8 Thoughts, Actions, and Beliefs We Have When in a Toxic Relationship

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

Often, when we are in a toxic relationship, we look towards the other person to decide if the relationship is toxic or not. There is a better way to figure this out. When we are in a toxic relationship, we do certain things, act certain ways, and question ourselves about many things. There are 8 things that we do when we are in a toxic relationship. 

The first thing that we find ourselves doing when we are in toxic relationships is that we begin to question ourselves. The other person has told us that we are selfish and self-centered. They tell us that we are the relationship’s problem and need help.

Do you find that you question yourself because of what your significant other has told you? Do you feel that you are selfish, does that person tell you more and more that you are selfish? This causes us to wonder if we are that way. This is one of the first indications that we are in a toxic relationship. 

Second, we find ourselves apologizing for everything that goes wrong in the relationship. We find ourselves apologizing for the way we act, our responses, or even when we don’t feel well. We find ourselves apologizing for things that make us who we are. Is this because we are in an environment where we feel like we can’t be ourselves? Do you feel bad about expressing your feelings? When we do express our feelings are we told we are being selfish or overbearing? This is another real indication that you may be in a toxic relationship. 

The third indication is that we just do not feel good enough. This may go back to the fact that our significant other is always questioning us about things that we do, choices we have made, and stuff that we have said. This causes us to question our validity, were we right, did we make the correct choice? We question everything we do and end up finding ourselves in a place where we cannot even decide without worrying if we have made the wrong decision.

This is a clear sign that something is going on in the relationship. If we are too afraid to decide because we think we are going to screw it up, is it because we feel that way internally, or is it because we have consistently been told that we make bad choices.

Not knowing where you stand in the relationship is the fourth indication. It seems as if the relationship is either hot or cold, good, or bad. It seems that we are either the best person on the planet or the worst person known to man. There does not seem to be any grey area or any moderation. This is a distinguishing quality of a very tumultuous and possibly toxic relationship. 

The fifth indication is that the relationship is competitive. Competition is not bad, but when you are in a romantic relationship competition does not seem to be right in that place. When the relationship becomes competitive across the board, such as who has the better job or who has more money, it is no longer a healthy relationship. The reason this competitiveness comes into play is that one or both people feel insecure and they are trying to show the other person that they are more valuable or better. If the competition is small it can be fine but anything more than a simple tennis match needs to be examined. 

The next indication is that we find ourselves reacting to what they say. We are not responding to them, we are reacting. Instead of responding, it is like we are always in reaction mode. We may feel like we are always on the defensive. This causes us to have an emotional reaction much of the time. When we emotionally react, we usually do not say the right things or we feel that someone is trying to assume something about us or say something negative about us, even questioning us and our validity. 

The seventh indication is that we are constantly thinking about them. We are putting them first. It is all about them. We tend to give little or no thought to our well-being. We come last in our minds. What is both interesting and confusing is that we have been told that we are selfish and self-centered. It makes it difficult to understand how all of this collaborates. We think about them all the time and go out of our way for them but we are being called selfish and think that maybe we need to do more. 

Finally, we have managed to cut a lot of our friends and family out of our lives. We have done this for multiple reasons. Mainly because our significant other does not get along with them. Because of this, it makes it difficult to spend time with any of these people.

Our significant other find all the faults in every one of these people. It is easier to cut these people out rather than deal with the drama your significant other starts about these people. On the other hand, some of these folks may have told us that they do not like our significant other. We may avoid them because they are asking us questions we don’t have answers for. We avoid our family and friends on both sides. Subconsciously when we make a choice that’s not healthy for us and we know that other people may bring it up, we try to avoid it. 

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