How personal growth can expose a toxic relationship (2023)

Note: This is a guest post by JoLynn Braley ofthe shaped cabin

Human potential is limitless and if you consciously choose to work on your personal growth, you will not only improve your life, but also benefit the entire world. Everything you do to increase your own awareness contributes to the overall level of awareness.

How personal growth can expose a toxic relationship (1)When you look at your personal growth path in this way, you may not think that your self-improvement can lead to uncovering some unwanted problems in your life, but it can and will for many people.

One of the results of self-improvement is that you start to look at your relationships with new eyes. Either you will come to appreciate the people in your life even more than before because you will see how genuinely they love and support you, or you will wake up to find that you have some people in your life who are not your highest good. . in the head.

(Video) 7 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship

discovering a toxic relationship

Take a common area of ​​personal growth, a place where many begin their journey to improvement: the physical self. It is my firm belief that if you really want to move up the ladder of consciousness, the overall health of your physical being plays a big part in that, so the physical is a great place to start your personal growth process.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at things), starting a weight loss and fitness program can quickly reveal a toxic relationship if you didn't already know you were in one. And while we're talking about building a healthy lifestyle to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit, even people who only focus on losing weight to improve their appearance can discover toxic relationships.

A good example

If you've ever been trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle of junk food and inactivity and started eating whole foods, get outside for 30 minutes every day while your partner (spouse, lover, friend, the term doesn't matter) is awake. Like you, you'll probably start to notice some "feedback." Perhaps they were your food partner, your partner in an inactive, non-nutritive lifestyle, in which case a few things can happen:

  1. They are inspired by your healthy changes and begin to make changes to your own lifestyle. They will express their love and support for you and take steps to support your healthy changes just as you support theirs.
  2. They feel threatened by your changes and criticize your improvements. They will bombard you with negative affirmations that will prevent you from taking your steps, saying that this will not last and that your changes will never last. You'll keep bringing home all your favorite junkeven after you asked them not to.

The number 2 is an example of a toxic relationship. A toxic relationship is not compatible with your highest good in life and is controlling, manipulative and judgmental. A toxic relationship is jealous, threatened, insecure, and abusive.

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Toxic = great negativity

Toxic relationships are negative, exhausting, and abusive, and abusive not necessarily physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I think verbal and emotional abuse can often be even more damaging than physical abuse because you internalize that negativity.and believeYou may continue to "beat yourself up" with the same negative words and thoughts long after the toxic relationship is gone from your life.

It's usually pretty easy to spot that you're involved in a toxic relationship, but if you've been in a relationship for a long time, you may have gotten used to the negativity. If you notice that your partner isn't supportive of your positive changes and you're wondering if you might be involved in an unhealthy, toxic relationship, find one here.easy test you can dodiscover.

don't make this mistake

Sure, miracles can happen and people can change, but only if they want to change for their own reasons. The only person you can change is yourself, and if you don't get the positive support you need in your relationship, you can ask and share how you feel, but in the end, you can't expect your partner to change. . .

Although it is true that many times people do not change (at least not in their schedule), the mistake that some make is to stop their personal growth for fear of losing the toxic relationship, even though they know intellectually that this is not healthy for you. . They may fear being alone or believe that they are too old and unable to change their relationship status. They think they can accept "their lot in life" and persevere, even if they never get positive support from the toxic relationship.

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A toxic relationship will bring you down

The problem is that if you stay in the toxic relationship, it is likely to drag you down. If you think you can take it to a higher level, there's still the simple fact that you can't change anyone but yourself, and if your partner doesn't want to change (which is their right), you can't wait.

I don't think maintaining a negative, sick and toxic relationship is mutually beneficial. However, at the same time, I can't say that putting health (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual) above a relationship is always easy and requires a strong person to do it, but it certainly can be done.

It is also very possible to get out of the toxic relationship with love, and even if your partner is not happy about it, the most important thing you should do is love and respect yourself. If staying in the relationship takes away your integrity with yourself, you are not treating yourself with respect, which will create and attract more negativity into your life.

No victims: another possible outcome

Another thing that can prevent you from following your positive path is the fear of seeing your own contribution to the toxic relationship. We can't blame the other person for everything, as it takes two to be in a toxic relationship. When you wake up and realize you're in a relationship, it can be hard to take responsibility for your part in building the relationship.

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Another thing to consider is that you may find thattuThey are the main source of toxic relationships! Maybe you met a great person and they stayed with you despite being shot down by negativity in the relationship.

While it still takes two if your partner forgives you and you detox the relationship by working on your physical self (impacting your mental, emotional, and spiritual self), you can reshape it back to its original state of health and until he outshone it with help from your partner.

not everything has to be bad

No matter what stage of personal growth you are in, know if your relationships are supportive or toxic, and don't let the fear of losing a relationship keep you from moving forward on your personal growth journey. If it is truly meant to be, your partner will choose to go with you, but if it is not and does not support your positive enhancements, you are not interested in your highest good here on earth.

