If you have listened “Love On The Rain” by Rihanna, then you probably know how damaging a toxic relationship can be especially when she claims that ‘it beats me black and blue.’ In this song, love for her doesn’t feel like it should. You have probably experienced or are experiencing this kind of an unhealthy relationship or know someone who has gone through it. Do not worry, there are always solutions to help you experience love in its purest form.
An unhealthy or toxic relationship is any relationship that drains your happiness. This can be a relationship with your friend, family, boss or intimate partner. If you constantly experience negativity in your relationship or anything that makes you feel sadder by the day, you are in a toxic relationship.
Unhealthy relationships statistics
The saddest bit about unhealthy relationships is that people who are in them are not even aware. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline;
- Approximately, 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
- On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
- In a nationwide survey, 9.4% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
In the above three examples, the abuse involves intimate partners of both genders. The victims of the above cases were abused by people who are meant to show them love and protect them.
In this social media era, stalking has become a rampant form of emotional abuse. People have also been known to abuse each other emotionally on social media by posting photos or messages that are meant to torment their partners.
How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you – Rupi Kaur
Different types of toxic relationships
You are a social creature just like everyone else. This means that you need different types of relationships for you to thrive. Your relationships should make you happier and help you achieve your dreams. In the long run, the people in your circle should help you boost your self-esteem. However, you have probably experienced that some of the relationships you have had are damaging to you both mentally and physically. Some of the toxic relationships that you should watch out for include the following;
Are you in a relationship with a friend, relative or lover who seems to be messing up with your mind? This type of person leaves you confused and skeptical all the time. A manipulator will also always want to control every situation to their advantage. If things go wrong they will blame you for the outcome. They will also make you feel stupid for not coming up with a better idea, even when you clearly know that you had made suggestions. Rings a bell? If yes, run for your dear life!
The competition guru
Remember the last time you achieved something that you were proud of and the minute you tried talking about it with your friend they immediately changed the topic to talk about their own achievements? Yup! That’s the one. Any healthy relationship should be about teamwork and uplifting each other, not trying to outshine each other. You shouldn’t have to feel like the minor player in your relationship all the time. You should leave this type of relationship because this person is using you to boost their esteem as you use all your energy to pamper them!
As you remove toxic people from your life, you free up space and emotional energy to for positive, healthy relationships – John Mark Green
Some people act as if the earth revolves around them! These types of people are extremely selfish. For example, if your lover is always dictating what you wear when you’re going out instead of giving you the freedom to pick your wardrobe, you are an accessory in their lives! The worst bit about these types of people is that they are extremely dumb (oops!) and the longer you keep being them the more likely that they’ll drain your intelligent juices. Don’t allow this to happen to you!
How harder can life be if you have a boss in the office and a boss in your social life? You should be able to determine the direction your life takes as an adult. These types of people make demands about how you should live your life and yet they never make the same effort to be the best partners in return. Worse still, they cover this behaviour by constantly reminding you about how understanding you are. No darling. You are not understanding. You are treading towards low self-esteem and depression.
I have to remember that it is not the love that hurt me; but someone who could not love me in the right way – R.Y.S Perez
The insecure one
Do you have a partner who calls you every five minutes when you are out with your friends to ask you what you are doing? Does your partner constantly accuse you of plotting to leave them yet you know you are doing everything to make your relationship work? That’s a control freak. Even when you are in a relationship with someone, you need time to be alone, to hang out with your friends, to think about yourself. Your life should not revolve around this one person. You have a right to self-determination.
There is You and You. That’s a relationship. That’s the most important relationship – Nayyirah Waheed.
How to leave a toxic relationship
Truth is, leaving a relationship especially when you still love the person is hard. It is probably the hardest thing that you’ll ever have to do. Getting stuck in such a relationship is like adding more floors to a building that has a weak foundation. Eventually, it will collapse. If you love yourself, you don’t want the building to collapse while you’re still sleeping inside!
You deserve to be treated like royalty. If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, talk to someone. Talk to your closest friend or the wisest person you know. Wise people are known to have genuine and practical advice. Additionally, there are have toll-free numbers that you can call such as the police to report such abuse. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help. By doing so, you have won half the better. The other half is investing in some well-deserved self-love 😉