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Toxic Relationships

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

Toxic Relationships
Relationships. We all would like to be in a relationship, whether it be
just a regular friendship between male to female, male to male, or female to
female or a romantic relationship in the same fashion; we would all like to be
in relationship of some shape or form. There are various types of
relationships: family relationships, friend relationships, romantic relationships
and casual relationships2 as with any of these relationships, any of them
have the ability to become toxic, some of them more than others, but
nonetheless they can become toxic. Websters Dictionary defines a
relationship as the way in which two or more peopledeal with each other
as well as being defined as the way in which two or more people or things
are connected.1
A toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the
part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically
damaging to their partner.3 While a healthy relationship gives into ones selfesteem and emotional energy, a toxic relationship does the exact opposite
and destroys self-esteem and siphons away energy. A healthy relationship
means that there is an equal balance of caring, sharing, compassion and
respect between ourselves and our significant other. A healthy relationship is
a safe place, meaning, it is a relationship where we can be ourselves
without fear, a relationship where we feel comfortable and secure. A toxic

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

relationship, on the other hand, is not a safe place. A toxic relationship is

characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, control. We risk
our very well-being by staying in such a relationship which is why it hurts one
or both of the people.

When it comes to toxic relationships, according to Troy Carters article

posted in Health Scope Magazine there are different types of toxic people in
toxic relationships and they all differ from each other, the more common
types of toxic people are: 1) the deprecator-belittler, who will always try to
make it seem like they are kidding when theyre giving you crap, but, you
know theyre not kidding.3 2) The guilt-inducer, who, if you dont do what
they want, will immediately present put a guilt cloud over your head and let
it rain on you until youve done what they want, usually, they remove the
guilt once youve begun compiling.3 3) The Over-Reactor/Deflector, when you
come to this person with your problems, they in turn ignore yours and talk
about theirs, and make you feel bad about bringing up your problems.3 4)
The user, while, an individual who is a user may come off as nice, pleasant
and courteous in the beginning of the relationship and they are, as long as
you keep giving them everything they want, however, a user is pretty much
an energy siphon, occasionally, a user will do some small task for you,
something that doesnt cost them much, beware, theyve given you an
obligation not a gift.3 Last, but, not least 5) The Possessive Toxic Controller,

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

this is the most extreme toxic individual, they are the ones that are watching
your every move, checking your phone behind your back, keeping you close
when you go out, they are paranoid.3
All of the aforementioned are a few common types of toxic individuals
that we should avoid, but, we usually would not know the type until we are
deeper into the relationship so it is extremely hard to avoid, that which we
do not know. Next, we go in to why we stay in a toxic relationship.
Obviously, the big question is, why do people stay in toxic
relationships? Knowing that they have nothing to gain from them or that they
are going to continue to be hurt. According to an article written by Sherrie
Carter in High Octane Women, there are many reasons why people stay in
unhealthy or toxic relationships, but the most common one is underlying
low self-esteem that makes some people believe that they dont deserve
anything better.4 We may also label those who hang around in a toxic
relationship as co-dependent.3 , another reason why people stay in or are
afraid of leaving a toxic relationship because they may say Will I ever find
love again? or Im going to be alone forever and they instill fear into their
own minds. Fear is a trait that every human has, whether they want to admit
it or not. We as humans are all afraid of something. With that being said, the
next logical course of action is getting out of the toxic relationship.

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

Getting out of a toxic relationship is extremely crucial in the long run.

Not only is a toxic relationship a huge energy siphon, but being involved in
one for too long can destroy you inside as a person. The steps to getting out
of a toxic relationship are easier said than done, but they most definitely can
be done if an individual who is under the forces of a toxic
relationship/individual has the proper assistance and guidance. There are
various steps involved, but, the first and foremost step is: step out of denial 5,
2) keep a log of emotions5 3) identify perks (if any) to the relationship 5 4) fill
the hole, find another source of peace instead of the individual that was
holding you hostage.5 5) Surround yourself with positive friends, family or
people.5 These are just some of the few steps that can be taken to get out of
a toxic relationship, and it is better if one who is following these steps, sticks
with these steps to insure that they follow through.
The question now remains, how does one or both of the people
involved in a toxic relationship get hurt? Depending on the type of toxic
individual that was involved in the toxic relationship, for example, in a
relationship that involves a user, there may be one person who is giving,
paying for, buying things for the User, and not getting anything in return,
and for a while that may be okay, but, ten months in the future, that may not
be the same case, because now we have a User who is getting everything
they want, and another individual who is out money, energy, and time for
giving into the User. The User may in this case give the individual a little
gift but as from what has been said about Users, it was an obligation and

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

not a gift, they might do this in hopes to keep the person who is giving,
buying, paying for around to keep doing it. While that example highlights the
person who has been giving, and not the User, if the person giving decides to
leave and the two individuals were really good friends, not only has it
damaged a really good friendship, but, the User may in the long run realize
that they have messed up, and theyve lost a good friend and ruined a good
This example of a toxic relationship hurt the person who was giving,
because they were being drained mentally, and emotionally, but it also could
in theory hurt the other person by opening their eyes to what they have
destroyed, and if for instance, the two were childhood friends, the User may
realize hes destroyed that bond thats been there for many years.

In conclusion, a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by

behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not
infrequently, physically damaging to their partner. A toxic relationship is not
a safe place whereas a healthy one is. There are many different types of
toxic individuals in relationships of such as: the deprecator-belittler, who will
do everything he/she can to make you feel like crap and say that they are
just kidding, The guilt-inducer, who makes you feel bad when you dont do

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

something that he/she wants; The Over-Reactor/Deflector, who instead of

helping you with your problems, makes you feel bad for bringing them up;
The user, who takes and doesnt give anything in return; and The Possessive
Toxic Controller, the most extreme of toxic individuals, is the one who is
paranoid about everything in the entire relationship. People usually stay in a
toxic relationship due to low self-esteem or because they have instilled fear into
their minds by making themselves believe that there is nothing else beyond this
toxic relationship. Penultimate, there are many steps involved in getting out of toxic
relationship, and it is best if it happens with help and guidance from trusted friends,
family or other trusted individuals. Finally, the reasons that it can hurt both people
in a relationship is because they both could be wanting something, depending on
the type of toxic individual is present in the relationship, for example, the user
example, we have one person who is giving and the other person taking and not
giving, thus, draining the other person in the long run and leaving them with
nothing but a shell. In the end we have to say to ourselves, choose your happiness
over everything.

Jay Koontz
Interpersonal Communications
Toxic Relationships

Works Cited
1. "Relationship." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Web. 28 Nov. 2014.
2. Ransohoff, Julia, Nancy Brown, PhD, and Christina Jeffery. "Types of Relationships."
For Teens. Palo Alto Medical Foundation, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.
3. Cory, Thomas L., PhD. "Toxic Relationships." Health Scope RSS2. Health Scope
Magazine, Web. 28 Nov. 2014.
4. Carter, Sherrie. "The Hidden Health Hazards of Toxic Relationships." Psychology Today:
Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist. High Octane Women, 11 Aug. 2011. Web.
28 Nov. 2014.
5. Borchard, Therese. "You Deplete Me: 10 Steps to End a Toxic Relationship." You Deplete

Me. Psych Central, 15 Mar. 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.