if you’re such a reliable and generous person you deserve a good morning text or a “happy birthday” text or even just a “Hi, how are you.” I have had friends and even family that would do this to me. It can make you feel very unimportant. Like your are a tool, not a friend.
Toxic relationships can be daunting. They can weigh you down, and even worse they can make you feel like you’re just not good enough. When it comes to toxic people or toxic relationships my biggest suggestion is to get the hell out. Or at least reevaluate how important that person or relationship is to you. No one deserves to not feel good enough. And there’s plenty of people out there who can make you feel otherwise- loved.