How can you tell if you’re in a relationship with a *toxic* person (and need to run away immediately)

Or a *dysfunctional* person? 

I believe many times we end up tolerating toxic relationships because we aren’t sure where the line is. 

We think things like:

We can work this out.
I’m sure they’ll mature with time.
They probably just don’t know any better.
They’re a really good person, they just have some rough edges.

But there’s a BIG difference between toxic or abusive and dysfunctional.

Toxic or abusive people:

Lie consistently
Manipulate you or your reality
Make you feel like you’re “going crazy”
Tell you to “stop being so sensitive; toughen up; you’re just overthinking it”
Try to control your actions or feelings

Dysfunctional people:

Struggle to know their own feelings
Lack effective communication skills
Haven’t practiced self-reflection (but are capable of it)
May be stuck repeating certain behaviors in order to “keep themselves safe” bc they grew up in emotionally and/or physically abusive homes

The BIGGEST difference here:

When a dysfunctional person learns better, they do better. 

Their miscommunication isn’t due to their desire to control & manipulate you…

But simply because they don’t know or haven’t practiced healthy communication.

Bottom line: it’s never your job to “fix” anyone – dysfunctional or toxic

People who want to change, do.

People who want to control you, find a way to keep you around so they can *keep* controlling you.

Know your dealbreakers, hold your boundaries, and be willing to walk away from situations that do not have your best interest at heart! 

If you’re looking to heal from narcissistic abuse or relationship trauma, I can help! I specialize in helping people heal from toxic, dysfunctional, or harmful relationships. I recommend starting here and getting my free bimonthly newsletter. Or contact me today about working together via therapy or coaching. 











About Me
Chelsey Brooke Cole is a psychotherapist, best-selling author, speaker, and coach specializing in narcissistic abuse and relational trauma. Praised as "Enlightening and Empowering" Chelsey's new book, If Only I'd Known! How to Outsmart Narcissists, Set Guilt-Free Boundaries, and Create Unshakeable Self-Worth is available wherever books are sold.

Say Goodbye to Staying Stuck!

Get insights and practical strategies focused specifically on healing from narcissistic abuse.

You have Successfully Subscribed!