“We were on a break!!!”. Were they or weren’t they is a talk of another time but what’s your take on the relationship between Ross and Rachel?
Was it toxic?
Let’s keep that aside and look into our own relationships. Be it your partner, friend, boyfriend, colleague or parents we all might have experienced some kind of difficulties during our journey with them.
None of us is perfect, so it is unfair to long for a ‘perfect’ relationship.
As Donald Miller said,”When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are”.
These words are the key to smoothen the flow of any relationship. It is an undeniable fact that we are gregarious beings and need healthy relationships to sustain. Making amends, compromising and communicating, therapy sessions, weekend getaways; we try to boost the strength of our bond in all the ways we could.
But what happens if things go south, despite our efforts?
During this time where compatibility should matter more than ‘chemistry’, toxic relationships are not new to us. Dr Lillian Glass, an expert in the field of psychology and communication, in his book ‘Toxic People’, defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship (between people who) don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” Every relationship is toxic to some extent but when you struggle for some air, when you feel strangled in their presence, that’s when you know.
We all are unique in our own ways and there ought to be a common ground or balancing point, the conscious ignorance or denial of which, will pave ways to a troubled future. Keeping a balance between our individuality and adaptability (compatibility) with another unique person should not be a strenuous task if we are in a good relationship. Developing the consciousness that there is an ‘I’ in the relationship and nurturing it without compromising your partner’s needs or privacy is an important quality, which most of us lack. The endless fountain of our love and the lack of consciousness or ignorance of our own feelings, makes us blind enough to not understand the toxicity of a relationship. It is understandable that classifying a relationship as toxic might be easy for a third person, but not so for people who are in it.
The following are some things you might experience from a toxic partner;
You forget who you are
A toxic partner is one who manipulates you into taking his way in everything. They try to twist your decisions and make them theirs. You might forget your voice as you are immersed in the thought of having a good time with them. This might lead to lack of self confidence and self esteem in you and the longer this goes on, the harder it is to get out of that grip. He/she might not bring out the best in you.
Anxiety and Self Hate
It is natural to playfully tease your partner to cheer them up but we should make sure that it never goes out of hand. Harsh and constant mocking might hurt your partner’s feelings and they might start to doubt themselves. This will also reduce their self confidence and can lead to anxiety.
Forces you to lie
A toxic partner might hold you back from things you love. They might get jealous when you spend time with others and there is a tendency to label it as ‘possessiveness’. It is true that most of us enjoy our partner being possessive about us but when it exceeds and hinders us from doing what we like, we feel pressured. They might doubt you in every step and this will be a barrier for smooth communication. This lack of trust and commotion afterwards will make you lie to escape from the situation, which will only aggravate it.
A toxic partner has a tendency to pile up the blame of everything onto you or others outside of the relationship. He/She will be hesitant to stand up for their mistake. You can see yourself apologizing for something you have not done. They will put in no effort in your relationship and often don’t show any hope for a good future together. This will inject you with numerous negative thoughts and will enkindle the saga of sleepless nights.
Lack of Appreciation
Even though you are not doing anything for others acknowledgment, a gesture of appreciation and love will make your day. If your partner is not valuing your actions and replicating it, you will feel disheartened and might stop putting in effort which will make your relationship less colorful. It will be worse if your partner starts comparing you with others.
Doubt and Insecurity
We all get into relationships with lots of expectations and sometimes it will be more beautiful than you expected and sometimes otherwise. But when your partner doubts you that is a lot to take. You feel left alone in the relationship and you become insecure. The partner might restrict you in many ways and you will feel cooped up.
Lack of respect
A toxic partner might not respect you for who you are and often complaints about your behaviour. They want you to change, to accommodate them. Their work and schedule will be prioritized and you will have to tag along.
Exhaustive and draining
Being with a toxic partner is extremely tiring. You will have to put in extra energy to express yourself, communicate and grow in the relationship. The ignorance and lack of care will be frustrating and you might snap or will be forced to keep in that rush of rage. It is hard to please these people as they tend to find mistakes in everything and are always unsatisfied. They will keep on giving ‘constructive criticism’ even when not asked for.
This goes without saying. The most common trait seen in toxic partners is that they are self centered. There are partners who are always trying to put their heads into every other subject concerning you. Both are not easy to handle. In one case, you feel ignored and not cared for but in the other, you feel constrained.
A self centered partner will be attention seeking and wants you to revolve around him. He/She keeps forgetting about you and procrastinates doing things you like.
Although we will have concerned people around us warning us about our relationship, we might ignore them and will hold on to it with the hope that we can save it. The longer it stays the harder it is to overcome the pain. Remember that for something beautiful to begin, there needs to be an end. Also make sure that you are not the one being toxic.