Some relationships are obviously unhealthy, but some are more difficult to identify. This is especially true if a relationship began as one that was healthy and mutually productive, and over time has grown toxic. Here are a few ways to identify a toxic relationship.
How They Make You Feel
How do you feel when you think of someone, think of spending time with them, or after spending time with them? If it is consistently negative, then the relationship has become toxic. This doesn’t mean it can’t be salvaged as all relationships have rough patches. It does however mean that the shift needs to be acknowledged and addressed.
If You Can Trust Them
Trust requires vulnerability and trust something that is gradually earned over time. However, if you have someone in your life who consistently betrays your trust the relationship is toxic. Trust includes how they respond to what you share, and if they are jealous or judgmental. Also, if you can be your authentic self in their presence, or if you feel pressure to be who they want you to be. We must be careful that the authenticity expectation is theirs, or your perceived expectation.
We all have highs and lows in life, and we must always be there for our nearest and dearest, particularly in times of grief, illness, death, and major loss. However, we must be mindful of having someone in our life whose life is in a constant state of drama. This could be drama that they create by repeating unhealthy habits or perceiving everything as the worst-case scenario. This also includes creating constant drama between the two of you. These types of relationships are draining, and not healthy for you in large doses.
Once you identify that a relationship is toxic you have a few decisions to make. Talking it through is always an excellent place to begin. Be open to listen and learn and consider a few boundaries you may want to set moving forward. Sometimes, minimizing time together or lovingly letting someone go is the best option.