We have all had to face up to the fact that we were in an unhealthy relationship, but despite going through it, we often ignore the signs that suggest we are in one currently. It goes beyond romances and unhealthy relationships can be with members of your family as well as friends. They are insidious, forcing you to doubt yourself when someone continually fuels a false narrative around you and perhaps your motivations.
So, how can you tell when you’re in the midst of an unhealthy relationship? Here are seven signs.
1. You Are Filled With Resentment
Resentment could be festering long before you even realize it has taken hold in the relationship. It generally stems from something that occurred in the past and despite believing it has been resolved, it hasn’t been. This leaves residual anger, which, over time, turns into resentment. Even if you’re unaware of it now, it’s beneath the surface motivating the words you use and your actions.
2. Animosity Is Everywhere
Animosity is ugly, but it is often subtle enough that we don’t notice it. For example, two people who have always made fun of each other by trading barbs, yet those barbs don’t seem to be in love or affection, there are no kind words mingled in with them – it is straight hate.
The type of behavior that makes everyone else in the room deeply tense and uncomfortable about what they’re witnessing because they’re not sure what is happening. According to Psychology Today, they might not be saying the actual words, but what is clear is that there is animosity at play.
3. A Secret Keeper
Healthy relationships are built on open and honest communication; keeping secrets is a sign of trouble. A secret is hiding something from someone that they rightly deserve to know, secrets are based in deception and hurt everyone. The only thing a secret does is conceal lies and allow them to spiral out of control. Are you keeping secrets?
4. Power Struggle
It’s impossible to enjoy and maximize the potential of a relationship when there’s a power struggle going on. We have all been in this position and many times, we have no idea it’s happening. If you’re constantly trying to best, the other person in the relationship or finding ways to gain the upper hand… it’s not a healthy relationship.
5. Unable To Share
A relationship is built on trust and if you are too afraid to share your emotions and thoughts with someone for fear of how they will react, then there is a distinct lack of trust. A healthy relationship, of any kind, should be a safe place for both parties and if it isn’t… You can’t fix this with a word vomit of every feeling you’ve experienced over the years.
The first step in resolving this issue is discovering where the fear has come from and resolving it. From there, you can learn how to share your feelings in a constructive manner (https://projects.ncsu.edu/ffci/publications/2007/v12-n1-2007-spring/wiley/fa-11-wiley.php).
6. Unresolved Issues
Have you ever started to have an uncomfortable conversation and then dismissed it and shrugged it off? It might seem like a great way to get out of the moment, but the issue is still floating beneath the surface. An unresolved issue is how resentment and animosity are allowed the oxygen to breathe, grow, and fester within relationships.
7. An Unholy Alliance
Who do you associate with? Are you surrounded by good people who are positive and supportive? If this isn’t the case then it’s indicative of deeper problems. For the most part, we all want people to associate us with people who are successful, well adjusted, healthy, happy, and kind. How can you be any of those things if you surround yourself with people who are bitter and filled with regret?
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