4 signs of toxic behavior
Toxic relationships are obvious to the outside world, but when we’re in one, we often don’t realize what’s going wrong until it’s too late. Toxic partnerships have emotional ups and downs, are stressful and mentally draining, and can make us mentally ill.
But it is not only the partner who is the culprit – we ourselves can also behave in a toxic way. Often without realizing it. Often the reason for this is their bad experiences, fears or doubts. If you suspect your own behavior, look out for these signs.
1. They always talk about themselves
Whether in friendship or with your partner: in conversations you have the upper hand. Even when the other person tells you something, they often interrupt you because you think you already know where it’s headed. Or because you can come up with an anecdote on the topic yourself.
Is it especially important to get your fears and feelings off your chest, while barely giving your conversation partner any space? These may be signs of toxic behavior.
Even if people have different levels of need to communicate, communication should never be one-way. Especially if the other person also wants to communicate.
Let your counterpart talk regularly without interrupting him. Also take his problems and ideas seriously and show support or offer suggestions for solutions.
2. Control Jealousy
Do the following unhealthy patterns of jealousy sound familiar to you? If you are very thoughtful, you tend to imagine scenarios in your head and thus build up a feeling of mistrust. Whether you assume that your partner is cheating on you or that they no longer love you, all of these assumptions (without reasonable doubt) often lead to harmful control behavior. Anyone who regularly checks their partner’s mobile phone, constantly calls him or constantly scolds him, is harming himself and his relationships.
This behavior is usually due to fear of loss or self-doubt. A little bit of jealousy is normal, of course – but it shouldn’t define our daily lives and limit our partner too much. Talk with your partner about the origin of your feelings and insecurities, whoever feels understood can usually handle the situation better.
3. You value yourself through comparisons
This behavior is a very typical toxic pattern. It doesn’t have to be conscious or harmful. However, this behavior is very harmful to any relationship: they continue to point out the weaknesses and shortcomings of others. Do you complain, for example, about your boyfriend’s obsession with order, about your neighbor’s busy family home, or about your girlfriend’s clothing style? Don’t keep your opinion a secret, but let these people know what you think about it publicly. Of course, the purpose of this is not fruitful, but rather points to supposed flaws in order to destabilize people.
You may do this unconsciously because you feel inferior to others. You might be jealous that your boyfriend is more organized than her. Maybe you’ve always wanted a single-family home, or you’ve always wanted to be daring to wear a certain style of clothing. By underestimating others, we often feel better about them indirectly. Whether consciously or unconsciously, this behavior should have no place in a true friendship or relationship. You feel the need to try to strengthen your confidence in the long term.
4. You are always on defense
If someone expresses criticism, or even makes a suggestion for improvement or just a comment, do you always feel personally attacked right away? When this happens, we quickly tend to take a defensive or combative stance. Of course, no one likes to be criticized, but the problem with this situation is that it often creates unnecessary conflict. No one wishes you to hurt you, and no one accuses you of being impotent. Criticism and suggestions for improvement are necessary for further development. Especially in relationships, it is important for partners to talk to each other in an open and result-oriented manner. Try to take your personal feelings out of the equation and objectively ask the other person how things might have gone better.