You’ve been in one relationship after another filled with dysfunction, toxicity, and drama. You choose the wrong men. Crazy women seem to find you wherever you go. You’re tired of drama, but it always shows up to consume your life.
There is a chance you have a tendency to attach yourself to toxic partners. However, what if this isn’t the problem at all?
What if you are the toxic one in your relationship?
Here are six clues that might help you crack the case.
1. People offend you on a regular basis.
Unless you are actually surrounded by assholes, this might be a problem you need to look inward to solve. Why do you feel this constant sting of offense? Do you have unfair expectations of others? Do you feel hurt when someone simply disagrees with you? If you find yourself easily offended, it is likely that you are the source of the problem. You may be thinking in a self-centered, conflict driven, or close-minded way. Luckily, thought patterns are easy to change.
2. You always have to be in control.
Many people have a natural inclination to take charge. However, this habit must be kept in check in order to maintain a healthy relationship. At its best, this tendency is irritating. At its worst, this behavior can become abusive. The next time you are tempted to take charge, try taking a step back instead. Your partner’s response may surprise you.
10 Signs You Are in a Toxic Relationship
3. You and your friends have serious drama.
Every relationship takes some work, and even the good ones may involve a touch of jealousy and competition. However, if you find yourself engaging in toxic activities like unkind gossip, mind games, and backstabbing, you need to look twice at your behavior. Friendship should be a soft place to fall. If yours are filled with toxicity, you likely carry some of it into your romantic relationships, as well.
4. Most of your conversations revolve around complaining.
We all need to vent from time to time. This is healthy. However, if you let your negativity carry you away, you may cease to notice the sunnier points of life. This attitude will not only ruin your day, but can drag your partner down into the abyss of pessimism along with you.
5. You consider yourself to be brutally honest.
In my experience, people who say this about themselves are usually just brutal. Honesty is not helpful to your relationship if you fail to take your partner’s feelings into consideration. Many people use this phrase as an excuse to say things they know are hurtful. It’s an honorable thing to pride yourself on your capacity for honesty – but make sure to match it with your penchant for kindness.
6. Things are rarely your fault.
This one is most often seen in the classic abusive phrase “Look what you made me do.” Nobody can make you do anything. By blaming someone else for your reaction, you are externalizing responsibility for your behavior rather than accepting the reality of your actions. If you shift the blame for your mistakes to your partner, you are not growing as a person. You are also hurting them deeply.
Toxic relationships are very rarely one-sided. If you are in one, you likely exhibit one of the mindsets above. Your partner may exhibit all six, but unfortunately the only person you can really change is you. Bryant McGill had this to say on the subject: “Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don’t turn your hair gray. Don’t carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don’t lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you — seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!”