How to Spot Signs of a Toxic Relationship

5 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

5 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

While in my Master’s of Social Work program, I interned in a residential treatment center for adolescents and teenagers in foster care. I ran regular workshops and groups for the kids in our care highlighting life skills, social skills, and coping skills. One of the groups focused on healthy relationships. We talked about what makes a healthy and an unhealthy relationship, both friendships and romantic relationships, and the importance of boundaries. I taught them about personal space and safe touch, and ways to advocate for themselves in situations where they may be in a toxic relationship. Here are five of the things I regularly saw these teenagers identify as warning signs of an unhealthy relationship:

1. Ridicule/Embarrassment

If your friend/partner regularly calls you names, embarrasses you in public, or ridicules you for the things you do or like, this is a definite sign of a toxic relationship. When someone actively bullies you in this way, they do not care for you the way a good friend or significant other should.

2. Double Standards

For example, your boyfriend doesn’t like when you go out with your girlfriends and convinces you to stay home most nights. However, every Thursday night is Bowling Night with his friends and you’re expected to stay home while he goes out, gets drunk, and comes home late. This is a red flag and should be shut down.


3. Overly Critical

Does your partner make you feel as if you can’t do anything right? Do they constantly put you down - your hair, clothes, taste in music, etc.? Do they critique how you do things? These are signs that your partner is overly critical of you in order to make themselves look or feel better.

4. Blame

There are so many psychological studies focused on blame and how this is detrimental to relationships. If you are with your partner and can only seem to argue and blame each other for everything going wrong, this is a sign that it will not end well. You will probably both feel emotionally drained from the constant guilt trips and fights.

5. Unfair Fights

This one goes along with a lot of the ones above. Every couple fights sometimes, and that is okay. When your partner does not allow for a fair fight and always goes back to blaming and defensiveness that is a bad sign for a downward spiral in the relationship.

More Articles

What to Wear for Graduation
What to Wear for Graduation
By Daniela Gomez in Style, Student Life
Can't decide what to wear for graduation? We've got five tips to help you narrow it down.
Read Article
Job and Internship Tips from the Founder of College Recruiter, Steven Rothberg
Steven Rothberg, Founder of College Recruiter, Shares His Best Career Advice for College Students
By Racheal Rickman in Career, Student Life
We spoke to Rothberg to learn more about how he started College Recruiter after college, plus his best job and internship tips for college students and grads.
Read Article
How to Give Resignation at Work: Things to Do Before You Quit
How to Give Resignation at Work: 8 Things to Do Before You Quit
By Mariah Ramann in Academics
Wondering how to give your resignation at work, and what steps to take before you quit? Check out our best tips for quitting your job - and leaving on good terms - here.
Read Article