8 Toxic Behaviors to Avoid in Relationships (And How to Overcome Them)

September 21, 2023

Relationships can be complicated. It's easy to fall into unhealthy patterns without realizing it. Here are 8 common toxic behaviors to avoid in your relationships, plus tips on how to overcome them.

1. People-Pleasing

Always saying "yes" and going out of your way to make your partner happy might seem selfless. But people-pleasing often stems from low self-esteem and fear of rejection. It can breed resentment and prevent you from expressing your true needs.

Overcome it: Build your confidence and learn to set boundaries. Don't be afraid to say "no" if something makes you uncomfortable. Practice expressing your needs kindly but firmly. Remind yourself that your feelings matter too.

2. Jealousy

It's natural to feel a little jealous in relationships. But chronic jealousy indicates a lack of trust and can be very destructive. Snooping, accusing, and trying to control your partner's behavior will only push them away.

Overcome it: Work on your self-esteem and figure out the root of your jealousy. Try to catch jealous thoughts early and challenge them rationally. Don't interrogate or blame your partner for your feelings. Focus on building trust and communication.

3. Stonewalling

Withdrawing affection or giving your partner the silent treatment during conflicts is unfair and prevents issues from being resolved. It may be a traumatic response for some, but is still toxic.

Overcome it: If you need space, calmly explain that and promise to revisit the issue later. Don't use silence as punishment. Work on feeling safe enough to engage, even when you're upset. Consider counseling for trauma recovery.

4. Scorekeeping

Keeping tabs on who does what in the relationship breeds resentment. Quoting past mistakes and demanding tit-for-tat reciprocity shows immaturity.

Overcome it: Let go of keeping score. Don't do things just to get something back. Appreciate your partner's contributions without tallying them against your own. Focus on what you can each give freely.

5. Manipulation

Trying to control your partner through guilt trips, threats, or emotional blackmail is extremely toxic. Real love doesn't require manipulation.

Overcome it: Check your intentions. Accept your partner's needs, feelings and boundaries. Work on your communication skills and get counseling to uncover roots of controlling behavior.

6. Blaming

Playing the victim and blaming your partner for everything creates an "us vs. them" dynamic. It often disguises a refusal to take responsibility.

Overcome it: Look inward when problems arise and examine your own role honestly. Apologize for your contributions without defensiveness. Separate yourself from the problem and work together on solutions.

7. Anger Issues

Frequent outbursts, breaking things, threatening violence and other aggressive behaviors terrorize your partner. Anger problems often stem from past trauma.

Overcome it: Consider counseling, anger management classes, medication, or lifestyle changes to keep your temper under control. Remove yourself from heated situations. Learn calming techniques and communicate needs assertively, not aggressively.

8. Dishonesty

Lying destroys trust, the foundation of healthy relationships. Tell the truth even when it's hard.

Overcome it: Reflect on what motivates your lies. Work on self-acceptance. Come clean and apologize for past dishonesty. Rebuild trust by proving yourself trustworthy.

The first step in overcoming toxic behaviors is self-awareness. Consider how your actions affect your partner. Strive to treat them with the patience, kindness and respect you want for yourself. Focus on creating a healthy relationship based on openness, compassion and mutual growth.

Source: Reddit

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