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Centerpointe Research

Toxic Relationships

The Toxic Avenger (musical)

The Toxic Avenger (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you tell if you are in a toxic relationship?  Often you can tell by your guts.  If you have a stress related illness that impairs your ability to function in everyday life at home or work, you might be functioning in a toxic situation.  You stay in this relationship or job because you think you can’t survive without it.  In this economy, I am not necessarily recommending that you quit your job or ask for a divorce and move out of the house.

Are you losing your sense of self-respect?  Do you start questioning your judgment?  Do you feel very insecure?  You have become more concerned about going along with what somebody else wants than with what is right for you.  Are the “warts” on your own nose actually more offensive than those on the other person’s nose?

When you take a break from a relationship and go away from home (for example, go on a retreat) or have a few days off from your job where you can’t work from home, do you find that you can finally relax and you feel like a wet noodle and you can doze off quickly if there is nothing going on around you.  You may feel very free for once.  You also may have the experience of rediscovering who you really are and you realize that you had forgotten this.

Gaslighting in relationships can cause this.  There is pressure, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, to take the gaslighter’s point-of-view and do what the gaslighter wants you to do or if you don’t, to feel guilty about it.


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