In the end, just because your personal growth reveals a toxic relationship in your life doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Whether you stay together and "clean up" or separate because you have to do it for your highest good, as long as the place you go to is the most supportive place, life will bring you the good things, the good things always waiting for you to come. allow it. in your life

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jolynn braleyblogs belowthe shaped cabinon how to create a healthy lifestyle to lose weight and get fit. She takes a holistic approach.weight loss and fitnesswhich is the ultimate goalFitness for body, mind and soul,not just weight loss.

This article is part of the August 2008 issue: Relationships

Picture ofDerrick T


How does personal growth affect relationships? ›

Personal growth is not just important before you start a relationship. It's an essential part of all healthy relationships. It will help you gain more confidence within your relationships, and it will also nudge you over the edge of learning the importance of saying “no” to your partner.

How do you grow out of a toxic relationship? ›

These steps can help you turn things around.
  1. Don't dwell on the past. Sure, part of repairing the relationship will likely involve addressing past events. ...
  2. View your partner with compassion. ...
  3. Start therapy. ...
  4. Find support. ...
  5. Practice healthy communication. ...
  6. Be accountable. ...
  7. Heal individually. ...
  8. Hold space for the other's change.

What is personal growth in a relationship? ›

The concept of growing individually in a relationship means that you are getting better in all areas of your life. It means that you are not stagnant as an individual, and it even transcends to the relationship. Hence, you will be open to consciously implementing measures to make your life more valuable and productive.

What triggers a toxic relationship? ›

So, what's the underlying cause of these kinds of relationships? According to Behary, toxic relationships often stir up our deepest fears: "perhaps early trauma, early memories of abandonment or abuse, being made to feel that you're inadequate or unlovable, or being deprived of emotional attention," she says.

Can you have personal growth while in a relationship? ›

If it's a relationship in which you feel secure, staying in it while working on yourself can actually promote personal growth, McCance says. “It is possible to find yourself and to evolve when you're in a committed relationship. In fact, that's how healthy relationships grow,” Masini agrees.

Does personal growth benefit a relationship? ›

Recent studies showed an association between experiences of personal growth on a given day and the passion individuals felt in their relationship. The studies also add to the evidence that growth experiences shared by a couple can strengthen a relationship.

Can a toxic relationship become healthy? ›

Yes, toxic relationships can change. But that comes with a very big if. A toxic relationship can change if and only if both partners are equally committed to overcoming it with lots of open communication, honesty, self-reflection, and possibly professional help, individually and together.

How do you emotionally detach from a toxic person? ›

Tips for detaching from a toxic relationship
  1. Try to avoid sexual contact. Try to stop all sexual contact with the person you're leaving. ...
  2. Try to stay away from alcohol or drugs. ...
  3. Consider joining a support group. ...
  4. Consider asking for help.

Do toxic people know they are toxic? ›

People with toxic traits know they have them

It's natural to assume someone's bad behavior is a conscious choice. But many people with toxic traits don't realize that their behavior impacts others. You may have toxic traits that you don't know about. Some toxic traits, like absolutism, manifest subtly.

What are signs of personal growth? ›

Some signs of personal growth include making positive changes to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It can also involve expanding your knowledge and skills, improving your physical health, and building strong relationships. Though it often has positive outcomes, personal growth can be challenging.

What are the three types of personal growth? ›

5 areas of personal growth
  • Mental growth. Mental growth focuses on the development of your mind, such as the way you think and learn. ...
  • Social growth. Social growth involves improving your communication skills. ...
  • Spiritual growth. ...
  • Emotional growth. ...
  • Physical growth.
Aug 11, 2021

What is the psychology behind toxic relationships? ›

A toxic relationship exists when a person fails to recognize the destructive dynamics they're subconsciously looking to play out with a romantic partner. This not only leads to an imbalance in the relationship, but it often limits an individual's personal growth.

What keeps people in toxic relationships? ›

A lot of people in abusive relationships stay in them because they love their partner and think that things will change. They might also believe their partner's behavior is due to tough times or feel as though they can change their partner if they are a better partner themselves.

What are the four impacts of toxic relationships? ›

Some of the physical side effects of a toxic relationship are disrupted sleep, poor nutrition, digestive issues, muscle tightness, fatigue/feeling constantly worn down, and immunity issues (getting ill more often).

Why is self growth important in relationships? ›

Specifically, people who report more self-expansion in their relationship also report more passionate love, relationship satisfaction and commitment. It's also associated with more physical affection, greater sexual desire, less conflict and couples being happier with their sex life.

