Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 22 · 3 years ago

11 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Looking back, Jack could see that his relationship with Amanda was over several months ago, perhaps even years. But he was in denial and didn’t want to confront the painful issues that were left unresolved. What was once overlooked, minimized, explained away, or discounted is now an obvious sign of his deteriorating relationship.

At first, she seemed so charming, helpful, generous, innocent, and gentle but then things turned, and an entirely different picture became apparent. Charming converted into controlling, helpful developed into obstructive, generous transformed into manipulative, innocent turned into culpable, and gentle grew into turbulent. He was exhausted and worn out but stayed.

Then hopeful turned to hopeless and he was no longer able to continue in the relationship. The signs that the relationship was toxic are now clearer once Jack left. But how can he prevent this from happening in the future? Here are the 11 signs he missed.

  1. Transfers risk. Amanda asked Jack to assume her risk over a potentially sticky matter. Her job required random drug tests and since she used the prior weekend, she asked Jack to lie about her taking a prescription drug. She was afraid she was going to lose her job and asked him to cover for her. Of course, he could lose his government job for lying about this. But that didn’t matter to Amanda. She demanded that he help using everything from crying, to manipulate, to anger, and finally bribery.
  2. Constant victimization. Amanda told stories of past relationships where she was painted as the victim and her ex’s as the villain. Her constant influx of terrible people was used as a justification for not thriving. At first, Jack believed everything Amanda said. But after a while, Amanda’s ability to cut people out of their lives and continue her victimization wore on him.
  3. Inappropriate anger. Anger is a base emotion and a catch-all for other more intense feelings such as loneliness, fear, guilt, or controlling tendencies. It can come out in inappropriate ways such as aggression (bullying), suppression (silent treatment) or passive-aggressive (biting sarcasm). Amanda’s outbursts were intense, inappropriate, and designed to force Jack into submission. Jack, who hated conflict, would regularly fold just to keep the peace.
  4. Abusive tactics. Several abusive methods surfaced such as twisting the truth, gaslighting, verbal assaults, physical aggression, or guilt-tripping. These are all unhealthy indicators. Amanda would escalate given the right time, motivation, and environment. Any indicator of abuse is a bad sign. Jack was unaware of the abuse signals. His instincts told him something was off, but his logical brain dismissed the feeling and looked no further.
  5. Gossip talks. Amanda shared secrets with Jack about other people despite a clear breach of confidentiality. Unfortunately, how Amanda spoke about others was an indicator of how she would speak about Jack. Jack never dreamed that Amanda would spill his long-kept secret about some childhood abuse, but she did. When he confronted her, she justified her actions saying that he was being too sensitive.
  6. One-way communication. Jack did most of the work maintaining the relationship. Amanda did not reach out as often as Jack did. Whereas, conversations seem to be weighted in Amanda’s direction. Amanda wanted help with her issues but then wasn’t present for Jack. This lopsidedness bothered Jack, but he did little to confront it.
  7. No responsibility. When there was a problem, Amanda refused to apologize and instead blamed things on Jack. Even when she was wrong, Amanda found ways to highlight Jack’s faults to avoid her own responsibility. She also had a lack of empathy for causing harm to Jack but expected empathy from him.
  8. Controlling tendencies. Amanda told Jack what to do and how to do it. Even when Jack followed her lead, she would still find the slightest fault with what he did. Then, Amanda would become angry when things weren’t done the way she insisted. There was little to no understanding of Jack’s differences in temperament, personality or circumstances.
  9. Absolute agreement. There was no allowance for differing opinions for Amanda. Jack had to agree with her 100% of the time even on sensitive topics such as religion or politics. Any deviation was a personal betrayal and could cause Amanda to escalate. Over time, Jack gave up his opinions in favor of hers just to avoid the tension.
  10. Dichotomous expressions. There were only two choices Amanda would give to Jack and both selections tended to be exaggerated extremes. Her choices were presented in black or white versions. There was a right way (usually Amanda’s) and a wrong way. Even when Jack would propose another alternative, Amanda would knock it down.
  11. Addictive behaviors. In the beginning, Amanda appeared to have it all together. But as the relationship continued, her abuse of substances became more apparent. When Jack would address her with his concerns, she would explode. Eventually, he learned not to speak about it.

