Relationships can often make you or break you. Who you keep around you can determine your success or downfall. We can invest so much of our soul, mind and spirit in a relationship that if it goes wrong, it can really hurt you. The key is to know that not every friendship or relationship will last forever; sometimes the people that join your life’s journey are for just a season. They are not there for the long haul. Here are a few signs to help you identify toxic relationships.
1. That funny feeling
One of the ways you can tell a relationship is toxic is how you feel when you are around that individual. If you feel drained, depressed or frustrated, then limit how much time you spend with them. Spending too much time with them will leave you emotionally empty.
2. Cheerleader or hater?
Everybody needs a dose of encouragement from the ones they love. This type of affection can often help you get through a difficult season. Relationships which do not have a balance of criticism and encouragement are very dangerous. If you have a relationship where someone is putting you down on a regular basis, soon you will start believing what you hear. This could lead you to depression, loss of confidence and sometimes, in extreme cases of emotional abuse, suicide. Abby Rodman, a psychotherapist and author, stated in the Huffington Post: “…if you suspect you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may be so immersed in it that you can’t read the very destructive handwriting on the wall. Emotional abuse becomes, in a sense, your blurred normal.”
3. Unrealistic expectations
Everyone has an expectation when they enter a relationship. Whether or not that expectation is met, love and compromise should settle the score. However, when an unrealistic expectation is constantly being placed on you, your relationship will turn into an unhealthy one. No one can attain perfection, and you shouldn’t be pressured into trying to reach it.
If you find your relationship is costing you your other friends and family, you need to assess why that’s happening. Not everyone is always going to get along, but there should be a balance of you spending time with your other friends and family.
Having a balanced relationship will always benefit you. Every relationship should consist of love, respect and honour from both parties. If you feel bullied, depressed and insecure in your relationship, it may be time to check out. You are a beautiful creation, fearfully and wonderfully made in the in the image of God.