Have you been feeling uncomfortable in a relationship? You’re not alone; it’s pretty common. It’s important to know that a toxic relationship isn’t defined by physical abuse alone. People can sometimes find themselves in these types of relationships without even realizing it, because many of the warning signs are hidden behind regular conversations and everyday, seemingly loving behavior. Countless people discover themselves knee-deep in the quicksand before they find out how dangerous it is to their health.
Learning how to recognize a toxic relationship is important so that you can protect both yourself and the people you care about. Here are a few tell-tale signs to help you prepare to spot manipulative behavior.
1. You’ve been stonewalled
Communication is one of the most important parts of any healthy relationship, so being able to open up to your partner about tough subjects is essential. If you can’t have a real conversation with your partner, either because you don’t feel comfortable or they won’t talk, then it may be time to call it quits. You deserve someone who will see you through everything — not just the fun times.
2. They’re untruthful
Being lied to is never pleasant. It not only makes you feel betrayed; it’s also insulting. A relationship built on lies is doomed from the start, so if you think your partner isn’t being honest with you, it may be helpful to try to sit down and have a serious talk about the issue. “Honesty is the best policy,” even if it isn’t always easy. In an honest relationship, you and your partner could take on just about any challenge.
3. They’re passive aggressive
One of many forms of manipulation, passive aggression may be one of the most dangerous. Partners can use passive aggressive behavior to isolate you or make you question your self-confidence. For example, being made to feel stupid for your opinions is a sign that you’re dealing with someone who wants to control you rather than support you. It’s one of those things many people might try to rationalize away or blame themselves for at first. If you find yourself in a relationship like this, keep in mind that you are a human being who has a right to stand up for their independence, have opinions, and are worthy of being loved for who you are.
Some people notice the signs of a toxic relationship but stay due to a desire to give their partner the benefit of the doubt. However, it’s dangerous to wait until you feel trapped to take action. If you see any of these signs in your relationship, there’s no need to be afraid to either get out or get help. You’re a beautiful person. Why settle for any less for a loving, equal relationship? You deserve it.