If all 11 examples are present in a relationship, it is time to leave. Jack did this and he did not regret his decision. This is potentially an unsafe environment where the longer Jack remained, the worse things would become. However, if there are only a couple of items, be mindful watching for any other additions so an early exit might be possible before things worsen.

For more information, visit growwithchristine.com

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...grow with Christine dotcom, forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dot com, forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward Slash Narcissism. Oh this is understanding. Today's narcissist brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today I want to go back and talk about eleven signs of a toxic relationship, and I think this is really important because whenever you're talking about being involved with a narcissist, it tends to get fairly toxic fairly...

...quickly. And I want to give a really good example of this because I see this quite a bit in my counseling and in my practice. People are entering into these relationships they don't even realize how unhealthy and toxic they could be. So this is a really good podcast to listen to. If you are just starting a relationship with somebody, you feel like something is kind of off and you're not quite sure what it is. Find that you're at having increased anxiety or depression at the very start of a relationship, which shouldn't be the case at all. Like, let's double check that you're not involved in a very toxic relationship. So we're to use the example of Jack and Amanda. So so, looking backwards, Jack could see that his relationship with a man it was actually over several months ago, perhaps even years, but he was in massive denial and he didn't really want to confront the painful issues that were left unresolved. What was once overlooked, minimized, explained away or even discounted...

...is now the obvious sign of a very deteriorating relationship. At first, a man is seems so charming. She was helpful, generous, innocent and gentle. But then things turned and an entirely different picture became apparent. Charming converted into controlling, helpful developed into obstructive, generous transformed into manipulative, innocent turned into culpable and gentle grew into turbulent. He was exhausted in or now, but he stayed. Then hopeful actually turned into hopeless and he was no longer able to continue the relationship. The signs that the relationship was toxic are now clearer. Once Jack Left. But how can you prevent this from happening in...

...the future? And how can you prevent this from happening in the future? Here are eleven signs that he, and maybe you as well also missed. Number one, transfers risk. So Amanda asked Jack to assume her risk over a potentially sticky matter. Her job required random drug test and since she had used some drugs the prior weekend, she asked Jack to lie about her taking a prescription drug. She was afraid that she was going to lose her job and asked him to cover for her. Of course, he could lose his own government job for lying about this, but that didn't matter to Amanda. She demanded that he helped, using everything from crying to manipulation to anger and finally bribery to get what she wanted. So we she was transferring her own risk on to him and even though we pushed back, she kept pushing.

That was number one. Number two constant victimization. Amanda told stories of past relationships where she was painted as a victim and her ex was constantly the villain. Her constant influx of terrible people was used as justification for her not thriving, thriving in life. At first Jack believed everything Amanda said, but then after a while, Amanda's ability to cut people out of their lives and continue her own victimization started to wear on him. So she was constantly playing the victim. We call this constant victimization so that she could have excuses for her own poor behavior. That was number two. Number three inappropriate anger. Anger is a base emotion and it's a catchall for more intense feelings such as loneliness, fear, guilt or even controlling tendencies. It can come out in inappropriate...

...ways, such as aggression like bullying, suppression, the silent treatment or passive aggressive, which is biting sarcasm a man is outburst. Were intense, inappropriate and designed to force Jack into submission. Jack, who hated conflict, would regularly fold just to keep the peace. So a man it was throwing inappropriate anger temper tantrums, and that was a sign that this relationship was going to be toxic. The number four sign abusive tactics. Several abusive methods such as twisting the truth, gas lighting, verbal salts, physical aggression or gilt tripping were used. These are all unhealthy. The indicators Amanda would escalate given the right time, motivation and even environment. Any indicator of abuse is a bad...

