Trigger Warning: The following article talks about situations in a toxic relationship and touches upon physical and emotional abuse. Reader discretion is advised. 

A toxic relationship is when loving someone becomes a task. A toxic relationship has the power to break your self-esteem, impact your happiness, and negatively transform the way you see yourself and the world.  

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The following signs might be normalized in our day to day lives but they are also the primary indicators of a toxic relationship:

1. Your partner either finds that there is something wrong with you or makes you believe the same. 

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2. There is a disbalance of power dynamics in your relationship and either one of you has a "holier-than-thou" attitude, with a major superiority complex.  

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3. Little by little you start losing your self esteem and the idea of "who you are" starts fading.

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4. Your partner can be controlling and can gaslight you into believing that you're the problem. 

5. You always prioritize them and their needs even if it is something that is not in your best interest.

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6. You keep waiting for them to realise what they are doing wrong, and stick around hoping that someday they'll change. 

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7. Your partner has a tendency to blame you for everything that goes wrong and never takes responsibility for their own actions. 

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8. You start feeling like you're not good enough for them and a wave of insecurity starts seeping in.

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9. Your partner starts stonewalling. You're always listening to them but they'll do anything to not listen to you by either being unresponsive, or walking away from a conversation when you want to discuss something important. You don't feel heard. 

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10. You often feel worse about everything when you are with them.

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11. It feels like you're the only one who is making an effort to sustain the relationship or make it work. 

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12. You constantly start feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. 

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13. You start noticing that there is a change in your behaviour when you're around your partner. You tend to get conscious and don't feel like yourself. 

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14. You don't have a positive, optimistic feeling about your future, with them or otherwise. 

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15. If your partner loves drama, they tend to go around playing games that hamper your peace of mind. 

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16. They get defensive whenever you want to discuss their problematic behaviour and tend to start blaming other people for their problems. 

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17. You are always making excuses for their bad behaviour and somehow convince yourself that it's just a phase in their life. 

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18. Your relationship is borderline abusive. Physical or emotional. 

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19. You start feeling disrespected by your partner. 

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20. You cannot openly speak your mind because every conversation feels like you're walking on egg-shells.

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21. You start distancing yourself from your friends and family.

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22. Your friends and family seriously start worrying about your well-being. 

23. Your partner doesn't appreciate your gestures enough and often takes you for granted.

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In case you are noticing one or more red flags in your current relationship, please seek professional help. Rember there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help.  

If you, or someone you know, is in a toxic relationship and need someone to talk to, remember that help is just a phone call away. Reach out to the following helplines in India. Shakti Shalini 10920. BMC mental health helpline: 022-24131212 (available 24X7). AASRA: 91-9820466726 (available 24X7).