Anyone who has just entered a relationship is floating on a blissful pink cloud. It seems almost unthinkable that it could ever go wrong. Still, toxic partners are a thing. There is more: we can even distinguish five toxic types. Do you recognize one of them? Then you may be in a relationship where the balance between giving and taking is constantly being lost.
Toxic persons or toxic relationships can tear you apart. Unfortunately, early signs of unhealthy relationships are hard to catch. So the cliché that love makes blind is true, according to British psychotherapist Cathy Press. She specializes in domestic and sexual violence and knows better than anyone when love becomes unhealthy.
In her new book, When Love Bites, she outlines how to ignore toxic or even abusive partners. The first step, of course, is recognizing such partners. One trait they all have in common? Check. They cunningly force you to do what they want. Yet the types are different: these five distinguish the expert. The charmer tells you what you want to hear and says they will never hurt you. Those turn out to be empty promises.
5 types and tactics of toxic relationships
1. The Mind Mixer
“The mind mixer makes personal comments about the way you think and how you look,” Press told the British newspaper Metro UK. “They really play mind games that lower your self-confidence until you are completely broken and no longer dare to trust your own feelings,” explains Press. “You lose grip on reality. It’s a gradual process in which this type brings you down.”
- • Humiliating yourself in front of others.
- • Bring you down.
- • Comparing yourself to others.
- • Questioning your version of events.
- • Laughing at and ignoring.
- • Minimize – for example, say that something was just a joke and that you are hypersensitive.
2. The charmer
“The charmer makes a good first impression by telling you what you want to hear. They convince you that they love you and that they will never hurt you. They are actually a wolf in sheepskin because they just lure you in with a false sense of security.” Their trademark is showered with love at the beginning. In the long run, they turn out to be empty promises. “If you want to end the relationship, the charmer will come back up.”
- • Bribing you with gifts.
- • Show a lot of affection in public.
- • Lying to you.
- • Promise you to stop doing hurtful things.
- • To cry.
3. The Bully
This type is a little easier to spot because they will confront you and use body language to intimidate you. “It ranges from cracking their knuckles to sly smiles. They feel dominant and see their partner as weaker. They don’t argue, just force you without negotiation. The bully also truly believes that they have the right to control and dominate their partner. In their eyes, their partner deserves to be punished if they do something ‘wrong’.”
- • Using or threatening to use physical aggression.
- • Using their voice to intimidate you, by yelling or speaking in a threatening tone.
- • Threaten you.
- • Mugs.
4. The Stayer
The stayer will isolate you from friends and family so that you become dependent on him or her. They want you to be with them all the time and tell you that they love you so much and can’t live without you. “They claim they are miserable without you. Everyone wants to hear that they are loved and special, and so you tend to accommodate your partner.”
- • Constantly texting you.
- • Asking you not to see friends.
- • Telling you what to wear.
- • Ask for your passwords or read your conversations.
- • Always need to know where you are and what you are doing.
- • Convince yourself that your friends aren’t nice people and that you should drop them.
- • Encouraging you to skip social events to join them.
This type suddenly shows no interest anymore. They make you feel like you did something wrong.
5. The Sexually Frustrated
“Sexually frustrated types will tell you to have s*x if you really love them. They may also threaten to leave you if you stop having s*x.” The emotional doesn’t count for them. “They don’t want a healthy relationship at all. They may also suddenly stop giving affection. They no longer show interest because they want to make you feel that you did something wrong.”
- • Pressing you to have s^x or acts that make you feel uncomfortable.
- • Making you feel bad for turning down s*x.
- • Flirt with your friends.
- • Make conversations sexual when you don’t feel like it.
- • Encouraging you to drink or use drugs.
- • Make you feel like you owe them something.