Gretchen Lawson: I hear you saying that you’re not sure if you’re in a toxic relationship or what a toxic relationship looks like and I want you to know, I think it can be really hard to figure that out, especially when we’re in relationships where we care deeply about people. There are some signs and symptoms that let us know that we’re in a toxic relationship. You can ask yourself questions like, are my thoughts and feelings valued? Is this person that I’m in a relationship with making me feel like I’m valuable, like I’m worthy, like I’m loved? Is this a person who builds me up and encourages me?
Gretchen Lawson: Some of the signs that that’s not happening are bullying, things like using words to force someone to do or think something that’s different than their value system. Another example would be confusing your thoughts or your feelings. If you sit down with a person you’re in a relationship with and you start to talk about how you’re feeling and they talk and convince you that what you’re thinking or feeling is not true or maybe isn’t true, that is a sign that something’s not right.
Gretchen Lawson: You want to be in relationship with someone who values your thoughts and your feelings, who takes your thoughts and your feelings into consideration, who is willing to make changes and maybe even compromises in relationship. It can be really hard to get out of a toxic relationship. It will take support and help from other people. You don’t have to do that alone. It is helpful to talk about the relationship, your thoughts and your feelings, and that at times can be hard, especially if you start to talk about things that are abusive. Sometimes friends and family will immediately say, “You need to get out.” I would encourage you, listen to what your friends and family are saying and seek help.