The foundation for increased tolerance of toxic behavior is usually laid in childhood. If a person has had experience with unhealthy relationship patterns at an early age, it is usually difficult for them to recognize the boundaries between healthy and unhealthy behavior in their counterparts as an adult. You quickly slip into toxic relationships, shift your own principles and begin to justify or even excuse your partner's harmful behavior.
Psychotherapist Kaytee Gillis was able to identify six typical behavioral patterns in her work, showing how victims of toxic behavior often justify this behavior to those around them. Especially in relationships and when deep feelings are involved, people tend to be more forgiving and forgiving. But depending on the severity and frequency, pushing your boundaries can have psychological consequences for you. Because extremely toxic partners, such as narcissists, know no boundaries and will take from the other person until there is hardly anything left, but will almost never give.
Intellectualize "He or she had a hard day", "He or she is behaving this way because something bad happened as a child", "It's just a phase": sentences like these empathize with the toxic partner's behavior. Through an excessive form of compassion and a kind of hobby psychology, the injured partner explains why he was treated unhealthy and finds justification in such arguments.
Desensitize "It wasn't that bad", "Oh, you think it's worse than it is", "Well, at least he doesn't do this or that, which would be worse", people who in a relationship give such answers to one unhealthy situation tend to desensitize the situation. Victims of domestic violence often use such phrases.
DenialIf there are witnesses to a toxic situation within the relationship and someone from outside refers to it, it is common for victims to deny and falsify the situation. "It wasn't like that at all", "He or she wasn't angry at all, just a little annoyed" or "You misunderstood that" are sentences that are used when the other person doesn't want to deal with the situation or has problems. to see the truth.
Acceptance and resignationIt is not uncommon for a partner in a toxic relationship to give in to unhealthy patterns and either accept or resign. Sometimes emotional abuse is accepted and accepted as “the task” or “the role within the relationship”.
Anticipatory obedienceA behavior in a toxic relationship that is intended to cover up the misery can be anticipatory obedience. Quickly clean the house once more before he or she comes home and treats you badly again. Or the constant search for things that might please the other person just to reduce the risk of being treated badly again.
BlamingSome victims in a toxic relationship look to blame themselves. "If only I hadn't left the shoes in the hallway again, he or she wouldn't have gotten angry," to give just one example. Victims of emotional and physical abuse tend to blame themselves for everything and feel like they are “not good enough” for the relationship.
Psychotherapist Gillis gives advice in the magazine "Psychology Today" about tricks you can use to analyze your own behavior.
Sources: Psychology Today, Interview Stern
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