Skip to main content

How to Spot The Signs of A Toxic Relationship

The line between healthy and unhealthy relationships can be quickly crossed and it may be difficult to identify, even with signs that might seem obvious to others.  

What is a Toxic Relationship? 

Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert defines a toxic relationship as … 

“any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” 

While every relationship goes through its ups and downs, a toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant and extremely draining for the people in it.  

A healthy relationship involves mutual care, respect, and compassion; an interest in our partner’s welfare and growth; and an ability to share control and decision-making. So in short, a healthy relationship involves a shared desire for each other’s happiness.  

If you don’t believe that your relationship shares those characteristics of a healthy relationship, you may be experiencing a toxic one.  Here’s how to recognise the signs of a toxic or abusive relationship: 

What Are The Signs of A Toxic Relationship? 

1. Lack of Support 

Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire of wanting to see the other succeeding in all areas of life. So one of the most significant benefits of being in a relationship is enjoying the support of your partner.  

Your partner should cheer you up when you are down, listen to your problems and provide physical as well as emotional comfort. 

But when things turn toxic, every achievement becomes a competition.  

Healthy relationships allow for growth and support. If your partner is constantly putting you down and not wanting the best for you, then your relationship has turned toxic.  

If this has gone long enough and no change has happened, this situation may make you think you are not worthy of such support and care. 

Do you feel supported?


Read now: How to Heal After an Unexpected Breakup 

2. Hostile Communication 

Hostile communication can cause tension and create further distrust between partners. Instead of kindness and mutual respect, most of your conversations are filled with sarcasm or criticism and fuelled by contempt. 

According to Kamil Lewis, a sex and relationship therapist, forms of hostile communication include

  • Yelling 
  • Name-calling or other hurtful phrases  
  • Throwing and breaking things 
  • Using your body for physical intimidation or force 

And more subtle signs of hostile communication include

  • The silent treatment 
  • Using ‘you-statements’ or blaming statements 
  • Constantly interrupting 
  • Listening to respond instead of listening to hear and understand your partner  

3. They Strip Away Your Self Esteem 

Toxic partners like picking at you, so if you hear criticising statements regularly, that’s a problem. 

Criticising statements you may hear are: 

  • Why are you wearing so much makeup? 
  • I don’t like that dress 
  • I don’t like it like that 
  • I don’t like you wearing anything revealing 
  • I think you should lose weight 

These kinds of comments strip away your self-esteem and can make you feel worthless. After a while, you start to feel bad about yourself and begin to doubt your judgement. 

Do you feel constantly drained? 

4. There’s A Clear Power Imbalance 

Ideally, relationships should be a union between equals. This doesn’t mean that every aspect of a relationship should have the perfect balance of power dynamics but overall, it should balance out.  

A power imbalance in your relationship can cause serious damage. Try asking yourself who has more power in your relationship and if there is too clear-cut of an answer then this suggests a problem.  

5. Controlling Behaviour 

Signs of controlling behaviour include: 

  • Asking to know your location all the time 
  • Becoming annoyed or irritated when you don’t immediately answer texts or text you again and again until you do 
  • Choosing who you hang out with. 

These behaviours might stem from a lack of trust, but they can also suggest a need for control – both of which can contribute to a relationship’s toxicity. 

Read now: How to Spot Signs of Being Gaslit 

6. Dishonesty 

Every lie between partners undercuts a little bit of the relationship. 

Dishonest relationship signs to look out for: 

  • You turn off all message notifications on your phone 
  • You hide receipts 
  • You lie about plans with friends 
  • You’re always a little paranoid 

7. You’re Making Excuses for Their Behaviour 

If you’re always trying to rationalise your partner’s actions – it could be their emotional unavailability, lack of empathy, habit of being obnoxious to your friends, or lack of support – then there’s a problem. 

There’s never an excuse for abusive behaviour. And although change is possible, you can’t make your partner change. They have to choose that route. 

Signs you’re making excuses for their behaviour: 

  • You forgive them without ever receiving an apology 
  • You downplay to others what happened 
  • You avoid certain topics or activities from past experience that can often trigger destructive behaviours.  
Love shouldn’t be your sole reason for staying.


8. You’re Not Practicing Self-Care 

Self-care is vital for every relationship to keep toxicity out. Always remember to remind yourself that you are worthy of love and that you deserve a healthy relationship. 

Help yourself by choosing to practice self-care every day. Here’s how: 

  • Get plenty of rest 
  • Eat nutritious food 
  • Take a hot bath 
  • Practice self-compassion  

If you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else? 