How do you show growth in a relationship? ›

Push each other to keeping growing personally
  1. Give up the need to be right. ...
  2. Create shared interests. ...
  3. Give each other space. ...
  4. Focus on the good. ...
  5. Be open to new opportunities. ...
  6. Keep each other accountable to personal growth. ...
  7. Show appreciation for each other's contributions to the relationship. ...
  8. Start planning ahead.
Jan 14, 2022

How do you know if you're growing out of a relationship? ›

Signs That You've Outgrown Your Partner
  1. Your Goals in Life Are Different.
  2. You're Moving in Different Directions.
  3. The Patterns in Your Relationship Aren't Healthy.
  4. The “Bad Days” Are Becoming Bad Cycles.
  5. You've Realized the Relationship is Codependent.
  6. Being Together is Draining.
  7. Don't Ignore Red Flags in a Relationship.
Nov 27, 2019

What are the benefits of personal growth? ›

Regularly working on personal growth can help you strengthen your self-control instincts and make it easier to build new habits. As you work on reaching a specific goal, you become less tempted by your old impulses. You're also able to identify areas of weakness and determine how to overcome them.

What makes relationship grows stronger? ›

Prioritizing quality time together, ensuring your partner feels heard and understood, and practicing small acts of kindness every day can help build a strong bond even when life stressors get in the way.

What happens when you stay in a toxic relationship for too long? ›

In a toxic relationship there will always be fallout: moodiness, anger, unhappiness become the norm; you avoid each other more and more; work and relationships outside the toxic relationship start to suffer.

Can a toxic person change? ›

If you've addressed toxic behavior with the person exhibiting it and they have taken it to heart, it's possible for toxic people to change. “Toxic people can absolutely change,” Kennedy says, “however they must see their part in the problem before they are likely to find the motivation to do so.”

Why are toxic relationships so strong? ›

Toxic relationships make you feel good.

Narcissistic and emotionally unavailable people are good at doing the things to make you feel like they care and love you in limited doses. They typically have a lot of experience in doing enough to make you feel secure and are capable of misleading even the smartest among us.

How do you let go of a toxic person you love? ›

Toxic relationships: 8 ways to move on after a break up
  1. Realise that you deserve healthy love. ...
  2. Accept that the relationship was toxic. ...
  3. Remember who you are. ...
  4. Take practical steps to help you cope. ...
  5. Don't wait for an apology or closure. ...
  6. Embrace forgiveness. ...
  7. Fill the void and surround yourself with positivity.
Nov 13, 2019

Why do people become toxic? ›

People are often toxic because they're not interested in being stable and healthy in relationships. Another sign of a toxic person is no boundaries. If you've been clear with someone time and again about your needs, and they just can't help themselves but to disrespect you, they are toxic.

What happens when you ignore a toxic person? ›

What happens when you ignore a toxic person? Being ignored could cause you to behave in ways you might not normally― things like questioning and second-guessing yourself and others, lashing out, or doubting yourself and situations where you normally don't.

What is the most toxic trait? ›

Controlling. One of the most dangerous traits of a toxic person is controlling behavior. They may try to restrict you from contacting your friends or family, or limit resources like transportation or access to money to restrict your ability to interact with the world around you.

Are toxic people born or made? ›

This doesn't mean you have to interact with them, but people aren't born “toxic” and generally get that way from observing such behavior in the home as a child or experiencing abuse. Setting healthy relationship boundaries with toxic people is essential, although it can be very challenging.

What are things that toxic people say? ›

7 Toxic Phrases People In Relationships Say Without Realizing It
  • “It's not a big deal” or “You'll get over it.”
  • “You're just like your father.”
  • “You always ... ” or “You never ... ”
  • “You're doing it wrong. Why can't you just do it my way?”
  • “I am done.”
  • “You're too sensitive.”
  • Not saying anything.
Dec 2, 2021

What are personal growth examples? ›

16 examples of personal goals
  • Make better use of your time management skills and manage yourself better.
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Put limits on your social media usage.
  • Incorporate more self-care practices into your routine.
  • Become better at public speaking.
  • Learn how to take care of your physical health better.
Jun 28, 2022

What blocks personal growth? ›

Self-Centeredness: Believing that you don't need to improve because there is nothing wrong with you is selfish and hinders personal growth. Lack Of Trust And Skepticism: Blaming others for everything that happens to you results invariably in mistrust and negativity and stops you from evolving.

What are the 4 major areas of growth in a person? ›

The major domains of development are physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional.

Why does personal growth hurt? ›

In the same way that physical growth causes growing pains in childhood, personal development can cause psychological and emotional discomfort in adulthood. The discomfort caused by thinking outside of our usual patterns can create cognitive dissonance when long-held perspectives are challenged.

