7 Basic Signs of Toxic Relationships

June 7, 2014 Sydney Savion, D.Ed.

Being in a toxic relationship is unhealthy and a leech on your spirit. Learn how to spot the basic signs of a toxic relationship. Read this.

A toxic relationship can be defined in many ways. In essence, it is a form of emotional abuse played out by someone with whom you are in a relationship. As result of being subjected to this behavior, it may trigger fear, uneasiness, unhappiness, depression, or even posttraumatic stress disorder. Being in a toxic relationship is unhealthy, a leech on your spirit and in every way an obstacle to living a blissful life.

Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate. ~ Mandy Hale

Why Are Toxic Relationships Bad For You?

You deserve people in your life that fuel you and lift you up. A toxic person in your life is only concerned about themselves, their needs and desires, not yours. You may have more than one person in your life that is killing your joy, depleting your energy and spoiling your fulfillment. You’ve seen the red flags of abuse but chosen to ignore them because, like the one good golf shot that keeps you coming back to the tee-box, you are kept tethered to the toxic relationship by flashes of good exhibited by the other person (The Routine Makes It Easier To Stay In Abusive Relationships).

Take stock of the people in your life and the relationships you have formed. Awaken to the deeds of a person, not just words and feelings and trust your instincts. You know when the boundaries of an unhealthy relationship have been cross because your emotions, voice, time, space and life are no longer defined by you. Healthy relationships inspire you to create a sense of happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment for each other.

Toxic Relationships Can Sneak Up On You


If you don’t pay attention to what you are paying attention to, sometimes a toxic person and a toxic relationship can sneak up on you like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The key is recognizing basic signs of a toxic relationship. I know what you are thinking. Yes, the worst toxic relationship may very well be when it is with your significant other. This is a typical case of codependence. But even so, you must quickly determine whether it is a relationship that can be healed or one that needs to be severed.

You can love them, forgive them, want good things for them . . . but still move on without them.~ Mandy Hale.

Seven Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Let’s start the awakening process with seven basic signs of a toxic relationship:

  1. Feeling uneasy before seeing the person and energy zapped afterwards
  2. Feeling uninspired, unsupported and unappreciated
  3. Feeling like he or she is not completely open and honest with you
  4. Feeling criticized and judged when you seek self-improvement
  5. Feeling like the person does not actively listen your feelings and concerns
  6. Feeling like it’s all about him or her and rarely about you
  7. Feeling like he or she constantly competes against you

If you feel like that, then chances are you're in a toxic relationship. Will you heal the relationship or sever it?

Do you have anyone in your life you would consider toxic? Do wonder how you attracted a toxic person to your life? Have you stopped to think about how a toxic relationship can be avoided? Have you ever wondered if you were a toxic person?

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APA Reference
Savion, S. (2014, June 7). 7 Basic Signs of Toxic Relationships, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Sydney Savion, D.Ed.

November, 9 2018 at 9:23 pm

What if its your mother and at one time she had a drug addiction?? But has not shown any signs of using for several years and then she has a mother that contines to talk about her that she must be doing things and then she doesnt she has put her in and out of the family her whole life and now the daughter just refuses to see or talk to her??

Dr Musli Ferati
February, 12 2016 at 1:28 am

Your mindful observations are named to me very intrigued feelings on my personal, professional, and social life. Indeed, toxic relationships, ruin completely global welbeing, because they damage emotional statement as ingredient substance of all psycho-social activity. So, it should be careful and heedful on daily impressions through interpersonal relations. If they provoke the sense of indecent and embarrassment, then it is the instant moment to undertake something seriously to improve oneself interpersonal network. It's mean to modify and accommodate social life and communication. It is exactly that exist many persons with antisocial attitudes and action, but it is impossible to avoid them at all. So it is advisable to posse some social skills and performance to deal with them in successful and satisfying way. This isn't ethical education. Life is more than academic and educational superstructure, Moreover, it ought to built and maintain acceptable relationship with persons whose condition is unkind and hostile. I mean to have got amicable and optimistic view of point toward people as constituent part of social milieu. However, it should be supportive and protective to oneself feelings and advantages through everyday relationships, as necessary needs of daily functioning. Surely, yours 7 recommendation are good guideline to establish helpful and supportive social network.

October, 9 2015 at 4:16 pm

I Love this Healthy Place

October, 9 2015 at 4:15 pm

This is directed to Sandy, who stated on July 16,2015...30 years huh, build you up and then turn around to tear you down + much more on my side...Try 50 years with a so called "Best Friend" At one time I was very dependent on this person, but after sobriety and getting my life together, I finally saw the makes of what she was doing to me...SO I SEVERED IT and am very happy now...Yeah, an 82 year old person can be happy after that kind of crap...

October, 8 2015 at 3:03 pm

There is an 8th item. When it seems like the person is patronizing, giving back-handed compliments, passive-aggressively responding to your needs, saying things only to humor you or shut you down, when you feel the niceness they show is not genuine, when you feel that subtle tinge of disrespect, disregard, when you feel dismissed too often.
It must be said that there are right ways to "fight", "argue", and "discuss" the things that are not working in your relationships, but it ALWAYS takes TWO, who both place enough value on the relationship, to put in enough effort, to make things work, and to justify continuing the relationship.
There are also ways to minimize distress and keep a relationship going even if it is occasionally toxic. Sometimes when one person changes (for the better, for the healthier), it changes the dynamic and makes the other person step up. Othertimes it makes the other person angry. This is where an abbreviated relationship can be better.
Sometimes you just need to save yourself. Always always find a way to make your own money and save it, so that you are not tied to toxic people from which you cannot extricate yourself. Or, at least so that you can always feel free to make that choice if you ever REALLY need to. Do not imprison yourself. Keep learning about yourself and keep growing, even if the people in your life do not want you to, or are a little bit inconvenienced by it. Your self confidence, resilience, and fortitude are worth more than anything that anyone could ever give you.

October, 1 2015 at 2:42 pm

I still have to deal with this same person in spite of divorcing him because I have minor kids. I will be so glad when I don't have to deal with him anymore.

July, 16 2015 at 1:00 am

Thank you. I know who this or rather who these people are but you don't get to pick your in-laws and they are truly toxic people. I go out of my way not to be around these people . I know what you mean when you say they build you up just to turn around and crap on you. This game has been going on for over thirty years......

July, 5 2015 at 3:46 am

I filed for divorce 18 days ago from the person you described above! This list makes me feel more comfortable about my decisions. Thanks for posting!

July, 6 2014 at 8:41 am

thanks for this post. I am in a toxic marriage and I am the toxic one. :(

Bia Quadros
June, 8 2014 at 5:40 am

Excellent text, very helpful.

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