Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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A good and healthy relationship can make you feel like you are on top of the world. Finding someone special who treats you well takes time, and just when you feel like giving up, you meet someone who makes your heart skip a beat and your knees feel like jelly.

But just a few short days, weeks, or months later, everything changes, and you find yourself in a toxic relationship. What relationship red flags should you look out for, and when is it time to leave?

Let’s examine toxic relationships: how to spot them and how to rid yourself of toxic relationships.

Red Flags that Indicate a Toxic Relationship

Here are six red flags or signs of toxic relationships:

1. Gaslighting

One of the most important signs of a healthy relationship is the freedom to speak your mind, have your own opinion about a certain topic, and the ability to share your feelings without prejudice. Gaslighting is one of the biggest and most recognizable red flags to look out for. It involves one person disregarding their partner’s feelings, telling them their feelings are wrong, and also pushing their thoughts and opinions on a matter onto their partner.

While a bit of healthy debate is fine, being chastised for your opinion is not okay, and gaslighting is a typical response in a toxic relationship.

2. The finger of blame is always pointed at someone else

Owning up to your mistakes or wrongdoings is a sign of maturity, and so is admitting when you are wrong. If your partner blames you for something that was not your fault entirely, this is a classic red flag. More commonly known as projection, a toxic person will make you feel guilty for anything and everything.

3. Isolation

Sudden isolation from your friends and family and barring you from going out with these people is another sign of control. This is where things get tricky, as isolation is often the first step of abuse. If your partner no longer wants to attend family events and does not allow you to go out with your friends unsupervised, you should take it seriously and end the relationship before it gets even worse.

4. Playing the victim

Abusers often find a way to play the victim in arguments and when things don’t go their way. Manipulation is one of the key indicators of a toxic relationship, where the abuser flips the table and plays the victim’s card. This manipulation can be hard to spot at first but will eventually get to the point where it breaks you down completely.

5. Making excuses constantly

Do you find yourself having to apologize to your friends and family for your partner’s behavior? Do they have sudden outbursts of anger or violence in public and private settings? Constantly making excuses for your partner to others is another relationship red flag that you should not ignore.

6. Control

Controlling someone is an abuser’s main goal. It starts with something small, like when they tell you not to wear a certain shade of lipstick, and soon it snowballs into them controlling what you wear, who you see, and how you should feel about certain things. Control is a typical sign of abuse and can lead to further, more serious forms of abuse, including physical.

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When to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship

If you feel you are in a toxic relationship, you need to get out of it quickly. But how do you know that it is a toxic relationship, and should you risk staying in case things get better?

Here are a few questions you should most definitely ask yourself if you feel that you are indeed in a toxic relationship:

  • Do you often feel afraid of how your partner will react to a situation or any form of criticism?
  • Are you happy and confident in this relationship?
  • Does your partner show true remorse and change their ways when you confront them about how they treat you?
  • Do you feel that your partner holds more power in the relationship?
  • Do even the smallest of issues turn into fights where you are made to feel guilty for sharing your feelings or thoughts on a matter?

If you said yes to any or all of these questions, chances are you are in a toxic relationship.

Choosing to leave a toxic relationship might take time as you build up the “guts” or confidence to break up with your toxic partner. Shame is often one of the biggest reasons many stays in a toxic relationship, as they are made to feel that everything is their fault.

Help is available to those trapped in an abusive or toxic relationship. Asking for help, however, takes time.

Here are five of our best tips you can follow to help you successfully get out of a toxic relationship:

Tip #1: Acknowledge the toxicity

Acknowledge that your relationship is a toxic one and that you need to get out of it as soon as possible. This is hard to do and is often the most difficult step to take, but once you have actually acknowledged that there is a problem, the rest will follow easily.

Tip #2: Build a good support system

Reach out to your friends, family, and even co-workers to build up a safety net for yourself. Leaving a toxic relationship can be scary and is never easy, and your partner can continue the abuse and make you feel like you are the bad one. Your friends and family need to be aware of your partner’s toxic traits to help protect you from them.

Tip #3: Cut your toxic partner out of your life

Ignore phone calls, block their number on your phone, and remove them from your social media pages. Toxic people will always find a sneaky way to try and wriggle their way back into your life. Cut them out for good and never look back.

Tip #4: Be independent as you rediscover the joys of life

Take some time out for yourself before you jump back into the dating scene. Learn to love yourself and heal from the hurts you experienced in your relationship.

Tip #5: Love yourself

This can be so hard to do when you have been put down for so long. Do the things that used to make you happy, get a new hairdo, and go out with old friends who know you that you were before the toxicity of a relationship interfered with your life and your self-confidence.


Being in a toxic relationship is never a good thing. You are made to feel guilt or shame for how you feel and think, and the bad times far outweigh the good. Recognizing that you are, in fact, in a toxic relationship is not easy, but by reading this article, you can prepare yourself and learn to know the signs.

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