Healthy or Toxic Relationship?
The desire for connection is the basis of being human. We are wired for connection. It’s likely the reason we sometimes allow unhealthy relationships in our lives. It’s not perfect, but it’s something right? Wrong. Everyone deserves to feel loved and respected in their relationships. We’ve likely been telling ourselves a story that this is what we deserve. That “this is the best I’ll ever get.” Sometimes it’s even hard to identify it when something “just doesn’t feel right.”
Here are some signs to look out for in a friend’s or your relationship that it may be an unhealthy and toxic relationship:
They haven’t talked to/seen loved ones in a while because their partner is keeping them away. Maybe you’re trying to connect with your friend and keep getting no response or a response that says they are busy doing something with their partner. You’re noticing they aren’t talking to those they were closest with before.
Their partner often name-calls and puts them down, even in front of others. You’re noticing constant fighting in their relationship. You see your friend cower when their partner is around, especially during conflict.
Their partner has to know where they are at all times, even tracking their phone. You ask your friend to lunch/coffee and they say they can’t go because of something to do with their partner. Or they try to hide the fact that it’s their partner not allowing them to go and they make up an excuse that you know isn’t true. Maybe you’re even noticing their style has changed because they’re “not allowed” to wear certain things.
Ways you can support a friend in a toxic relationship:
Let them know you’re there for them. They may not want to talk about it at first. They may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or scared. Try not to judge them and just let them know you’re there when they’re ready!
Remind them of their worth and that they deserve love and respect! Nobody deserves to be treated like crap. Encourage them in a kind way that they are valuable and worthy.
Encourage them to reach out to resources in the community. Sometimes it takes a professional to help someone unlearn all of the negative things they picked up in the relationship. If you’re feeling like it’s beyond what you can support, encourage them to reach out to someone. Maybe even offer to look for resources with them. Encourage them that there’s nothing wrong with needing a little bit of help.
If you’re interested in finding out more, let’s connect! I’d love to help you navigate through these difficulty relationships.
If this speaks to you an you’re looking for help in California, please schedule a consult.