The Relationship Spectrum
Relationships can be viewed as a spectrum. They range from healthy, unhealthy to abusive. For some, it is easier to point out these signs than others. We are all guilty of viewing some red flags as green or even might bypass it as yellow. Let’s walk through some topics regarding the differences between a healthy vs unhealthy relationship.
Qualities to look for
Recognize your own needs, they vary for each person. Common traits that most would agree on for a healthy relationship are; mutual respect, trust, honesty, open communication and emotional intimacy. The foundation for each relationship is built on different things, but without those factors things could head south. Being able to trust your partner and know there is a strong level of honesty present will provide you with a consistent level of comfort. Everyone needs to feel as if one can express their thoughts and concerns without judgment or retaliation. Emotional intimacy is shared in many different ways. Feeling connected to your partner, sharing personal things, and receiving personal validation when needed. These are all shared when you have a strong level of trust and when your partner feels like home to you.
Impact of a Negative/Toxic Relationship
Unhealthy relationships can lead to numerous issues for one’s own mental state. It damages one’s self worth and could ultimately lead to anxiety, depression and fear leading into the future. By your views on yourself becoming damaged, you can begin to only see yourself through the eyes of your partner. This kind of behavior also carries into the future. You might lose chances for love or acceptance given the way you were treated in the past. The constant feeling of doubt or second-guessing can consume a person. This could lead to one isolating themselves, shutting out everyone and everything that has nothing to do with the relationship. One could also take up unhealthy coping strategies, such as substance abuse or alcohol consumption. Our physical and mental health can suffer due to unhealthy relationships.
When to Walk Away
The longer one stays in an unhealthy relationship, the harder it might become to leave. Once the red flags start to show, it’s time to evaluate if it would be better to leave or stay. If you feel as if you need to change your behaviors, or hide how you’re feeling, that could be an indicator. If you feel judged, or as if your feelings or opinions are not validated. Another indicator could be if they have a tough time supporting you at your lows and only want to be there for you at your highs. Repeated unhealthy behavior is one of the clearest signs and should show you that nothing will change. Remembering that putting yourself first is not selfish especially when your safety is at risk. You are never alone and tomorrow is a new day.
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