What triggers personal growth? ›

Successful personal growth requires motivation, the desire to improve, and the willingness to strive to make changes. You also need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, and sometimes, do things that are uncomfortable, but are for your own good. An open mind and the desire to learn and grow are also important.

Why is personal growth uncomfortable? ›

Growth is, by definition, a process of change, and this can be unsettling. When you're faced with something unfamiliar, it can seem frightening. This effect is multiplied when the unfamiliar things are new or newly discovered aspects of yourself. To see ourselves in a different light may be uncomfortable.

What is personal growth in psychology? ›

Personal growth is a process that takes place over the course of your life. As you grow and evolve, you learn to adjust to changes in yourself. Some people never want to change. However, change promotes happiness, mental strength, and emotional resilience. Therefore, gradual change must be part of your life.

What does the Bible say about personal growth? ›

Hebrews 6:10-11

Everything you do in your journey of self-improvement, including serving others in love, matters to God. He wants you to be diligent in meeting others' needs as well as managing your own. God doesn't want you only focusing on yourself but growing in Christlikeness as you give back to others.

Do toxic relationships cause trauma? ›

If you're in a toxic relationship, the trauma can have immediate and lasting effects on your emotional well-being. In some cases, people in these types of relationships develop relationship post-traumatic stress disorder, or relationship PTSD.

Why do people seek out toxic relationships? ›

Often, people who experience complex trauma in their early familial relationships unconsciously try to recreate that dynamic. They might become involved in relationships that mimic the early negative experiences they had with an unavailable or potentially emotional or physically abusive partner.

Are toxic relationships real love? ›

In true love, there's no struggle in embracing the individuality of your partner. In toxic love, there is an obsession with trying to change your partner into someone you'd rather be with instead of loving them for who they are.

Why are toxic relationships the hardest to get over? ›

We are more likely to keep trying to, or hoping we can, 'fix' a toxic relationship if we have low self-esteem and think that the relationship is the best we could ask for, Sarah says. Further, we might find it harder to let someone go if we think it's our fault they aren't around anymore.

What are 5 effects of an unhealthy relationship? ›

Additionally, individuals in negative relationships are more likely to exhibit lowered self-worth and confidence. It also increases self-doubt, helplessness, fear, anxiety, depression, insecurity, paranoia, and decreased motivation and productivity in the workplace.

What are 8 damaging effects of a toxic relationship? ›

8 Damaging Effects of a Toxic Relationship
  • It makes you more guarded. ...
  • It makes you more pessimistic. ...
  • It breeds negativity. ...
  • It emotionally exhausts you. ...
  • It destroys your self-esteem. ...
  • It hinders your personal growth. ...
  • It distorts your idea of a healthy relationship. ...
  • It negatively affects your health.
Jan 26, 2020

What are the stages of a toxic relationship? ›

Toxic relationships generally follow three stages: idealizing, devaluing, and discarding. Learn about each of these stages and the impact it has on you.

Why is personal growth so important? ›

The benefits of personal growth

Learning to better control your emotions and negative thoughts. Overcoming procrastination or laziness. Being open to learning new things and skills – having a 'growth mindset' Finding peace and contentment with things you cannot change.

Why is relationship growth important? ›

Relationships elongate lives.

A study revealed that people who enjoy a healthy relationship with their partner live longer. These relationships can be platonic as well as romantic. There is a correlation between both types of relationships and the type of stress one deals with throughout life.

What are the signs of personal growth? ›

Some signs of personal growth include making positive changes to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It can also involve expanding your knowledge and skills, improving your physical health, and building strong relationships. Though it often has positive outcomes, personal growth can be challenging.

Is personal growth painful? ›

In the same way that physical growth causes growing pains in childhood, personal development can cause psychological and emotional discomfort in adulthood. The discomfort caused by thinking outside of our usual patterns can create cognitive dissonance when long-held perspectives are challenged.

What is an example of personal growth? ›

To help you start thinking about what goals you want to set, here are 16 examples of personal development goals: Make better use of your time management skills and manage yourself better. Stop procrastinating. Put limits on your social media usage.

What are the 5 stages of a growing relationship? ›

The five stages of a relationship are the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, the Decision, and Wholehearted Love. Every single relationship moves through these five stages—though not only once.

What's the most important thing in relationship building? ›


Good communication is one of the most important aspects to having a healthy relationship. When starting a new relationship, it's important to be able to talk about what you both want and expect.


1. Relationship Advice | Exposing Rebound Relationships | Signs of a Toxic Relationship
(Rainie Howard)
2. Change Your Brain: Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman | Rich Roll Podcast
(Rich Roll)
3. Jordan Peterson: How to Leave a Toxic Relationship 💔
4. Full of Regret for Screwing Up Your Relationship? Watch This. (Matthew Hussey)
(Matthew Hussey)
5. Self-Help: What Went Wrong?


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