If you haven't been in a toxic relationship, unfortunately, the odds are that someone close to you has. This doesn't have to be a romantic relationship - friends can be just as toxic and have just as much of a hold on your life.
Sometimes there's a fine line between toxicity and abuse. Their toxicity doesn't necessarily make them a bad person, and I believe people can change - but still, the best thing for you once you recognize toxicity is safely remove yourself from the situation. You might have fun and enjoy this person's company most of the time, but that doesn't cancel out the damage that they might be causing. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize a relationship they're in is toxic. They might feel that something is wrong, but don't realize how much it's damaging them.I'm no expert on this topic - especially when it comes to domestic abuse - but I've been in toxic relationships and have picked out some warning signs that think are important to look out for. If you recognize any of the warning signs below in any of your relationships, you might want to reconsider how that person is affecting your health.
This is often one of the first signs. It might seem normal at first that they answer your phone for you, look over your shoulder while you're texting, or ask for you to send your location so they know you're "safe" when you're out with your friends. However, this is a serious red flag - especially if it happens early into your relationship. Not only is trust an important pillar in the foundation of a relationship but even if you're in a serious romantic relationship you deserve an amount of privacy and autonomy.
A toxic friend or partner might start to make offhand negative comments about other people close to you, make you feel guilty for spending time with others instead of them, or spread lies about your friends/family. These are all tactics that are meant to isolate you and depend on them. Because if you depend on them, you're likely going to stick around.
3. Threatening harm to you or themselves
This is a biggie. It's never, ever okay for someone to threaten harm to themselves or others on the basis of anything you did or want to do. Especially if that thing you want to do is leave them. It doesn't matter if they have a mental illness or a bad family situation or any other excuse. This is never ever okay and even if they don't realize it, this is an extremely manipulative and damaging move.
4. Stealing your confidence
People who are not confident in themselves often rely on others to make them feel good. Therefore, stripping your confidence is another way for a toxic person to keep you around even if you know they're not good for you. You might make excuses by saying they know what's best or they're just trying to "help" by belittling you, but there's a huge difference between insulting someone and being honest with them. If you're close enough to someone who does this to you, you likely value their opinion and will believe them.
5. A cycle of lies, wrongdoings, and apologies
A lot of toxic people run through this cycle over and over again: doing you wrong, apologizing/buying you gifts/promising it will never happen again, then eventually doing that wrong thing again. This is another one that might not intentionally be manipulative but is nonetheless. This sort of emotional roller coaster and continuous breach of trust is not healthy in any kind of relationship.