Read now: How to Become More Comfortable in Your Own Skin 

9. Your Friends and Family Are Concerned 

Your friends and family are the closest people to you, they often see things about yourself that you haven’t noticed yet. 

Look out for them saying stuff like: 

What is he talking to you like this? 

Why is he doing that? 

What they’re saying can end up coming across as negative or controlling but remember they’re coming from a protective place and only want the best for you.  

Try asking them a simple question: Why do you feel that way? Maybe their answer will help you see things through a new lens. 

The longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the harder it can be to remove yourself from it. So try and spot the signs as quickly as you can. Everyone is deserving of a loving partner who treats them well, including you!  

For further advice from our professional lifestyle coaches, contact us at Ceed today!    

Why Friendship is Important for Your Mental Health

Friendship is a magical chain that binds and bonds us as humans. 

It’s one of the most important aspects of your mental and social life and influences quite a lot of your life. With the countless advantages of friendships, it isn’t something you should take for granted or lose.  

YouGov reported that in 2019, Millennials were the loneliest generation, with 22% of participants believing that they have no friends. This statistic stands out as showing how important friendship can be for our mental health.

This article will show you the advantages and help that come with the power of friendship. 

Friends can come in many shapes and sizes, but the importance is all the same!



Having friends comes with being able to physically hang out with them and see them in person. This also comes with losing that physical loneliness in your head, as you have always got someone to rely on with your feelings. This then further helps you emotionally, and mentally.  

Venting to your friends also has huge benefits for your mental health. Having someone that listens to your problems will lift your mood significantly and lets you lose this sort of darkness in your head.  

This provides boosts such as: 

  • Reducing Depression 
  • Reducing Stress 
  • Motivation 
  • Reducing Sadness 
  • Improving Happiness 

It’s not only you who gets to have these feelings; your friends will also feel these for themselves, so a great bond between us allows us to feel happy to be with other people. Having other people can allow you to become the best you can be, it can push you and drive you to succeed. 

Read Now: Can you be Content and Happy as an Introvert


Emotionally, knowing you have friends who rely on you, and like you, can divert away feelings of self-hatred and loneliness. If you remember you have always got people to watch your back and be there for you then you will ultimately be at the peak of happiness.  

A friendship is bonded mostly by being emotionally attached, this will make you care more for your friends when things are going well, or bad and expand your support. This can help you assist them when they need help. It feels almost like having friends is the equivalent of having a mechanic fixing your brain.  

Being alone isn’t healthy and can damage you internally in your mind. It is better to have people around that you can rely on. That could be a pet, family member or a stranger on the internet. This will push your mental health to healthier lengths.  

Even if you don’t see your friends physically in person, you can still always talk to them over the phone, on the internet, or facetime and harness the same effects. 


Mental health is very important, and if it gets too unhealthy it can cause serious problems for us that can damage us permanently.  

As you can guess, having friends also has a big advantage to your mentality; although sometimes this can be a bad thing if you are more lenient to “copy” or be influenced by people a lot more. This can cause a really bad effect if your friends aren’t the most “well-behaved”.  

A strong mental fortitude allows you to have a circle of friends that are all different and unique without you ending up becoming more like one or the other. A sense of self-uniqueness is important depending on the friends you have; it allows you to avoid adopting any bad habits that may cause a loop in your mental health. 

This loop can push you down a dark abyss of mental loneliness that can be very difficult to get out of and can pull you away from your friends. 

Read Now: 8 Quick and Small Changes to a Better Life 

Gaining Friends 

You gain friends from just general connection towards each other, maybe you have a lot in common or you just enjoy each other’s company. It can be very daunting to find friends after you have completed education as there aren’t generally a lot of opportunities out there to find them. 

However, there are quite a few places, and scenarios to find them

  • Online 
  • At Work 
  • Pubs 
  • Nightclubs 
  • General Entertainment Venues 

It can be very scary to approach people to become friends but usually, after spending a small amount of time together you end up realising if they are friend quality or not. All you need is a bit of confidence and courage to be able to approach.  


Description automatically generated
You can meet friends anywhere! All you need is courage! 


In conclusion, the importance of friendship is very valuable to your physical, emotional, and mental fortitude. Having friends makes you a much better person. You no longer are alone in a prison of your mind; friends free you from this. 

Hopefully, this article helps you see why your friends are more valuable than you think. They are always there for you and help you in so much more than you think.  

