Toxic Relationships May Be the Cause Of Your Declining Health
Love is blind. Or is it? In some instances, the saying rings true for toxic relationships and how you deal with them. Provided you live, work, or interact with other people, you are bound to be in some sort of relations with them.
Besides, whether you intend to meet your love interest, partner, or best friend on dating sites or through a mutual friend, you will have to choose whether you want them to be in your life or not. Nevertheless, how these relationships play out will influence different aspects of your health, such as your emotional and mental health.
There are a lot of theories about why toxic relationships happen and how toxic relationships affect future relations. A careful investigation into toxic relationships reveals abusive behaviors, coupled with hurtful situations that need to be resolved.
One can only find freedom in who they are once these situations are resolved. Maybe what you didn’t realize is that your mental and emotional state will influence whether you can be in a toxic relationship or not.
That is why if you were to tell your friends they are in toxic relationships with their spouses, co-workers, family, or even friends; you may have to explain how some of the situations they’re in are classified as abuse.
These situations may be related to physical aggression, emotional manipulation, or passive-aggressive verbal innuendos. These are all toxic relationships characteristics instances masked as something different such as insecurities or abuse of power.
That being said, for anyone to recognize what makes relationships toxic, they have to look out for different signs such as:
– Constant deception
– Intensifying arguments
– Emotional manipulation
– Physical aggression
– Passive-aggressive behavior
– Verbal abuse
It is not easy for anyone to accept that they’ve been part of toxic relationships. But, the effects are deeply rooted and may be visible in the victim’s mental state.
What Is a Toxic Relationship?
Toxic relationships are those where you continuously feel attacked, demeaned, unsupported, and misunderstood. Whether it’s a family member, spouse, friend, colleague, or neighbor that always makes you feel bad every time you associate with them, you have to recognize that the relationship may become toxic if you do not exit.
To answer the question, “are toxic relationships abusive?” Yes, they are. If your physical, psychological, or emotional well-being is continuously under threat, you’re a victim of toxic relationships. Toxic relationships can exist in the boardroom, the intimate spaces of your home, a children’s playground, or even in the confines of your favorite restaurant booth.
There’s an interconnection between toxic relationships and depression. The same is also true when it comes to toxic relationships and mental health. People who live with mental illnesses like major depression, bipolar depression, and anxiety are more likely to have toxic relationships. The reason is that they’re already inclined to negative emotions.
If you have a mental illness, you have a less-than-perfect hold on your emotional reactions, so you’re an easy target for abusive/toxic people. This doesn’t mean that only people with mental illnesses are the only targets for toxic people. They can affect anyone.
Here’s a more in-depth look at toxic relationships signs that you should know about and how toxic relationships affect your mental health.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
There would be a significant difference if you were to weigh toxic relationships vs. Healthy relationships. However, whether you’re in a toxic relationship or not depends on how it makes you feel.
If there’s more negativity in your relationship than any good you can think of, you’re a victim of toxic relationships. You’re in a toxic relationship if:
– The relation affects your self-esteem
– You’re always attacked, demeaned, and misunderstood
– You feel depleted and dejected because you give more than you get.
– You get a lot of disrespect, and your needs in the relationship aren’t being met
– After speaking to the other person, you feel angry, tired, or depressed
– Both of you bring out characteristics in each other that aren’t desirable
– You are not the best you can be when you’re around the other person
– You feel like you have to be very careful when around the other person because you don’t want the backlash from anything you might say or do.
– You feel emotionally drained after spending some time with the other person
– All adverse events are always your fault. The other person will twist things around that even if they were wrong; you are suddenly the one at fault.
While identifying toxic relationships can be as easy as ticking off the checklist above, in most cases, it is up to the person on the receiving end to determine whether they’re going through any toxicity.
The most common determinants of toxic relationships to avoid include selfishness, abuse of control and power, negativity, constant criticism, demeaning attitude/ comments, unrealistic demands, and unhealthy jealousy.
It is accurate to define any situation involving toxicity as a mix of both parties’ negative thinking and emotions. Both parties in toxic relationships could play the role of perpetrator and victim at different times, turning the situation into a vicious cycle that isn’t easy to get out of.
This is why toxic relationships never change. Both parties are addicted. Toxic relationships will result in depression, narcissism (a toxic quality), low self-esteem, anxiety, fear, paranoia, insecurity, and helplessness. However, it is essential to note that one person in a toxic relationship may sometimes be negative.
They may tend always to draw up negative behaviors when they’re around other people. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware that they’re toxic. But, the effects of their behavior are evident in other people. There are various toxic relationship reasons and why they occur. In some instances, the toxic person has no idea how to communicate effectively.
There are also situations where one may be deliberately hurtful in their actions towards other people. Their words or actions are mean, rude, and may make the targeted party feel like there’s nothing they could do to measure up. If you’re in such a position, you have to re-evaluate the situation. If you’re wondering, “can toxic relationships make you sick?” Yes, they can.
