We may read brilliant self-help books and possess wisdom about relationships, yet many of us still are hindered by toxicity. We are afraid to speak up and confront those who produce toxic vibes, and even more fearful of leaving a romantic relationship, friendship, or job due to toxicity.
Toxicity presents itself in many forms; some of the worst expressions of it come from individuals who appear shiny and nice on the outside. This can be an illusion—things aren’t always as they appear, and neither are people. The five faces of toxic relationships are common personality traits, but they can be hidden behind a successful and superficially kind person.
Hitting Close to Home
Relationship toxicity is something my co-contributor, Kristen Fuller, M.D., experienced firsthand, which resulted in her passion for communicating about the topic. She writes:
“I myself had all the tools to avoid a toxic relationship, but I entered into an emotionally and mentally toxic relationship with someone who seemed like he had everything—a great family, a prestigious education, a successful career, and an apparently kind personality. I quickly realized this was all a facade. I learned how deep toxicity runs and why it is so hard to escape emotional and mental torture when someone looks so ‘perfect’ on the outside.
“As the saying goes, ‘Beauty is only skin deep.’ I learned the importance of recognizing toxic relationships and friendships and how to navigate these types of relationships. I have learned to cut out the bad people in my life and treasure those who bring positivity. In the end, I have become a stronger person in all capacities, even though it took being dragged through what seemed like endless amounts of darkness.” Read more