Stay Woke: Four Phrases You Will Hear If You Are In A Toxic Relationship

April 12, 2019  |  

Frustrated black parents arguing behind their daughter at home.

Source: skynesher / Getty

Emotional abuse can be particularly insidious because it seeps its way into relationships unnoticed and without physical evidence. As a Black community we were educated on the signs and danger of physical abuse, but when it comes to how we speak to one another and manipulate one another through verbal communication, we often lack the language to identify a toxic relationship.

“It can be difficult because you may start to feel responsible and part of the problem,”licensed clinical social worker Melanie Shapiro tells Elite Daily. “Plus, a toxic relationship can create anxiety and depression, and symptoms of these mental health issues (such as low mood, low motivation, negative thoughts) make it difficult to recognize toxic relationship patterns.”

A lot of us have probably been the victim of verbal abuse and not even known it. Here are some phrases you hear if you are in an emotionally abusive connection.


At times, it really is our fault that something goes awry in our relationship, but if your partner always blames you for everything, thats a red flag.

“When it becomes one-sided and your partner refuses to make adjustments to understand your feelings or meet your needs, that can be toxic,” Shapiro told Elite Daily. “They aren’t willing to take responsibility for their actions.”


Oh gas lighting. People who gaslight us make us feel our emotions and reactions are invalid versus addressing the incident that made us react. If you and your partner are caught in this cycle, you may be emotionally manipulated.


Abuse works best in isolation. Emotional abusers don’t want you to get outside perspectives because they are afraid their cover will be blown.

“Proving other people are untrustworthy allows your partner to narrow the reality,” Shapiro told Elite Daily. 



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