The stress that you may have from toxic relationships can affect your cardiovascular system. In the end, all the negativity from toxic relationships may cause damage to your health. When thinking about what toxic relationships can lead to, you have to consider the possibility of developing undesired coping mechanisms such as emotional eating and excessive drinking.
If you’re in a toxic relationship and start to question your self-worth, it may take you years to repair what is broken. But, there’s no reason ever to suffer because someone else is feeding off you. There’s a danger in believing what someone else thinks about you, especially when it takes a negative perspective.
You have to remove yourself from such situations and try to rebuild your life. If you stay for too long, the results of such toxic relationships will trickle down to other aspects of your life.
The Effects of Toxic Relationships
Relations aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition to this, there are more complications when you consider different emotions, such as love. Sometimes, even when we don’t want to and without recognizing our actions, we may create toxic relationships. We may have to deal with dysfunctional behaviors and patterns that we birth.
It is better to deal with some of these behaviors and nip them in the bud rather than wait to find out first- hand how toxic relationships affect future relations. But if you ever consider staying in a toxic relationship, here are some of the effects you might experience as a result.
You Build High Walls
Bad situations may leave us with negative experiences, and consequently, the wrong lessons about something that could have otherwise turned out into a beautiful thing. If you’ve been in toxic relationships, you’re more likely to be guarded when you’re around other people. You will get too scared of loosening up, thinking that the situation may turn out like the one you’ve just left.
Anyone who’s been in a toxic relationship will start finding different reasons to sabotage future relationships by trying to find the smallest mistake so that they can leave. Also, if you’re wondering, “can toxic relationships cause PTSD?” they can.
If you had to endure an environment where physical and emotional abuse was the order of the day, one of the effects you may have to deal with is PTSD. You cannot overcome this condition on your own, and you will have to rely on external sources such as a therapist or a counselor to help you get through it.
- You Become Negative
People who are in toxic relationships find it difficult to find happiness. They are accustomed to carrying the burden of a dark cloud around them everywhere they go. They see themselves as failures, are in a bad mood frequently, and don’t see anything positive in their life.
One of the questions many people ask is, “can toxic relationships make you toxic?” From the discussion we’ve just had, toxicity can rub off on you if you’re in the constant company of a negative person.
- You Don’t Know What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like
Toxic relationships are like: “This is all you’ve got, and all you’re going to get regardless of where you go.” Toxic relationships will make you believe that you don’t deserve better and can never get better.
In most cases, the negative person is someone you once trusted and loved, so being in a toxic relationship ruins the impression you had of what a positive relationship should look like. If you go through something often enough, the feelings become something familiar.
As a result, you keep getting attracted to such relationships because that’s what you can identify with. If you stay in toxic relationships too long, you won’t tell the difference between a healthy relationship and a toxic relationship.
- There Are Health Implications
We’ve already discussed the negative implications of toxic relationships to your mental health. What most people don’t know is that toxic relationships can lead to issues with your physical health.
For instance, different studies have shown a relationship between toxic relationships and the risk of developing a weakened immune system, high blood sugar and pressure levels, and a higher risk of developing heart problems.
A common problem in people who have been in toxic relationships is low energy and over-fatigue that comes from the anxiety and the stress that you may endure regularly.
- You Become A Pessimist
Even after you dissolved the relationship with a toxic person, there’s already a blot on your general outlook on life. At the beginning of the relationship, there were feelings of joy, happiness, optimism, and trust.
These were soon replaced with fear, anxiety, guilt, loneliness, distrust, and depression. Even when you leave the situation, you still carry these feelings along with you and suffer emotional distress even when there are more positive things for you to look forward to.
It is common to remove yourself from your circle of friends, distance yourself from your loved ones, and even stop engaging in activities you previously enjoyed doing. Psychological trauma isn’t easy to let go of, and even after leaving toxic relationships, you will need a lot of time to get over it.
Dealing With a Toxic Relationship
If you’re in a toxic relationship that you cannot avoid, it is customary to wonder, “can toxic relationships be fixed.” Even though you can’t run from such situations because of work or family, you can manage the relationship.
You have to strive for healthy boundaries, take care of yourself, and be aware of toxicity instances. Suppose you and your partner, friend, or family member realize that you’re all to blame for being in toxic relationships with each other.
You will have to work hard on the relationship and change the relation’s direction. This is especially true if there are benefits in having the relationship. Concentrate on effective communication and healthy boundaries that bring out the positive rather than the negative.
Nothing and no one is more important than your mental health. Before you see the tell-tale signs of a toxic relationship, ensure that everyone around you earns access to you. Creating boundaries is essential to ensuring you distance yourself and the people you love from toxic relationships and their effects.
Knowing what you know now, what would you do to ensure that you never become a victim of a toxic relationship? If you were in a toxic relationship, how did you get out of it?