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Am I in a toxic relationship?

If you feel there is something wrong with your relationship, there probably is

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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A toxic relationship is a relationship that is bad for you. Instead of bringing security, contentment and joy to your life, a toxic relationship brings you more sadness than happiness. A toxic relationship is also usually full of ups and downs. If you are in a toxic relationship, you may feel ecstatic and extremely happy one day and utterly devastated the next. 

This can be the case whether you’re in a romantic relationship with someone, or whether they’re someone you consider a close friend. Even the closest friendships can turn toxic.

Take our quiz to see if you can identify toxic behaviour.


Signs of a toxic relationship

Here are some things to look out for if you think you might be in a toxic relationship:

  • They constantly put you down and make you feel bad about yourself
  • You are arguing one day, and things are great the next
  • They often make you feel guilty
  • They are jealous of your other friends
  • You feel like it’s your responsibility to fix things
  • You change yourself to please them
  • You worry about setting them off and feel like you have to watch what you say
  • You feel anxious or unwell when you know you’re going to see them
  • They text and call you constantly
  • You have lost confidence in yourself
  • They break your trust

These are things to look out for in any kind of relationship, and a sign that things aren’t right.

Learn more about toxic behaviour.

What can I do if my relationships are toxic?

If you are worried you might have a toxic relationship or friendship, it’s important to do something about it. Here are some ways to approach it:

Talking to them

Try to talk to the person about what’s going on. If they’re willing to listen and to work on it, you can try to find ways to make it work. If problems crop up again, and nothing seems to work to fix the situation, then know when it’s time to walk away.

Knowing when to walk away

If the other person isn’t willing to listen to what you have to say, or if they keep returning to their toxic behaviour again and again, then it’s time to cut ties. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve been close for a very long time, or if it’s someone you see often, like a classmate.

Moving on

Explain to them why you want to end the friendship or relationship, and ask them to respect your decision. Try to avoid engaging in arguments or gossip with other people about the person. Remember to always do what’s best for you and your mental health, and work on creating healthy relationships.


Making time for yourself

It's important that you look after yourself, especially in situations where you have a hard time removing yourself from an unhealthy relationship, such as with a sibling or a family member that you're still living with. Do things that you enjoy, and reach out to others for support.

Finding support

Dealing with an unhealthy or toxic relationship can be difficult, but you don't have to go through it alone. Reach out to the people around you and let them know what's going on. If you can't speak to someone you know, or you need additional support, You can call the Women's Aid free 24 hour helpline to talk in confidence at 1800 341 900, or contact AMEN at 046 9023718 to find support for men experiencing an abusive relationship.

Building healthy relationships

Being able to encourage healthy relationships in your life is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing, especially if you have experienced a toxic relationship. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and set boundaries with the people in your life so that they understand what you are comfortable with.

You deserve to feel positive and confident in the relationships in your life, and working on building healthy relationships will help you to achieve this. 

Find more information on toxic behaviour in a relationship at

Take our quiz to see if you can identify toxic behaviour.

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Published Jan­u­ary 23rd2013
Last updated Sep­tem­ber 8th2018
Tags relationships
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