Toxic Relationship 411: Signs You Bring Out The Worst In Each Other

November 6, 2012  |  
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A partner can be a wonderful compliment to your life. They can pick up the pieces when you are struggling to do so, give you a boost of confidence in the areas you need it most and calm you down when you think you’re going to blow your lid. Like a puzzle piece, your partner should fill in the gaps to make you feel stronger, and more whole. But, partner up with the wrong person, and instead of making you feel whole, they can slowly test your most positive of qualities. Here’s how you know it’s not a conducive pairing.


You’re scared to speak up

When you’re with the wrong person, your throat may close up. Anytime you want to complain about something, or speak up, or stand up for yourself, before you can even word what you want to say, this happens in your head: “Will he get mad? Will he break up with me? What will his rebuttal be? Will he make me feel stupid? Will he blow up at me?” You shouldn’t be worrying how they will argue back at you. If you’re with the right person, you truly feel that what they want is to make you happy, not argue with you.

You get too in your head

Do you have insecurities? Patterns? A bad past? Don’t we all. For the most part, we take control of these things. We try not to let them dominate our thoughts and actions. But, the wrong person will somehow make you spiral out of control with thoughts of, “I’ll never change. I’m controlled by my insecurities. I’ll never find real love because of my x, y or z issues.” They will make you feel out of control of yourself and your own thoughts. But, the right person calms you. When you act out in a way you wish you hadn’t—perhaps a way indicative of your insecurities or your past—the right partner reacts in a way that makes you feel it’s an isolated incident, and everything will be okay.

You’re giving up on your goals

Your partner should make you desire to succeed. They should make you feel confident enough to go after your goals. They should do and say things that breathe energy into you, energy that you then use in your ambitions. But the wrong person drains you of energy. They take and take from you, to the point where you have nothing left to give to yourself, and your goals fall to the backburner.

Your friends are getting mad at you

If you’re with someone that brings out the worst in you, they will change your personality in some way that annoys or even angers your friends. Perhaps they brainwash you into having completely different beliefs. Your friends won’t buy it, and it will bother them when you preach about your new beliefs. He might exhaust you, and your friends will get upset that you’re mentally checked out when you hang out. He might just piss you off, and your friends have to take the brunt of that.

You’re feeling tired

Exhaustion doesn’t come solely from physical activity. Constant arguing, or stressing that your partner will get angry with you, will make you feel exhausted. If you notice yourself suddenly needing 12 hours of sleep every night, or feeling lethargic throughout the day, your partner is probably draining you. The right partner makes you feel excited not only about him but also about your prospects in life. And that will give you plenty of energy.


Tiny things make you blow up

When somebody just pushes your buttons wrong, then you get angry when they empty the dishwasher the wrong way, or pick up the wrong brand of milk for you. If this person is already making your life difficult through arguing and tension, then the little things will put you over the edge. With the right person, you don’t care when they mess up on small things because as a whole, they make your life so much better and easier.

You’re getting sick a lot

Whether you’re getting into screaming arguments every day, or you are quietly and secretly stressing about your relationship, your body’s defenses will be down. The fact is that when we are happy, we are healthier. So if you find yourself feeling under the weather regularly, your relationship is probably causing a lot of stress in your life.

You’re giving up your needs

You’re cancelling on your much needed girls nights because he wants you around that night. You’re cancelling an important job interview because he wants you to drive him to his. The right person should make you feel completely comfortable saying, “No,” sometimes, and let you know they will still be there for you. But, when you know your relationship is fragile and could break at any moment, you start giving up more and more of yourself to make it work.

You’re jealous of everything

Him going on a trip, hanging out with friends, or just spending any time away from you. You know if jealousy is in your blood, and if it’s not, but suddenly you’re feeling it all the time, you’re with the wrong person. Again, when you know your relationship is no good, every little thing feels like a threat to it. So, when the two of you are apart, you worry that he may cheat, or even that he just might realize he doesn’t miss you.

You’re yelling/cursing/scheming

You’re being cruel in a way you said you never would be. Yelling, cursing and manipulating just shouldn’t happen in a relationship. If that is happening, then the person you are with taps into your reserves of hate. Yes—hate. You have to feel some of it to go out of your way to hurt somebody.

You’re trying to prove yourself

You feel you need to prove yourself to him. You’re running twice as many miles a day to prove you’re athletic. You’re working overtime nightly to prove you have ambition. You’re slowly killing yourself, to show him you’re of value. But, when you’re with the right person, you don’t feel the need to prove yourself. Whether you’re the CEO of a huge company, or unemployed, they see how you are unique and valuable. They see your value, beneath the material or surface things.

You’re lying

You’re hanging out with friends he doesn’t like, and telling him you’re going to see somebody else. You’re going to a party where your ex will be, and telling your partner you’re going to a work function. You’re either doing this because your partner is highly controlling and you have to lie in order to get to do anything, or you’re doing it because you’re resentful of your partner, and lying to him lets you get a jab at him. Either way, it’s not healthy behavior.

You’re trying to “one up” him

Love should never feel like a competition. Because as soon as it is, that means you are trying to make your partner feel smaller than you. But really, all you and your partner should ever be doing is making the other person feel good about him or herself. A relationship should not be a power struggle. Nobody should be trying to get on top of the other. You should be working every day, to make one another feel on top of the world.

You’re having self-defeatist thoughts

“The odds are against me. Statistics say I won’t succeed. There are thousands of other people that want this job too.” While those thoughts are true, when you’re with the right person, for some reason you just don’t think them. You ignore the odds, the statistics, and the “reality.” When you’re with the right person, you start to believe in miracles. But when you’re with the wrong person, whether it’s because they speak negatively to you, or they drain you, all you start to see is the fact that the odds are against you.

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