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Why you're drawn to toxic relationships and how to put a stop it, according to a psychologist

Upset woman at a kitchen table talking to her partner.
A healthy relationship implies that each of the partners feels accepted, free, and fulfilled.
  • A toxic relationship can make you feel sad, anxious, and can impact your self-esteem.
  • Certain traits can make it more likely that you'll end up in these relationships.
  • Silvia Congost, a psychologist and relationships expert, explained how you can stop this happening.

The keys to a healthy relationship are respect, communication, and independence. 

If you find in your relationship that there are feelings of contempt, distrust, or that you don't feel fulfilled, then it may be becoming toxic.

Silvia Congost is a psychologist specializing in emotional dependence, self-esteem, and relationships.

"A toxic relationship is one in which you end up suffering or feeling unhappy, creating symptoms of anxiety and depression and gradually making you lose yourself," Congost told Insider.

It can happen when you suffer emotional or physical abuse, but it can also happen in relationships where you simply have nothing in common.

There are a number of things that indicate you may not be with the right person. 

Congost shared some of the most common symptoms of toxic relationships on her website:

  • You're constantly having doubts about the relationship but thinking you can fix it
  • You're unable to think about life without the other person, even if you dislike many of their personal traits
  • The relationship is continuing out of necessity
  • You lack healthy communication 
  • You're always having the same arguments
  • You're becoming isolated from your friends and your mood is worsening

A healthy relationship implies that each partner feels accepted, free, and fulfilled.

But, if you've noticed any of these symptoms repeating in your relationships, then it may be because you're someone who tends to become emotionally dependent.

You become "addicted" to your partner, and you end up in a toxic relationship.

Reasons why some are more likely to end up in toxic relationships

While it's not actually possible to be "addicted" to a toxic relationship, Congost said that "there can be an inclination." 

For example, this could happen when a child experiences their parents' toxic relationship.

"If our parents had a toxic relationship, and we understand that we have learned from them and have been programmed to look for the same thing, then it's for this reason that we end up recreating this in our own lives, until we become aware of it, learn, and change," Congost said.

This isn't the only reason it can happen.

"Those who have low self-esteem — feelings of insecurity and unworthiness — or those who are going through a difficult time in their lives — a big loss or an unexpected event," can also end up in a toxic relationship, she added.

Congost explained some other traits that can make you more likely to choose harmful relationships.

"A person who tends to deceive themselves, with obvious self-esteem issues, who likes to play the savior, looking for partners with problems, addictions, or disorders," said Congost.

How to avoid ending up in codependent relationships

Simply recognizing the pattern can be the first step in breaking it. Often, it's more than possible to get out of these relationships if you're able to spot the signs.

"It's important not to jump straight into another relationship, and when one ends, stop and analyze what happened," Congost said.

The key then is to understand why you were attracted to these people in the first place and why you don't want to pursue a relationship with them anymore.

"Only then will we be able to identify them and escape before it's too late and we're too involved in the relationship," she added.

If you don't think you're capable of doing this on your own, then it may be a good idea to seek psychological help.

Read the original article on Insider


Why you're drawn to toxic relationships and how to put a stop it, according to a psychologist
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