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We often discuss what it’s like to be in a relationship with a toxic person. But sometimes, it’s necessary to turn the mirror on ourselves and do a self-check to be sure that we’re not the ones inflicting emotional harm on the people we claim to love. The first step in doing better is recognizing  that there is a problem, so here are ten signs that you may be the toxic person in your relationship.

You play the blame game

Toxic people typically take their frustrations out on the people closest to them, which is usually their partner. They have a habit of blaming them for everything that goes wrong under the sun — even things that they have nothing to do with.

Mature adult couple has disagreement while others register for event

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You always criticize your partner

People who are always examining their partner through a critical lens are like a cancer to any relationship. No one wants to be criticized constantly — nor should they be. If you verbalize those criticisms, you’re eating at your partner’s self-esteem with every remark. Whether intentional or not, it’s problematic.

Portrait of serious female student sitting and studying.

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You always have to be in control

Healthy relationships don’t have skewed power dynamics. Partners view each other as equal. When one party seeks to maintain control at all times, you’re exhibiting a strong lack of trust and an attempt to make your partner dependent on you.

Woman Works at Kitchen Table

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You play mind games

Stable partners don’t play games. They are direct about what they want and respect their partner’s wishes when they relay their desires, rather than attempt to manipulate them into doing or saying whatever it is that they want.

Angry African American couple arguing during breakfast at home.

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You feel it’s your job to teach your partner a lesson

It’s not our job to parent our partners. If at any point you feel like you need to punish or teach your partner a lesson, it’s probably time for some soul searching. Nothing is wrong with addressing behavior and establishing boundaries, but instilling punishment is something totally different.

It's too late for regrets

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You downplay their emotions

Are you quick to tell your partner things such as “It’s not that serious” or “You’ll be alright” when they share their emotions and concerns with you? If so, it’s time for a self-check. Even if you don’t understand what your partner is dealing with, it’s your job to provide emotional support and not shrug off their feelings.

Use your voice as your weapon

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You yell during every disagreement

We all get worked up from time to time, but it’s abnormal to resort to yelling any time there is a disagreement in your relationship. We all know communication is the core of a relationship, but it’s not just about what you say but also how you say it.


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You cry when you don’t get your way

It’s okay to be upset sometimes, but relationships are about compromise. Things are not going to look the way you want them to at all times and crying any and every time that they don’t is a form of manipulation

Depressed teen american african woman looking down

Source: Martin Novak / Getty

Nothing is ever your fault

No one is right all of the time. We all make mistakes and we owe it to our loved ones to own those mistakes. When we fail to be accountable for our actions, we damage our relationships — sometime beyond repair.

Young attractive and sad black African American woman sitting depressed at home

Source: ljubaphoto / Getty

You shut down when it’s time to have uncomfortable conversations

Part of being in a healthy relationship is working through rough patches and having difficult conversations. If you have a habit of shutting down and stonewalling your partner when these moments arise, you’re probably the toxic one in your relationship.

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