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LIANNE [lee-ann]
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10 Types of Relationship Behaviors You Should Never Tolerate

Relationships are the essence of human connection. We all crave love, support and understanding from a significant other. While yes, relationships can bring joy and a sense of fulfillment, there are some relationship behaviors and toxic patterns that you need to recognize in order to maintain emotional well-being and have a healthy connection with someone.

In this blog post, I’ll break down 10 types of relationship behaviors and examples that you should never tolerate. By understanding these warnings signs, setting clear boundaries and prioritizing your self-respect, you can empower yourself to only allow authentic, uplifting and loving bonds with others. Let’s read on to learn more.

1. Emotional Manipulation

Emotional manipulation happens when someone uses guilt, fear or other tactics to control your emotions and actions. They may play the victim in order to get their way or even use emotional blackmail to keep you in check. An example (that I’ve personally dealt with in one of my past relationships) is when your partner says “No one else would ever love you or put up with you like I do. You’re lucky to have me!” This statement plays on your fears & insecurities which makes you feel more dependent on the manipulator for love & acceptance.

2. Lack of Respect

Respect is so necessary in order to maintain a healthy relationship. If your partner consistently disregards your boundaries, belittles your feelings and opinions or even dismisses your feelings, this is a relationship behavior you should never tolerate. If you share an idea and your partner responds with something like “I really don’t care what you think, your ideas are always so stupid and irrelevant”, it’s time to reassess the relationship. Lack of respect can without a doubt break down trust and cause long-lasting damage in your relationship.

3. Constant Criticism

Constructive feedback is beneficial to anyone’s growth journey, but constant negative critiques can be harmful in any relationship, whether they’re romantic, professional or platonic. If someone in your life finds a problem in everything that you do and says things like “Nothing you do is ever good enough…you always mess things up” and rarely offers encouragement or support, it can significantly affect your self-esteem and emotional well-being.

4. Controlling Behavior

A healthy relationship focuses on mutual respect and both of you being equals. Some examples of controlling behavior can be isolating you from your friends and family, tracking everything that you do and where you go, constantly checking your phone without your consent, become upset when you make plans without their “approval” or make important decisions with zero input from you. These are huge red flags🚩and a precursor for a very unhealthy and toxic relationship. They can even control what clothing you can wear or who you can hang out with. Remember that you are a whole ass person on your own and you don’t deserve to be treated like a piece of property.

5. Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is never okay in any relationship you find yourself in. These actions can cause emotional pain & break down your self-esteem. Seeking help or removing yourself from a verbally abusive relationship is critical if you’re dealing with this type of behavior. Check out this blog post on more information and examples about verbal abuse and what you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

6. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used to make someone question their own reality or sanity. The gaslighter denies or twists facts, making you doubt your memory of something or minimize your feelings. For example, let’s say you confront your partner about a concerning text message you saw on their phone. Instead of addressing your concerns head on, they respond with “You’re imagining things, there was no text message. You’re just being paranoid because of your past relationships.” By denying the evidence and making you doubt your memory, this is how they manipulate or gaslight you, leaving you feeling confused and uncertain.

7. Stonewalling

Stonewalling happens when someone shuts down communication and refuses to discuss important issues or conflicts. This is something that I dealt with a lot in my last relationship. I was having an argument with my ex and instead of expressing his thoughts and feelings, he withdrew emotionally, avoided looking at me and gave me “the silent treatment”. This behavior lasted for hours, even sometimes days on end. One time he left my apartment for hours and I couldn’t reach him. This type of behavior can leave the person on the other end feeling frustrated, confused, unheard and hurt which can lead to further communication breakdowns and resentment in the relationship. A healthy relationship requires open and honest communication, so stonewalling is never acceptable.

8. Infidelity/Cheating

Infidelity or cheating on a partner can shatter trust and leave long-lasting emotional scars. Cheating and infidelity is not only the physical act of having sexual relations with someone outside of your relationship. Emotional cheating is something you should never think is okay to tolerate. If your partner is having intimate conversations, going out on dates with someone else or hiding conversations that they’re having, this is an example of emotional infidelity. While some couples decide to work through this, it’s essential to recognize that rebuilding trust is a difficult process that requires commitment from both parties involved. If the cheating persists or repeats, it may be time to re-evaluate that relationship.

9. Physical Abuse

No one should ever put their hands on you in a way that’s intended to hurt you or cause harm. Physical abuse is a clear boundary that should never be crossed. I dealt with physical abuse in my last relationship that I talk about on my solo podcast episode: My Personal Story of Surviving Domestic Violence. If your partner or anyone else in your life becomes physically violent, it’s vital to prioritize your safety and seek help immediately. Seek out local domestic violence shelters in your area. Reach out to a trusted family member, friend or co-worker. Or you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788 for confidential support. Free help is available, 24/7.

10. Lack of Support

Healthy relationships involve mutual support and encouragement. If your partner or friend is unsupportive of your goals, dismisses your achievements or shows little interest in your well-being, it might be a sign that your relationship is not fulfilling your emotional needs. For example, say you got a promotion at work that you’re super proud of. Instead of celebrating that accomplishment with you, your partner could respond with little to no excitement or even jealousy and say something like “Why do you need to work more? Can’t you just be happy with what you have?” or “I guess you’ll be too busy for us now.” This type of behavior can eventually lead to feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction in the relationship, as the other person feels unappreciated and unsupported in their goals.

The Bottom Line

Identifying and addressing these types of relationship behaviors and patterns is so important for enhancing healthier and more fulfilling connections in your life. You deserve to be treated with love, respect and kindness. If you find yourself tolerating any of the relationship behaviors mentioned in this blog post, consider seeking support from trusted friends, supportive family members or a professional counselor.

Setting clear boundaries and effectively communicating your needs is essential for healthy relationships. Sometimes, walking away from toxic relationships can be the best choice for your own well-being. You should never feel the need to tolerate these and many other types of relationship behaviors. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, appreciate you and treat you with the love and respect you know you deserve. By doing this, you can cultivate an enriching and long-lasting circle that brings you so much joy!

If you’re looking for a therapist, check out BetterHelp®. BetterHelp® is a proud sponsor of Watch Us Thrive. Get professional support when you need it, at a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy. Sign up today to receive 10% of your first month. Visit here to get started!