...sign. Jack was unaware of the abuse signals. His instincts told him that something was off, but his logical brain dismissed the feeling and looked no for further, unfortunately. So this is a sign for you. When your instincts are telling you that something is off, start looking for abuse tactics. Often we have a little internal warning signal that says, Hey, pay attention to this, this isn't right, you're not being treated fairly, this person is taking advantage of you, they're trying to hurt you, warning pain like that's what your internal alarm is saying to you. But then your brain overrides and says no, you're making a big deal out of nothing. No, there's nothing wrong with this, and then you shut it down. That's dangerous. You have to pay attention to those signals. You have to cannot dismiss them and you have to see if this isn't stemming from abusive behavior. That was...

...number four. Number five gossip talking. Amanda would share secrets with Jack about other people, despite a clear breach of confidentiality. Unfortunately, how Amanda spoke about others was also an indicator of how she was going to speak about Jack. Jack never dreamed that Amanda would spill his long kept secret about some childhood abuse, but she did. When he confronted her, she justified her actions saying that he was being too sensitive. This is a massive, huge red flag that you are in a toxic relationship when somebody is gossiping not only about other people but also about you. Number six, one way communication. Jack discovered that he was doing most of the work maintaining the relationship. Amanda did not reach out to Jack as often as Jack was reaching out to her, whereas conversation seemed to be waited in Amanda's direction. It was tirely unfair.

So, even though Jack was doing all of the reaching, now the conversations were all about Amanda. Amanda want to help with her issues, but then when Jack presented his own problems, she wasn't there for him. This lopsidedness by the Jack, but again he didn't confront it. So this one way communication is an indicator that something is off and not quite right. Number seven, no responsibility. When there was a problem, Amanda refused to apologize and in dead would blame things on Jack, even when she was wrong. Amanda found ways to highlight Jack's faults and avoid her own responsibility. She also had a lack of empathy for causing harm to Jack, but expected a ton of empathy from him for even minor offenses, so no responsibility a mana not taking responsible for her own actions was another indicator of this toxicity in the relationship.

Number eight, controlling tendencies. Amanda told Jack What to do in how to do it. Even when Jack followed her lead, she would still find the slightest fault with what he would do. Then Amanda would become angry when things weren't done the way that she insisted they be done. There was little to no understanding of Jack's differences in temperament, personality or even circumstances. So Amanda had controlling tendencies would Jack, demanding that things always be done her way. Number Nine, absolute agreement. There was no allowance for differing opinions for Amanda. Jack had to agree with her one hundred percent of the time, even on sensitive topics such as religion or politics. Any deviation was taken by Amanda as a personal betray and could cause her to even escalate. Over time, Jack gave up his opinions in favor of hers just to avoid the tension.

So Amanda was demanding absolute agreement, which was an indicator that this relationship was not healthy. Number ten, dichotomis expressions. There are only two choices Amanda would give to Jack, and both selections tended to be exaggerated extremes. Her choices were presented in black or white versions. There was a right way, usually Amanda's, and a wrong way. Even when Jack would propose another alternative, Amanda would actually knock it down. So there was only her way or the absolute wrong way. There was no middle ground. That's a dichotomis way of thinking. Number eleven addictive behaviors. In the beginning, Amanda appeared to have it all together, but as the relationship continued, her abuse of substances became more apparent. When Jack would address her with his concerns, she would explode. Eventually he learned not to even speak about it at all. So...

...the last sign of a toxic relationship is addictive behaviors, especially ones for which the person is unwilling to accept, acknowledge or even get help for. So if all of these examples are present in a relationship, is absolutely time for you to leave. Jack did this and he did not regret his decision. This is potentially an unsafe environment where the longer Jack had remained, or the longer you remain, the worst things could become. However, if there's only a couple of these items, you can be mindful watching out for other editions, so in early exit might be possible before things worsen. But just remember to look at these. There are eleven indicators that are relationship is very toxic and when you're starting going through this journey of being involved with, or having been in a relationship with, the narcissist, these early warning indicators of other...

...relationships are key so that you don't repeat the same pattern that got you here in the first place. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hamad, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with christinecom.

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