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  • Katrina Steel

10 Early Warning Signs You're Entering A Toxic Relationship

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

See the signs so you can take action to keep yourself safe from harm.



1: COMMITMENT DRIVEN ~ the abuser falls head over heels resulting in failure to respect your personal, emotional and physical boundaries. Deep bonding is created via romantic fairytale making which establishes false connection which is later used to cloud your judgment, undo your self-trust and self-confidence as this aids the abusers ability to manipulate and control you in the future.

2: DECEITFUL ~ Minor deceit frequently occurs when it is much easier to just tell the truth. The abuser is blatantly deceptive in their portrayal of self as to build a picture which perfects his/her image. They crave attention, praise and reassurance. The superficial abuser lacks empathy for others and experiences limited emotional responses. He/She will either blame their lack of expression on machismo, avoid expressing emotions via shutting down, changing subject or reacting or they may even fake the desired response.


3: MINOR JEALOUSY ~ You may notice he/she is uncomfortable with you talking to other men/women or even when you engage in activities without them but this is the tip of the iceberg for an abuser. It will increase as the relationship progresses. Jealousy is the only naturally occurring emotion that can cause Psychosis, which is the inability to tell what is really happening to what is happening in your head. When the jealousy behavior is questioned, the abuser will claim it is a direct result of their genuine love and concern for you. Excessive jealousy is not a sign of love, rather it stems from his/her insecurities that suggest they must control or possess you in order to keep you.


4: VICTIMIZED ~ Has he/she experienced abuse or neglect in his childhood? He/She uses  history of abuse as an excuse for their poor attitude or for feeling a general sense of resentment and entitlement.

      ENTITLEMENT – Individuals with a sense of entitlement believe they should receive special treatment or consideration not afforded to other (including you). They have an unjust sense of superiority and assume that their wants and needs are more important than others. Believing that everyone ‘owes’ them, they often feel offended and/or disappointed. The entitled person will regard his/her feelings and desires as more important than yours. If you agree, you’ll get depressed. If you disagree you’ll get abused.

RESENTMENT – Individuals who feel like they have been or are currently being unfairly treated are typically resentful of others. He/She will contend that no one has helped them, or understood their needs, or taken their issues into consideration nor have they been bestowed with the appropriate levels of praise, recognition or affection. Abuser tend to feel that they are not in control of their lives, are incapable of rising above the maltreatment and blame their past mistreatment for all their failures and incompetence. Abusers are so focused on themselves that they are incapable of considering others’ needs. In a relationship with a resentful individual, you will spend considerable time reassuring, praising and accommodating you partner, and in return your partner will surely be insensitive to your needs, feelings or rights and you will feel insignificant.


5: LACKING CUPLABILITY ~ ‘Blaming others’ is a red flag! Individuals who fail to take responsibility for their emotions, behaviours or life outcomes should be avoided at all costs. Abusers tend to label themselves as victims and blame past abuses for their current inappropriate acts or behaviours. There are two types of blamers ~ those that shift responsibility for their problems and those who blame others for their emotional reactions.

        BLAME OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS – The abuser appears to be constantly under attack, punished unjustly, prevented from success and repeatedly victimized. Never taking responsibility for their problems as they insistent it is someone else’s fault. As the relationship progresses, they will eventually blame you as well for all of his/her mistakes, shortcomings and failures, although these will claims are without merit.

        BLAMES OTHERS FOR EMOTIONS ~ He/She seems defensive all the time and reactive to perceived maltreatment. Clearly depressed or angry the abuser will claim he/she was fine until someone treated them unfairly by others words, attitudes or behaviours. As the relationship progresses, communication will decrease as you become increasingly fearful of saying or doing things that will set them off. You will spend considerable amounts of time trying to make him/her happy. The abuser will claim that you alone are responsible for maintaining his/her emotional well-being and will blame you when he/she feels angry or depressed.


6: SUPERIORITY ~ The abuser has an attitude of self-righteousness and truly believes he/she is better than everyone else. They need to point out way in which they are smarter, more sensitive, more talented. Predatory, hierarchical self-esteem is where the abuser intentionally attacks others’ self-esteem, seeking to make others feel bad about themselves as a means to increase their self-esteem. The abuser maintains very rigid, stereotypical roles. He/She feels you are inferior. He/She will argue your ideals, insist you assume traditional roles, and use guilt to get you to agree to their point of view.


7: LONER ~ The abuser values solitary and is uncomfortable around others. The abuser’s insistence to hang out alone only serves one purpose, to isolate you from the outside world. The individual will either outright refuse or offer excuses as to why he/she cannot meet with your family or friends but similarly will not introduce to his/her friends either. The double life. He/She may question your motives for wanting to hang out with friends or suggest that those closest to you are immoral and potentially toxic to your relationship. He/She will rebut all efforts to engage in social interaction. WARNING His/Her fantasy would completely isolate you from the outside world, strip you from resources and place you squarely under his control.


8: PETTINESS- OR- HYPERSENSITIVITY ~ Abusers often have low self-esteem thus they are easily upset or insulted. They tend to make big deals out of nothing, focus on insignificant details or comments and assume that any difference of opinion is a direct personal attack on him/her. Abusers are highly impatient, excessively critical of others and lack the ability to forgive others. They often claim that you have ‘hurt’ them. While his/her petty attitude and outrageous emotional responses seem unfounded, you eventually feel devalued and question your sensibilities. You will often find yourself apologising for things you have said or done that he/she has misinterpreted or blown out of proportion.


9: CONTEMPTEUOS ~ His/Her comments are filled with sarcasm and condescending undertones. When he/she’s not poking fun at others, his/her direct conversation will likely be condescending, cruel or rude in nature. Listen to the way he/she talks about his/her ex, does he/she become angry, call them names, use insulting descriptions in an effort to blame them for their demise. Presently these comments are directed at others, but as the relationship progresses, the attacks will shift onto you.


10: AGRESSIVENESS ~ Aggressive individuals allow their behaviours to manifest over time. Acts of aggression, verbal assaults are a red flag. Aggressive individuals often have little patience; can be triggered into rages for minor frustrations. They have a tendency to throw and smash things that irritate them, slam doors in frustration and display road rage. Aggressive behaviour is present in the smallest of things. Minor frustrations cause escalated reactions. 

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