25 Red-Flag Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship

Posted by , Updated on December 7, 2023

Relationships, romantic and platonic alike, can be challenging. Most relationships are worth investing in and working on when times get tough. However, there are some relationships that can poison our lives. Curious to see if any of your relationships are bad for your physical, mental, or emotional health? Check out these 25 Red-Flag Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship.



You're always "walking on eggshells."


If you find that you are always guarded and hesitant to say or do anything and are afraid to make any waves, chances are there is something the other person is doing to make you feel like you can’t just be yourself. If you’re constantly walking on eggshells, there’s a good chance your relationship isn’t healthy.


You feel drained.


Relationships should add to your life, not take away from it. If you’re constantly guarded, fighting, being inauthentic to yourself, or any of the other signs on this list, it shouldn’t be surprising that you feel downright exhausted, both emotionally and physically.


There's a lot of negative or even hostile energy whenever you're with the person.

angry womanhttps://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/35-signs-youre-in-a-toxic-business-relationship.html

We are all made up of energy; our relationships all generate energy. If the relationship is toxic, you’ll start to notice that the environment is always a downer or maybe even violent. It’s very true that we can’t be positive all the time, and all meaningful relationships have their rough patches, but if the overwhelming norm is negativity, it might be time to reevaluate.


You feel disrespected and/or you don't respect the other person.

office fight

Most relationship experts will tell you that respect is one of the top attributes a relationship needs to have, no matter what type of relationship it is. It’s hard to value and work as an equal partner with the other person if you don’t respect them. If you find yourself not respecting the other person, or if you feel like you’re constantly being disrespected, you might want to ask yourself why.


There's no trust between the two of you.

trust hands

Just like respect, if you don’t have trust, well, you have nothing.


There are communication problems.

communication problem

Communication is the oil that keeps relationships moving smoothly. You can trust, respect, and even love the other person, but if there is no communication, you can bet that those things will quickly fade. If there are communication breakdowns and misunderstandings on a regular basis, the relationship is in trouble. Depending on how certain things are communicated, the relationship could even become harmful if it isn’t already.


You're outright abused.


Abuse comes in many forms: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual to name a few. If you didn’t know already, abuse is a very clear sign that the relationship is toxic.


You constantly betray yourself and your true feelings/thoughts.

broken pieceshttps://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/35-signs-youre-in-a-toxic-business-relationship.html

Being authentic to yourself and who you are is a cornerstone of emotional and mental health. If your relationship has you sacrificing that, it’s not exactly a good thing. Please note we’re not talking about compromise in certain situations where you need to come to an agreement or resolution. However, if you compromise so much that you don’t even recognize yourself anymore, there’s a problem.


You feel trapped.


No one likes to feel like they are in a situation they can’t get out of. If it feels like the walls are closing in around you and like you can’t get out of certain situations, it’s possible that there is a relationship that isn’t in a good place.


You feel you're regularly being undermined and undervalued.


A sign of a toxic person in general is that they will do anything to feel on top and in control. One way to do that is try and make those around them feel low and insignificant. Pretty soon these unhealthy traits can turn the entire relationship toxic.


You're constantly being criticized.


Constructive criticism from someone we trust can actually be a good thing. However, if the criticism becomes a tool to make you feel like you can never do anything right, there’s something that’s out of balance.


Their happiness is all that matters.

stuck up queenhttps://www.elitedaily.com/dating/13-signs-youre-toxic-relationship-ruining-life/966801

Healthy relationships are about give and take. Healthy relationships also have a weird type of math: the more you give, the more you’ll receive. If you’re both focused on the other person’s happiness, good things happen. In a toxic relationship, this equation doesn’t exist and there might be one person whose happiness is above everything and everyone else. Just keep in mind your happiness matters too!


There's no growth.


While all relationships have plateaus, hills, and valleys, if you’re not growing overall, it might mean it’s time to move on. If you’re not growing in your relationships, it will eventually stunt your growth personally.


There's always drama.

business women arguehttps://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/toxic-relationships/

Drama has a tendency to raise our stress levels and in turn our cortisol and adrenaline levels. While sometimes this could even be considered healthy, if it’s the norm, you’re going to burn out. If you notice that there’s always drama in your relationship, it’s a good time to evaluate why. Is there a good reason for the drama or are you or the other person not being reasonable or rational?


There is no give and take.


As mentioned earlier, a healthy relationship needs give and take; it’s not just about happiness. Give and take is also making sure there is a balance so that everyone’s emotional, physical, and spiritual needs are met. If your needs are being sacrificed constantly for the other person, the relationship needs some serious work.


You feel queazy or uneasy around them.


Listen to your body. There’s a possibility you keep trying to hang on to the relationship and have ignored some of the other signs, but feeling physically sick or uneasy around that other person is a major red flag that things have reached toxic levels.


Your relationship is dependant on membership or belonging to a certain group.

membership cardNecessary Endings by Henry Cloud

If belonging to a group or community is a requirement to maintaining the relationship, it’s probably not the most genuine of relationships. While having a common ground is important to establishing a foundation for a relationship, the relationship shouldn’t have to end if you decide to leave a group or organization for any reason.


Your partner or friend is controlling.


This is probably the most telling sign of a toxic relationship. If your life doesn’t seem like it’s your own, it’s time to get out and reclaim your life!


You give each other ultimatums.


While unconditional love and support is difficult to come by these days, your relationship shouldn’t thrive on ultimatums. “Do this or else…” “If you do this…”

It’s another sign of being controlled or controlling.


You are coerced into doing certain actions.


Being forced to do things against your will is not exactly healthy for your mental or emotional health. This is another big flashing red warning sign things are toxic.


Your thoughts and feelings are dismissed.

man giving the handhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201502/51-signs-unhealthy-relationship

The purposes of many relationships are to enrich our lives. It’s hard to be enriched if our thoughts and feelings are pushed to the side. This act could also put us in a vicious cycle of striving to be acknowledged.


They make you feel bad about your success and accomplishments.

loser handhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201502/51-signs-unhealthy-relationship

Success and accomplishment are meant to be celebrated. Sadly, in a toxic relationship, your partner might actually try to make you feel bad about your victories. Perhaps it’s because you’re in the spotlight and they aren’t; perhaps it’s out of wanting to make you feel like you are still nothing without them. Whatever the reason, it’s not a good thing.


You feel worse about yourself than when you started the relationship.

sad girlhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201502/51-signs-unhealthy-relationship

Once again, any relationship worth keeping should add to your life. If all that person does is bring you down and make you feel bad about who you are, they need to go. Making you feel worse about yourself is a sign that that person is not a great addition to your life.


There's no sense of relationship security.

couple arguing at breakfasthttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201502/51-signs-unhealthy-relationship

One method of control toxic people may use is to make you feel uncertain of your relationship. If you aren’t certain, it makes it easier for them to manipulate and control you while you try to find a solid place in your relationship; unfortunately, there probably isn’t one.


They try to cut you off from your support network or turn you against and away from your friends and family.

helping handhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201502/51-signs-unhealthy-relationship

Anyone cut off and alone is easier to be controlled. A toxic person will try to isolate you from those you love so that they are your main or only source of support.

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