Negative Relationships

Sometimes it is hard to recognize the warning signs of an abusive or toxic relationship. You do not have to have physical injuries to be mistreated. Abuse can take various forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual. All types of abuse have the potential to escalate, and all types of abuse can have long-term effects on the individual. Take a look at some of these warning signs:

Warning signs

Do you feel…

  • Like you do not have any power in your relationship?
  • Afraid of the other person’s temper?
  • Afraid to disagree with the other person?
  • The need to constantly apologize for the other person’s behavior when around others?
  • That you must justify everything to avoid the other person’s anger?
  • Like you cannot do anything without the person’s permission?

Does the other person…

  • Have a history of bad relationships, none of which they believe to be their fault?
  • Brag about hurting or mistreating others?
  • Tend to lose their temper quickly and have a history of fighting?
  • Behave in ways that scare you?
  • Act jealous and possessive, including frequently checking up on you?
  • Prevent you from seeing other friends and family or get upset when you do?
  • Give you orders and make all the decisions for your relationship?
  • Demean or belittle you, especially in front of others?
  • Criticize you, call you names, and frequently put you down?
  • Give you the “silent treatment” or play other “mind games” with you?
  • Threaten to leave you?
  • Try to manipulate you by saying, “If you really loved/cared about me you would…”?
  • Say you provoked them or otherwise blame you for their anger?
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol and pressure you to as well?
  • Ruin, damage, or destroy your things?
  • Grab, push, hit, strangle, restrain, kick, or otherwise physically hurt you?
  • Refuse to accept your boundaries or desire to end the relationship?
  • Threaten to commit suicide (this is not the same as struggling with depression and ideation, it is used as a manipulation tool)

Consider seeking help

If you find yourself in a relationship that sounds like a few of these circumstances, consider seeking help from a counselor to process through developing healthy relationships around you and strengthening boundaries for toxic circumstances.