If there is any further help you need regarding friendships and mental health, then feel free to contact us here at Ceed today.  

8 Ways Everyone Can Benefit from Seeing a Therapist

Life throws us curveballs sometimes. Everyone will experience challenging situations at some point in their life and talking it through is a healthy way of navigating through it.  Although talking to friends and family is a great option, if you have the means, a professional can benefit you.  

Studies show that voicing your concerns can have a therapeutic effect on your brain. By verbalising what you’re going through you relieve yourself of the burden. A professional therapist or life coach can help you work through any issues you may be having in your life. 

Below are eight ways everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist. 

Therapy can help you even if you don’t have a mental illness or a major loss to work through. 

1. To process the past 

Events from your past affect who you become when you get older. Events from childhood, past friendships or relationships all shape the person you are today. 

If you’ve experienced trauma or a significant event, going to a therapist can help you work through what you experienced and process your feelings.  

If you have negative feelings about an event or person, a therapist can help you gain perspective. Often, we don’t process big life events as they happen because we simply don’t have the tools to do so. A therapist can give you the tools you need to move past anything you still struggle with. 

Read now: 8 Quick and Small Changes to a Better Life 

2. To help you understand your emotions 

If you often experience mood swings or you just don’t understand how to manage your emotions, therapy can help you with this.  

A therapist will help you explore the emotions that come up with life events and personal relationships.  Therapy can guide you to gain a healthy perspective which can lead you to understanding and managing your emotions. 

What you process in therapy doesn’t have to be a life-altering event or even traumatic. You can bring anything into therapy that you want to work through with you therapist and better understand yourself. 

3. To learn healthy coping mechanisms 

A lot of people come to therapy after having used other unhealthy coping mechanisms. People often turn to substances to help them deal with difficult situations. 

But these aren’t healthy long-term solutions. Therapy can help you deal with these issues and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Self-medicating doesn’t help anybody, and it usually leads to more problems. 

Therapy will help you get to the cause of the problems you’re facing. You’ll learn how to cope and communicate in a productive way. 

4. To help strengthen your relationships 

If you’re having trouble communicating with your spouse or loved one, therapy can help. Relationships can be difficult. When partners don’t feel understood or appreciated, it can cause a big strain. 

Couples therapy can help you communicate better and sort through any issues you may be having. Even if one partner doesn’t like the idea, you can go alone. You’ll find it helpful and it’ll provide you with tools for a better relationship. 

Read now: 5 Ways to Strengthen and Improve Your Relationship 

5. To deal with grief 

Bereavement is one of the hardest things you’ll have to face in your life. Losing a loved one hits you hard and there’s no avoiding it. So if you are experiencing the loss of someone for the first time, it can be especially painful. 

Death has a lasting impact on our lives and we aren’t all equipped to deal with the grief of it. Grief counselling can help you cope with your loss and deal with it in a healthy way. 

Group therapy is just as effective as one-to-one therapy! 

6. To help you solve a problem 

If you’re facing hardship in your life and don’t know where to turn, therapy can help. Going to a therapist can help you come up with a solution. 

A therapist can help you gain new levels of perspective. They can help you look at the issue from many different points of view. Once you’ve got clarity and a new perspective, it can help make the problem easier to solve. 

7. So you won’t feel alone 

One of the most common symptoms of mental health issues is the feeling of being all alone. When you suffer from depression or anxiety, it can make you feel like the loneliest person on earth. 

Talking with a therapist about your feelings can help a lot. Having a professional validate you and tell you that you’re not alone can be very helpful. A therapist may also be able to put you in touch with a support group. This can help you meet people like you who are also struggling and help you feel less alone. 

Read now: How to Manage Your ‘Winter Blues’ 

8. To deal with the future 

Life is a rollercoaster, and this won’t be the first or last time you have difficult stuff to deal with. Things like conflict, loss, and sadness will continue to arise as you go through life. 

It’s natural for these things to bring you down and make you feel upset. But therapy can help you with healthy coping strategies. A therapist will help you healthily cope with these things. Then, you can bring this knowledge with you into the future. 

Therapy Benefits Everyone 

There are so many reasons to go to therapy. You don’t need to be suffering from mental health issues, as therapy benefits everyone. Now more than ever, people are willing to open up about their struggles. The stigma against therapy is fading. So if you’re looking to improve yourself, why not give therapy a try? 

For further advice on how therapy can help you, contact our experts at Ceed today.    

Learn More About Ceed

We’re on a mission to help every individual achieve their potential