Toxic vs Healthy: What to Know and What to Avoid in a Relationship

Relationships are important to most humans as they are one way that we connect with others in our homes, communities, and in the world. Some of these relationships are healthy while others can be toxic. Healthy relationships are balanced, there’s a give-and-take, supportive, and respectful. Toxic relationships are the opposite. There is disrespect, a lack of support, controlling attitudes and behaviors, and they cause stress. Toxic relationships affect you emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and oftentimes physically.

What types of relationships are toxic? All relationships, workplace relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, and family relationships can all be or become toxic. The key is taking stock of the different relationships and determining if they are toxic or healthy.


Toxic vs Healthy Relationships


Balance is the Goal

As mentioned before, a healthy relationship is balanced. This means that there is compromise on both parts. There is no one person that will agree with another 100% of the time. This is normal. As humans, we are unique. We like different things; we dislike different things. So, in a relationship you may have to agree to try new things. These things are only things that you feel comfortable and safe trying. For instance, you may try hiking even though you don’t like exercise. A guy may agree to watch a “chick flick” even though he would prefer one filled with action. In a toxic relationship one person may force another to try something and could even shame or attempt to disgrace someone for not wanting to participate in an activity.


Characteristics of a Toxic Relationship

In a toxic relationship there is little to no mutual support. One party may also expect others to cheer the on, show up to events, and be present emotionally and physically while not reciprocating. Toxic people are selfish and self-centered. It is all about them and what will be beneficial for them. In a healthy relationship all parties are supportive as much as possible. There is no person who can provide everything you need in a relationship, but in a healthy relationship, there is a valiant effort to support you and support you getting help from someone else when needed. This could be a professional, friend, or family member. There would be no jealousy or contempt when you reached to someone else platonically to go to an event, cry on their shoulders, or just vent to a friend.


Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries and there is safety within these relationships. Within a healthy relationship there is no psychological, emotional, or mental manipulation or controlling behavior. Each person in a healthy relationship has a 50% controlling interest. Each party can freely express discontent, issues, problems, and satisfaction, joy, and happiness. There may be times when one person is giving more than the other, but this should not be the norm.


Warning signs:

  • Controlling behavior – if another party is constantly controlling what you watch, who you speak to, where you go, etc., this is a sign of a toxic relationship

  • Lack of support – if the other party always expects support from you, but consistently does not give you their support, this is a sign of a toxic relationship

  • Manipulation – if you are manipulated often, this is a sign of a toxic relationship

If you believe you are in a toxic relationship, understand there is help. You don’t have to navigate this relationship alone. Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, Texas specializes in providing guidance and help to those in varying types of relationships. We have counselors available to help. Please feel free to give us a call and schedule an appointment.


Learn more about the Relationship Therapy services we offer.


Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.


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