People sometimes refer to a romantic relationship as being “toxic”. However, family and work relationships can be abusive as well. Dealing with a malicious person every day can be difficult. It can affect your work performance and ability to concentrate. It can even affect your overall ability to relax and enjoy life.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship is harmful on some level to a person’s well-being. It can be physical, mental, or emotional harm. In a toxic relationship, one or more people are abusive in some way. Most people perceive abuse as physical. However, mental and emotional abuse can be damaging to the way people feel about themselves. They can cause depression, anxiety and severe cases can even lead to suicide.
The abusive person may be addicted to alcohol or drugs. In many cases, the abuse takes place when the person is drunk or high. However, this is not always the case. Not all abusive people use such substances. Signs of physical abuse may include bruises, cuts, and repeated trips to the doctor or hospital. An abused person may explain away the behavior as their clumsiness. They may become withdrawn and depressed. Abused individuals may also turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Mental and Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse. Classic signs of psychological abuse include name-calling, insults, and sarcasm. Emotionally abusive people may embarrass you in public, demean your achievements, and make you feel beneath them. They speak at people rather than to them, bark orders, and may have outbursts of anger. They will put you down at every opportunity while putting themselves on a pedestal. Emotionally abusive people may have control issues. They might call or text numerous times a day to check on the whereabouts of their partner, friend, or relative. The abuser will try to isolate the person of their focus, keeping them away from friends or family members. They may get jealous or angry when your attention is on someone else other than them.
If you are in an abusive relationship, the healthiest course of action is to leave. However, this is not always easy, especially if you lack funds. You may also lack an emotional support group of people on which to depend. If you are in danger, contact the authorities and leave. If you can’t stay with friends or relatives, seek help from a homeless shelter or church. Many homeless shelters offer programs to help with jobs, housing, child care, and other options.
People who are in emotionally abusive situations may not be in danger of physical harm. However, they should try to put as much distance as they can between themselves and the abuser. If the abuser is a spouse or partner, they might want to consider ending the relationship. If it is a boss, perhaps looking for another job would be an option. If the emotional abuse comes from a family member, consider breaking ties with that relative. If they live in your household, ask them to leave. If you are living in their home, find another place to live.
Recognize Your Value
Once you have extricated yourself from the abusive relationship, stay out. Abusers may apologize, cry, and give you gifts to try and get you to come back. Although the apology may be genuine, they often go back to their abusive ways once you return. If you return, only do so on the condition that the abuser receives professional treatment. Recognize your value, and don’t let anyone take that away from you. If you need to talk to an attorney, give us a call today.