Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 25 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman “the Cripple”
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

4 Ways to recognize a toxic relationship

YOUNG,WOMAN,ARGUMENT

Shutterstock

Javier Fiz Pérez - published on 04/20/18

If they always take more than they give, watch out!

We all know “toxic” people: they might be a boss, or a family member, a friend, or even you. They’re people who, instead of making us stronger, consume our energy and seem to make it their goal to set us on the path of negativity. We can usually find inspiration in our environment, but when these people appear, they block our creativity and throw our well-being off balance.

Our physical and emotional health depend on the quality of the people we spend time with and on their influence in our lives. Consequently, even minor negative influences that could seem relatively innocuous can end up being an unnecessary burden.

Four symptoms that indicate a toxic relationship

1. Their problems are more important than yours

One of the advantages of having friends is that you can count on them as “therapists” when things are not going well. But, the problem with toxic friends is that they underestimate your difficulties or hard times because they think their own are more important than yours. They can spend hours talking about themselves, but at the moment that you offer them help or possible solutions, they always find a reason why it won’t work, or say that you don’t understand them.

2. They talk more than they listen

This is related to the first symptom; it means that they not only underestimate your problems — they also undervalue your opinions. A friendship is supposed to be a two-way street, and both parties are supposed to be able to share their thoughts. If your friend doesn’t listen to you, there’s a high probability that it’s a harmful friendship. This shows that you are dealing with a person who wants to receive from you constantly, without trying to reciprocate.

3. They criticize you constantly, without empathy

We are all human and imperfect, but there’s no need to bring that up every five minutes. When criticisms and hurtful comments are a daily matter, it’s time to distance yourself from that person. Degrading you, shouting at you, or making you feel inferior can be a mechanism that toxic people use to raise their perceived status above yours. Such people never put themselves in your place to try to understand what your life is like.

4. You stop telling them things to avoid bothering them

Whenever you are around them, you weigh your words or leave certain things out so as to keep them happy. They tend to be explosive or possessive when you tell them anecdotes about things you did with other friends, or when you mention making new acquaintances. If you have to hide something as basic as having gone out with another friend … that’s toxic.

The main reason why we should distance ourselves from people like this is because it does not help us to be our best self when we are with them. Life is too short for us to spend time with people who are detrimental to us. When it comes to friendships, what matters is quality, not quantity. Place limits and begin to say “no.” If you tell a toxic friend that you’re uncomfortable, and he or she doesn’t change attitude, it’s time to distance yourself. Find people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself, and do the same with the people around you.


MAN,WOMAN,ARGUE

Read more:
The danger of calling a person “toxic”

Tags:
Relationships
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
2
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.