I have become more aware of toxic vs abusive behavior in relationships in my own behavior and the behavior of others I am in relationship with. Why do I center on this?
I center on this because I am of the preference that suffering is a morally inferior state of being and pain does NOT build character. Suffering and pain in relationships are not, in my experience, needed on a long term basis to gain greater awareness. There is a point in relationship with toxic and abusive humans where there is a point of diminishing returns. At some point in a toxic or abusive relationship, one must admit to learning, to some lesson and then move on from it. Suffering is not the rule. What are the differences between a toxic and abusive relationship?
Signs of Toxicity:
1. You walk on eggshells.
2. You can’t speak freely.
3. It’s always about them.
4. You abandon your values.
5. You feel drained and depressed.
6. You play the role of parent or therapist.
7. You are made fun of.
8. You are taken advantage of.
9. You are always agreeing with them.
10. There is constant drama.
11. You feel you have to play a strict role.
12. They are jealous of your success.
13. They bring out the worst in you.
14. They are regressing instead of progressing.
15. They give you no support.
16. They are unreliable.
17. Deception, suspicion and paranoia are their rule.
18. They are self-absorbed.
19. They show contempt (anger).
20. They disrespect boundaries.
22. Non-stop obstacles.
23. Feeling unworthy.
24. Keeping count of wrongdoings.
25. Lack of self-Responsibility.
26. Justifying bad behavior.
27. Unequal division of labor.
Abuse is intentionally inflicted whereas toxicity is the byproduct of bad behavior.
In a toxic relationship there is hope that the toxic person can and will mature and/or seek therapy. An abusive person is often just a malicious person whose wound is beyond your helping them to repair it. We see abusiveness in narcissists and sociopaths. If you are with a psychopath....run.