No relationship is perfect, in the personal or the business sphere. But for the most part,
a good relationship makes you feel secure, happy, cared for, respected, and free to be yourself.
On the other side of the coin are toxic relationships–the ones that make you feel drained, depleted, and sometimes even distraught.
Whether you’re running a business, working with a partner, leading an organization,
or managing a team, the last thing you need is a toxic relationship.
Here are some signs to help you recognize a toxic relationship:
1. All take, no give. Any relationship in which you experience withdrawals of energy without deposits will leave you in the negative.
2. Feeling drained. If, instead of feeling happy and productive, you’re always mentally, emotionally, and even physically drained, it’s time to re-evaluate.
3. Lack of trust. A relationship without trust is like a car without gas: You can stay in
it all you want, but it won’t go anywhere.
4. Hostile atmosphere. Constant anger is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship.
You should never be around hostility because it makes you feel unsafe.
5. Occupied with imbalance. A one-sided relationship can never run smoothly.
6. Constant judgment. In judgmental relationships, criticism is not intended to be
helpful but rather to belittle.
7. Persistent unreliability. Mutual reliability is important to building trust and is at the
core of any good relationship.
8. Nonstop narcissism. If the other party’s interest in the relationship is really just a reflection of him or herself, it’s impossible to achieve any kind of balance.
9. Loaded with negative energy. It’s almost impossible for anything positive to come
out of a relationship filled with negativity.
10. Lack of communication. Without communication, there is no relationship. Period.
11. Continuous disrespect. Mutual respect is the first requirement of a good partnership.
12. Mutual avoidance. If you spend your time avoiding each other, that tells you all
you need to know.
13. Insufficient support. If you cannot turn to each other, is there a reason to be in
14. Ceaseless control issues. If one person is in control, or a constant tug-of-war is going on, you’re probably spending too much energy navigating the relationship.
15. Never-ending drama. Good relationships improve your life; they don’t make it messier.
16. Persistent self-betrayal. If you find yourself changing your opinions to please someone else, you’re in a damaging relationship.
17. Constant challenges. All relationships go through challenges, but good relationships work through them.
18. Feelings of unworthiness. It’s an insidious thing negative relationships do: They
leave you feeling you don’t deserve any better.
19. Vibes of entrapment. Is the other person a positive force in your life, or are you
there because you don’t see any way out?
20. Always undermining. If a relationship can’t be reassuring, it’s failing a crucial test.
21. Empty pretense. Smiles don’t always mean everything is OK.
22. Packed with uncertainty. When nothing is sure, forward movement feels impossible.
23. Brimming with envy. Partners are never equal in all aspects, but that should be a source of strength, not of a source of disruptive envy.
24. Shortage of autonomy. Anyone in any relationship should have the right to say no.
25. Permeates victimhood. You can’t move onto the future if you’re tied to someone who’s still stuck in the past.
26. Diminishes your self-worth. When you’re in a relationship with someone who
doesn’t acknowledge your value, it can be hard to see it yourself.
27. Laced with dishonesty. Every lie between partners undercuts a little bit of the relationship.
28. Makes you unhappy. If someone is constantly making you unhappy, you owe it to yourself to let that person go.
29. Feels uncomfortable. Sometimes your mind needs more time to discover what
your heart already knows.
30. Lowers your high standards. Toxic relationships can cause us to slowly begin accepting what was once not acceptable.
31. Senses stagnant. Growth and learning are vital, and you can’t afford to be cut
off from them.
32. Cuts corners. Nothing is ever worth cutting corners, or accepting anything that
is second rate.
33. Filled with criticism. A nonstop barrage of criticism never helped anyone improve;
it’s not about making things better but boosting the critic’s ego.
34. Brings out the worst. If you are constantly being your worst, you cannot be your
35. Cannot do anything right. If you cannot do anything right, maybe the relationship
is all wrong.
Relationships are important, and a toxic relationship can cost you dearly in time and energy that you could be putting to much better use.
Stay true to yourself and your values, listen to your heart, and be strong if you need
to extricate yourself from a toxic relationship.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.