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Given that we haven’t receive anything that needed our answer over the past week, I hope that everyone’s doing well. For today, let’s talk about something that is very common nowadays – toxic relationships.
Toxic relationships do not simply refer to the relationship between a couple who are in love, but the term also refers to the relationship between family, between friends, and even in an office environment. While there are no relationships in the world that is purely fun and joy, but when you find yourself in a position where you feel like you’re constantly giving, and yet you do not receive or even appreciated over a long period of time, you may want to ask yourself if you’re actually inside a toxic relationship.
But how do you actually identify if you’re actually in a toxic relationship? The following will be a good checklist for you, and note that this list is not exhaustive. For simplicity’s sake, the other party will be deemed as your “partner” and as a “he”, feel free to adapt it to whichever situation that you might find yourself in, be it in a romantic relationship, family situation or otherwise.
1. Lack of responsibility
The lack of responsibility being shown by your partner is a sign that he may not be interested in contributing to the relationship or that the relationship between both of you are not that important. For example, both of you have agreed to do something together this weekend, and he conveniently forgets about it. When you talk to him about it, he actually blames it on you for not reminding him and does not admit that it is his fault. And whenever you feel hurt at hearing his harsh words to you, he blames it on you, saying that you’re overreacting or that you’re too fragile, etc.
And of course, this goes both ways, so if you find that you are actually the one who’s doing all of this to your partner, you might actually be toxic.
2. Lack of communication
Continuing from the lack of responsibility, is the lack of communication. In particularly to you, and the things that should matter in the relationship. In no matter what kind of relationships, a positive two-way communication is essential to keep things running. However, if one party stops communicating altogether, there is really nothing much that can be done from that point onwards. For example, you may want to share something interesting that has happened to you in school or at work, but he’s not interested to hear you out. And whenever you want to have a proper talk with him to express your feelings about the relationship, he’s either always tired or busy, and asks you to do it another day, but that day never happens anyway.
3. The sense of dread
If you ever find yourself having to go out and actually dreading meeting that particular person, you may be in a toxic relationship with that person. Note that this is different from feeling a sense of reluctance to go to work or school every morning. This sense of dread actually weighs you down and drains you every time you need to interact with your partner. Simply because you are subconsciously aware that nothing’s good is going to happen from your interactions with him, and you’re just being obliged to interact with him. Negative feelings and experiences drains a person faster than you think. And honestly, if you find yourself reaching this stage with a person, it’s better to make the decision to get out of it.
4. Unsolicited criticisms
Have you ever encountered someone who seems to be impossible to please? Even when something you do does not even have a direct impact on that person, he’s still able to find something to criticise you about. For example, such criticisms may be until the extent that he has something to criticise about what you eat, how you dress, and even how you walk. In such cases, it is highly likely that instead of encouraging you to be better, he’s actually trying to control you and shape you into someone that he likes. There is a fine line between being encouraging & supportive, and being controlling and manipulative. Do watch out for it.
5. Lack of self-care
In this case, instead of observing the sign in your partner, observe this in the mirror. Are you not getting the amount of sleep that you should have been getting? Are you paying less and less attention to your personal grooming and hygiene? Do a check on yourself. Be it your health or your looks as well as the time to actually do things that you once enjoyed doing. If you find that your life has somehow ended up revolving around that partner of yours, and that this is how he expects you to behave, you better get out of the relationship fast. This usually happens when you actually give in to the manipulation of your partner. His possessiveness and manipulation will rather that you do not need to take care of your own looks and well-being, “because you’re already attached to him, so you don’t need to look good for other people”. And often enough, once you reach that stage, he will probably end the relationship down the road because “you’ve changed, you’re no longer how you used to be”. So, get out if you observe this sign in yourself.
6. Making excuses for your partner
In the event that you still have friends when you’re in a toxic relationship, you may actually find yourself sharing to them a little about what’s going on, and more often than not, your friends will feel indignant about what you’ve gone through and start to say nasty things about your partner. However, instead of agreeing with them, you jumped to his defence instead. “No, I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way”, “He must have been too busy, that’s why he didn’t get me anything for Valentine’s”, etc. If these excuses are the reasons that your partner actually gave and you’re just reiterating them to your friends, it is still fine. But if these are the excuses that you came up on your own just so that your friends don’t get a bad impression of your partner, you may be in denial about your own situation. Take a good look at your situation, and be comfortable about putting aside your ego and ask your friends for their help and honest opinions.
Well, these are the 6 common signs that someone or even yourself, may be in a toxic relationship. While it is certainly not the end of the world, it takes a lot of willpower to actually get out of it and put it to a stop, because you do deserve to be treated better. If you’re not sure about your situation, talk to a trusted friend and share honestly with that friend and get his or her opinion. Because a third person’s view may be able to see the situation as a whole, and thus have a more accurate assessment of what’s going on. Just remember that the longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the longer it will take you to get into a possibly better relationship or environment.
Well, I hope that this helps you who is reading this to identify what’s going on in your own life as well as people that are around you.
And before the end of the article, a big thank you to Jaylene once again for her drawing of Aiken’s epic moments in our Food King Thai episode released last week!
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