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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.  


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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.  

5 Ways to Strengthen and Improve Your Relationship

Whether you have been dating your partner for six months or married for five years, relationships are based on commitment, mutual respect and diligence.  To say that your connection should be special is an understatement, and it would be a shame not to enrich it as much as you can.

All relationships go through phases. There will be good times and bad times. When you realize that your relationship is in trouble, try not to let it get you down. Great relationships don’t just happen; they take time and energy to find the right balance.

Although every relationship is different, there are some things you can do to ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

1. Set Targets Together 

We tend to do better as individuals when we have goals to achieve, and this also applies to relationships.  After children leave home and you spend multiple years together, your common goals may no longer seem clear.  

If you want to achieve both of your individual targets, you need to work together as a team. Communicating your goals to one another can help both new relationships and ones much further down the line. By communicating, you open the door to collaboration – you don’t have to work at your goals independently of one another.

Whether it’s going for promotions or achieving a healthier lifestyle, the love and support of your partner can help you get one step closer to your target. That’s not just through practical actions, but through passive encouragement.

Knowing each others goals and targets also helps you to see where you and your partner’s plans may align and could even open the door to mutual success.

2. Show Your Appreciation 

Being kind and compassionate to your partner should be a daily habit. Expressing loving thoughts can nourish the relationship by helping you and your partner remember what it is you treasure about each other. 

Some people need to be told “I love you” several times every day. Others need to have at least 20 minutes of one-on-one time each day. Sometimes a hug is enough for others. Learn to understand your partner’s love language and be generous with praise and affection. Letting your partner know that you’re grateful for their presence can help reduce some of the emotional load on the relationship.

3. Know That Disappointment Can Happen in Any Relationship 

When our expectations don’t match reality, disappointment occurs. There will always be differences in the expectations of two people. This means that disappointment can occur to some extent in all relationships. 

We tend to focus on the negative side, and then we use this “evidence” to reinforce the belief that our relationships are full of disappointment. Rather, it’s better to accept the occurrence of disappointment.  

Whether it is an aspect of your partner that you find difficult to understand or the two of you will never take a salsa class together, once you accept it, you will stop feeling bad about it. 

You can’t control everything, and sometimes we hurt the people we love, but it’s important to know that this happens to everyone. Overcoming these difficulties can help you feel better. 

Choose to focus on the part that meets your expectations and even brings you unexpected blessings. 

4. Learn to forgive  

When we disappoint and hurt each other emotionally, it’s often not because we want to. Clashes and arguments can happen in any relationship and it’s important to take time to reflect on how this affects your relationship. Your partner may do things, unintentionally, that strike a chord or hurt your feelings – try to understand why this happened. It’s important to know if it was accidental or deliberate – this can tell you a lot about a person.

If their intentions were good, and upsetting you was an accidental consequence of their actions, learning to forgive is extremely important. You can’t always stay hung up on every issue in your relationship. That being said, more serious issues require more considered thought. You shouldn’t stay in a relationship where you’re consistently upset or hurt by your partner.

Approach your issues with a measured head. In certain situations, forgiveness means promising to leave the wounds of the past behind to allow for new possibilities in the future.

5. Learn to Discuss and Let Go of the Past 

Many times, disputes in relationships are simply due to poor communication. If we listen and share more clearly, it can be easily resolved.  Also, when you talk about a problem, always try to find a solution. Bringing up old arguments without resolving them can create added complications, so you have to deal with these issues and put them to rest. 

If you continue to think about the past, this could be a sign that you’re not happy or prepared for the emotional toll of the relationship. In these circumstances, you should step back and think about it. What’s the root cause of the issue? Is it rational or a consequence of emotional baggage?

Remember, finding a solution can sometimes mean realizing that you both look at the problem differently and that you should respect the opinions of each other.

By focusing on the reasons for this recurring feeling, you will find clarity within yourself and what you want from your relationship with your partner.

To Conclude

Strong relationships don’t just happen. To build a thriving relationship with your partner, you have to put time and effort into it.  

Use these 5 tips above to start reinforcing your relationship immediately. After all, healthy relationships are an important part of living a good life. 

If you’re looking to strengthen your relationship, Ceed is here to help you! Speak to one of our life coaches to find out more. 

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