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Signs of A Toxic Relationship

Sahajiya Halder

4 min read

The loving connections that are supposed to build us up can often take a toxic turn without our notice. It is important to identify if your relationship with a loved one is unhealthy.

Britney Spears’s recent testimony on her experience under conservatorship sheds light on the pop legend’s harrowing 13-year long ordeal and has sparked conversations about mental health, autonomy, and abuse carried out in the name of concern from loved ones.

Human beings are social creatures by nature. Our lives are built on our relationships with people all around us—be it family, friends, or a romantic partner. While we might need these connections to sustain us, often, such relationships can become detrimental to our emotional well-being. Red flags can go unnoticed when they happen in a close personal relationship, and that fosters a pattern of toxicity hard to break out of.

Speaking about toxic relationships primarily brings a spousal dynamic to our minds, as, for many people, a romantic partner is the closest relationship. Negativity in a romantic context is abetted in large part by romanticisation of toxic traits in popular media depiction of ideal couples, which paints harmful tropes as desirable. This can condition people to accept damaging behaviour from a young age.

Unhealthy associations can, however, exist with any close individual in someone’s life, including family members and friends. Spears’s conservatorship battle is a prime instance of that, the abuse perpetuated by her own father and her management.
Mental health is not the only thing that suffers from such relationships. Research shows that negative relationships can seriously affect physical health as well. The Whitehall II study which began in 1985 and occurred over 12 years with more than 10,000 participants, showed that people with negative personal relationships have a higher risk of poor heart health, and even cardiac fatality. It is, therefore, crucial to identify if any relationship in your life falls into this category.

Related Story: Your friends have an important role in your mental healing

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