As much as we love the people in our lives – friends, siblings, and especially significant others – relationships often go sour. Sometimes they come to an end on their own, and other times we toil on in hopes that order will be somehow be restored.
When important relationships in our lives begins to seem unhealthy, it is difficult to pinpoint the source of the problem, and even harder to communicate it to others. Strong relationships depend on honesty, healthy communication, and mutual respect. Relationships lacking these essential qualities may need to be re-evaluated.
The following behaviors are 10 signs of a bad relationship:
1. YOU RARELY HAVE CONVERSATIONS. If your relationships involve a lot of uncomfortable silence, the lines of communication have closed and neither person can understand what the other is feeling.
2. THEY NEVER TAKE INTEREST IN YOU. Lack of interest suggest that a friend does not recognize your value. Having a respectful relationship means considering one another's needs and feelings.
3. YOU CAN NOT BE YOURSELF. Honesty and comfort are necessary in all relationships, so if continual fear of being judged limits your ability to be honest, it will be difficult to have reciprocal trust.
4. THEY CRITICIZE YOU. If you are always defending yourself for actions that seem reasonable to you, your friend or partner may be devaluing your opinion and wrongly attempting to re-mold you as a person. In most cases, you should not have to change who you are to get along with others.
5. THEY ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY. Lack of trust is a major sign of a bad relationship. An entire relationship depends on your ability to depend upon one another. If a friend's intentions are not good, they are not worth having around.
6. YOU FIGHT OFTEN. Fighting alone is not a sign of a bad relationship, but persistently combative responses to your concerns may indicate a disregard for your opinion. It may also be caused by personal insecurities, so it is important to assess the source of your friend's aggression before ending the relationship.
7. YOU'RE ALWAYS STRESSED OUT. Most relationships are voluntary, so spending time with together should not feel like a chore.
8. YOU'RE ALWAYS COMPETING. A friend should never downplay your achievements, especially while emphasizing their own. What is important to you should be important to your loved ones as well. You should not be competing for attention or achievements. A friend who wishes to win simply to claim victory of you does not have your interests at heart.
9. THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU. Relationships involve two people, so two people should actively GIVE to the relationship. Reciprocity is an important part of being respectful of one another. A friend or partner that considers only their own needs will not be reliable in your time of need.
10. THEY DO NOT RESPECT YOUR OTHER RELATIONSHIPS. You should not have to devote all of your attention to one person, so a good friend will never force you to neglect other beneficial relationships.
While identifying with one or two of these symptoms may mean that your relationship needs a major makeover, if several of these signs are familiar to you, it may be time to cut ties and let go of these relationship burdens.