What's a Toxic Relationship and Are You in One?
The mind-body connection, in all it’s interconnected glory, explains why the stress of toxic relationships is so detrimental to our overall wellness.
The mind-body connection, in all it’s interconnected glory, explains why the stress of toxic relationships is so detrimental to our overall wellness. When we are in a healthy relationship with another person, we feel supported, loved, respected, and cared for. We feel that no matter what challenges we face in life, we have a teammate, a best friend, and a lover to go through it all with. A healthy relationship has an incredibly positive impact on both our physical and emotional health. Strong relationships are shown to to strengthen immunity, increase lifespan, and offer us a safe space to grow.
“Bad relationships are like a bad investment. No matter how much you put into it you’ll never get anything out of it. Find someone that’s worth investing in.”
We all encounter toxic people, but not all will remain trapped within the unhealthy dynamic. The term “toxic relationship” probably makes you think of a narcissistic ex or a high-maintenance friend. But bullies, whose power comes from hijacking your emotions, exist everywhere- within families, social groups, the workplace, and out in the world. All too often, it is the sensitive, empathetic personality types that gets pulled into the drama. Most toxic relationships start off as whirlwinds of passion and excitement, and we use the memories of these early moments of lust and intense joy as a reason to stay when things start to take a turn toward the unhealthy side.
Here are some signs that may indicate you are in a toxic relationship.
- Possessiveness: When someone is jealous to a point where they try to control who you spend time with and what you do when you’re not with them.
- Isolation: When someone keeps you away from friends, family, or other people.
- You notice a significant change to your behavioural patters: Your performance at work is affected as the relationship is causing you distress or taking up all of your focus and energy. You feel more tired, unmotivated, and disinterested in life outside of your relationships.
- You experience fear around expressing your own feelings or opinions.
- You are repeatedly lied to and made to feel that you are being “crazy” when you question their actions. This is also known as gaslighting.
- You don’t feel safe to be yourself in your relationship so you begin to mold yourself into what you think your partner wants you to be.
- Belittling: When someone does and says things to make you feel bad about sometime you say, do, or your achievements.
- Volatility: When someone has a really strong, unpredictable reaction that makes you feel scared, confused or intimidated.
- You find yourself trapped in repetitive negative cycles.
- You lie to your friends and family about the details of your relationship to protect your partner and their ‘integrity’.