Toxic behaviours that destroy relationships
1) Critical/Insulting remarks
I am amazed at how many clients minimise the awful behaviour they put up with from their partners. Being threatened with violence, being sworn at and belittled regularly is not normal and should never be accepted. Everyone slips up occasionally but when this type of behaviour becomes more regular, it’s time to do something about it. The more a person accepts this bad behaviour/treatment, the more likely it is to continue – as the saying goes: you teach people how to treat you. Passive acceptance gives the green light for further bad treatment.
2) Passive aggressive behaviour
Passive aggressive behaviour includes silent treatment, resisting in a subtle way to promote failure. Subtle manipulation to upset a partner is also common. Disengaging, obstructionism, and a lack of support all contribute to the breakdown of a relationship. Passive aggressive behaviour is toxic because it is subtle and can lead a healthy sane person to doubt their interpretations.
3) Denying affection and care
We tend to treat the people closest to us the worst. What an irony this is. People close to us are easy targets yet they deserve more care and attention than strangers. If your partner is denying you the courtesy of care and respect, this will definitely create problems in the relationship.
Sometimes people internalise the mean behaviour and don’t stand up for themselves but nasty treatment is like a poison that slowly suffocates the goodwill in a relationship.
4) Denying responsibility
Two mature adults who own up to their part in their romantic exchange will enjoy trust and intimacy far more than two people who can never say sorry, or won’t own up to any of the negative effects they bring to the relationship. This one-sided approach leads to a break down in communication and ultimately the end of the relationship..or the prolonging of a miserable one.
If the relationship you are in seems like hard work and the joy has gone, it might be time to look at why you have ended up where you are. It might still be possible to get things back on track and the number one way to do this is to communicate. Put pride aside and work for the good of the relationship – IF you feel there is still enough to preserve and hold on to.
Photo by Hernan Piñera