Most of us have been born and brought up in conservative families. Not surprisingly, what to expect from a relationship was seldom a topic of discussion. Rarely could we confess to our parents that we are seeing some, much less get some adult advice on what a healthy relationship looks like. Invariably, some of us land up in a toxic relationship, rarely aware of what it actually is. Put simply, a toxic relationship is one that is damaging to either partner, emotionally, physically or both.
There is no doubt that being in a toxic relationship is not good for one’s mental health. However, it can be quite exhausting to accept that you are in a toxic relationship. Additionally, you might be the reason behind it too. What is the reason for toxicity in relationships is something most of us think. Here are a few traits that contribute to the toxicity and should be let go off:
Randomly singing the break up song signals a toxic relationship
A common attribute of a toxic relationship that my friends and I have observed and even exhibited at times is the sword of break up. Look back at your relationship and count the number of times either of you have used breakup as a threat for your partner. Yes, it is true that you and your partner might not agree on everything, but threatening a break up every time things don’t go your way is the starting of a toxic relationship. Put simply, if break up is one of the favorite songs for your relationships, then maybe you are on the path to a toxic relationship. The best way out would be to actually have an honest conversation with your partner when things go south, rather than breaking up every other day.
Superior or inferior, both sink the ship
Have you or your partner been jealous of each other’s progress or seen them as less accomplished than the other? Either way, this is laying ground for a toxic relationship. Whether one considers themselves the reacher or the settler, they will not treat their partner with the equal respect that they deserve. This may sound petty in the beginning. However, it can be the root cause for deep toxicity, regret and apathy over a long time. Instead of seeing your partner as superior or inferior, acknowledge that each of you has different strengths and weaknesses. Start seeing your partner as a complimentary unit rather than a competition. And, you are on the path to a successful and healthy relationship.
Keeping the scores
How many times in a month do you or your partner use the words, “You owe me” with each other? Well, if it’s too frequent, then you need to reflect on whether this is a relationship or a match. You cannot keep scores and dig out old arguments every time a new one surfaces. Terms like winning and losing are the tenets of a toxic relationship. If you really want to keep scores, mark how many times you and your partner successfully got through a fight with mutual understanding and didn’t rip each other’s heads off. Remember, that you are a team. The only scores that matter are how many years of love, laughter and magic have you shared.
Changing the dynamics of a toxic relationship
By the end of this piece, if you feel that you are in a toxic relationship, start by acknowledging the behavior responsible for it. Once you acknowledge it, you are already halfway into making amends. Next, make sure you control your temper every time you feel something is wrong. Take a deep breath and have a conversation with your partner about what’s bothering you. Simply reflect upon what the relationship means to you and you will act maturely. Since it takes two individuals to actually make the relationship toxic, talk to your partner and find a way out!