Relationships between two individuals will, in all probability,
always have ups and downs, rough patches and moments of disillusionment. However,
a regular and consistent tussle, or psychological strain might indicate something
quite else: that the equation has now reached what is popularly termed as a ‘toxic
Toxic relations, as per Dr Lillian Glass who self-admittedly
first used the word in her 1995 book ‘Toxic People’, terms the phenomenon as “any
relationship (between people who) don’t support each other, where there’s
conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where
there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness”, as per a report in Time Magazine.
Reportedly, there might be several reasons for toxicity
to be emerging from a specific person in a relationship, including past
physical and emotional trauma, as well as an imperfect combination or pairing
between two people.
While the former can be of various types, such as
childhood traumas, lack of support during formative years, or undiagnosed mental
disorders, the latter is mostly a case of wrong match-up.
There are, however, several warning signs that might
be able to indicate whether someone is in a toxic relationship:
first, and usually the most primary sign among all, is a persistent unhappiness.
This can be felt in a relationship which, instead of bringing joy and fulfilment,
brings a sad, angry, anxious or resigned mental state.
2. In case
of a romantic relationship, the lack of balance and changes of pattern in other
relationships, or how one spends their own time, can indicate whether the environment
has become toxic or not, according to the report. Another way of noticing these
changes could be through reflecting upon whether one feels negatively about
doing things they enjoy in their own time.
words of caution from friends and family would indicate a particularly dire scenario.
An individual embroiled in any such relationship might possibly be the last one
to realize the damages being done.
4. The most
serious and pertinent signs of a toxic relationship is stated to be violence,
abuse or harassment, in which case immediate action needs to be taken. The said
stage reportedly indicates a later phase of an already toxic relationship, and
might need intensive attention paid to it for a longer period of time.