Walking on eggshells

Identifying a toxic relationship

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He said that he makes fun of your insecurities to make you stronger. He said that you have to do this or you will never amount to anything. He said he pulls you aside and yells at you because he cares. He said he raises his fist to your face out of love. You call out for him to stop.

Toxic relationships do not necessarily mean a romantic relationship. Most people do not realize it, but abusive relationships can occur in the workplace, at home, at school or in any social gathering area. Living, coping or day-to-day interactions with an emotionally abusive person may not always have obvious symptoms, such as physical violence. Knowing three simple red flags before the relationship spirals out of control will help identify whether or not someone should keep clear of a certain person.

  • Controlling
    • A person with toxic relationship tendencies may have a “my way or the highway” attitude towards practically anything. When with other people, this person sets nerves on edge and one often finds themselves going the extra mile to get their way. The toxic person may participate in unacceptable social behavior such as pressuring someone to do something, compulsively lying, manipulating people to get their way or just making everything appear one-sided. Overlooking this behavior may lead to dependence issues.
  • Demeaning
    • Intimate violence does not always mean cuts and bruises. A person with abusive behavior may grab another person’s arm, yanking them while saying, “I’m not done talking to you,” or grabbing their face while saying, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.” It may not cause any physical damage, but these recurring behaviors stack up and hurt more mentally than anything else. Overlooking this behavior may lead to self-confidence issues, depression or anxiety and risk the overall personal safety of the victim.
  • Teasing
    • Teasing occurs in everyone’s life, however it may reach an abusive point if someone oversteps another person’s boundaries constantly. Someone who finds themselves in a toxic relationship may have friends telling them that something does not line up and hanging out can feel like a chore, with incompetent conversations and deceptive intentions. The abusive person may participate in emotional blackmail and deception. Overlooking this behavior may lead to irrational moods, negative gossip, self-confidence issues and depression.
  • Identifying toxic people through Pplkpr
    • Pplkpr (pronounced “People Keeper”), available as an app for iOS, tracks the biological response someone has to certain people they interact with using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor. If identifying toxic relationships poses an issue, get this app and see if some people need to be removed or if they need to stay. Easily track friends, family members and acquaintances and see the differing moods they impose.