Fundamentally, toxic relationship behaviors are the result of a lack of empathy. Whether that be demanding your partner live up to your expectations, or refusing to see things from their perspective, toxic behavior often represents an inability to feel genuine understanding and compassion for the other person.
The role models we grow up with are often the first source
We tend to repeat toxic relationships with partners, friends, coworkers, and the like because of the role models we received as a child. The more aware we become of those patterns, the less likely we will continue seeking and repeating them unconsciously.
If you've addressed toxic behavior with the person exhibiting it and they have taken it to heart, it's possible for toxic people to change. “Toxic people can absolutely change,” Kennedy says, “however they must see their part in the problem before they are likely to find the motivation to do so.”
Yes, toxic relationships can change. But that comes with a very big if. A toxic relationship can change if and only if both partners are equally committed to overcoming it with lots of open communication, honesty, self-reflection, and possibly professional help, individually and together.
In true love, there is comfort in separate interests. We can have our own friends and meaningful relationships outside of our romantic relationships. We can pursue interests and ideas without fear of reprimand. On the other hand, in toxic love, there is total involvement in one another's lives.
Toxic relationships are characterized by a lack of trust, controlling behaviors, and frequent lying. Often one partner is prioritized instead of coming together as a team. While toxic relationships can, at times, be healed, both partners must be willing to adapt and work on the relationship.
If a relationship stops bringing joy, and instead consistently makes you feel sad, angry, anxious or “resigned, like you've sold out,” it may be toxic, Glass says. You may also find yourself envious of happy couples. Fuller says negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem are all red flags, too.
The toxic traits of a toxic person include unsupportive and unpleasant behavior, being manipulative, judgmental, controlling, and self-centered. Such people can be the cause of various negative feelings and emotions that you may be experiencing like depression, anxiousness, worthlessness, and unhappiness.
Toxic femininity refers to the adherence to the gender binary in order to receive conditional value in patriarchal societies. It is a concept that restricts women to being cooperative, passive, sexually submissive, gentle, and deriving their value from physical beauty while being pleasing to men.
Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.