Ending toxic relationships: What is a toxic relationship?

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Ending Toxic Relationships – How to Recognize the Warning Signs

Love relationships, friendships, behavior between colleagues: all this can become harmful at a certain stage. We explain what that means.

What is a toxic person?

There is no scientific definition of a toxic person in psychology. In general, this means the person whose connection is not good for them. “However, the term is a phrase that tends to make you unable to act,” says Alexandra Krueger, a qualified social worker and systemic therapist from Remscheid.

What is a toxic relationship?

The term toxic relationship has become a popular psychological term in recent years. Alexandra Krueger explains, “It describes relationships that require much more strength than they give.” Insults, addiction control, selfishness, ignorance, insults and belittling play a major role. This can also lead to physical symptoms in the long term. If this relationship has reached its climax, toxic love can also take the form of cheating, violence, abuse, or stalking, says Krueger. By the way, a toxic relationship isn’t just about love, it can happen in any type of relationship, including friendships, family, or work. There is also often a one-sided (emotional) dependency.

How does a toxic relationship develop?

The therapist explains that a relationship becomes toxic when, for example, the imbalance of forces within it changes. If you are floating on pink clouds at first, and flirt with one partner with full attention, he suddenly turns into a narcissist. This is followed by ignorance and devaluation, criticism of behavior and attitudes becomes personal, and the partner is punished with silence or blame. A devastating dynamic is created. However, the distribution of the role of the perpetrator and the victim is not necessarily shown.

These traits reveal toxic relationships

Alexandra Krueger identifies the characteristics of a toxic relationship according to the so-called “Five Knights of the Apocalypse” by psychologist and couples therapist John Gottman:

  1. criticism: criticism is a generalization (the words “always” or “never” are used). There are finger signs related to the personality of the partner.
  2. contempt: This is the most dangerous Knights of the Apocalypse. He expresses himself, for example, through irony, irony and insulting humor. It quickly turns into contempt, and there is a lack of respect.
  3. justificationA defense in direct response to criticism and contempt without waiting for what the partner actually wants to say.
  4. walls: one withdraws from the other – both physically and internally. The connection is broken.
  5. show of strength: The other simply acts without regard for the other, and a compromise is no longer possible.

Writer Kristen Mersder identifies five other characteristics in addition to silence from her own experience of a toxic relationship in her book How Toxins Crawl:

  • Duplicate messages: Courtesy is regularly combined with malice.
  • bombard love: At the beginning of the relationship, the other partner is showered with gifts and attention as well as superlatives.
  • precision violence:This includes tantrums or gross verbal abuse over trifles.
  • Excessive control: Reading chat histories or identifying people the other can meet are indications of this trait. The behavior is often referred to as nurturing by the toxic person. Isolation and loss of independence threaten.
  • gas lighting: Here, the partner deliberately destabilizes and manipulates lies and twisted truths, until he doubts his own perception.

Here’s how you can end a toxic relationship

First, according to Krueger, you have to realize and satisfy yourself and your own needs. This includes taking a break and putting your thoughts in order. Do I want to accept circumstances or change something? If you hold on to the relationship, is it necessary to talk about grievances – also with the help of professional support through counseling or therapy? If the decision to end the relationship matures, it is important to remain consistent and not change. Friends and family can help with this.

Here is the information link: Ten facts about toxic relationships

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