Friday, June 21, 2024

Collective Outrage: Recognizing Toxic Relationships and Knowing When to Walk Away | VIDEO

African American woman with headwrap
African American woman with headwrap

*Toxic relationships can take many forms, from emotional abuse to physical violence. They can negatively impact a person’s health and well-being for years. “Selective Outrage,” Chris Rock’s Netflix special, discusses the violent attack he received from Will Smith and highlights Jada Pinkett Smith’s affair with singer August Alsina.

When comparing both incidents, Rock suggests that Will Smith’s humiliation due to his wife’s infidelity was far more severe than the physical assault he suffered. Relationships are inherently complex. So, with that said, one cannot say what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior within any relationship. It is evident, however, that even the most level-headed person can act out of character due to embarrassment or fear. This is especially true when it comes to romance. Understanding the signs of a toxic relationship can help individuals protect themselves and prioritize their well-being.

Recent events in the entertainment industry have brought renewed attention to the importance of recognizing and addressing toxic behavior in relationships. With that in mind, we have two questions to address. Is it possible to recognize when a romance is harmful? Second, how does one know when to walk away?

Generally, toxic relationships are defined as relationships in which one or both partners engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves or their children, manipulative, controlling, or abusive in nature.

Relationships that are harmful can adversely affect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, so it is imperative that you recognize the signs of destructive relationships in order to protect yourself.

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Toxic relationships can be identified by the following checklist:

  • An abusive relationship is defined by one or both partners engaging in verbal or emotional abuse, such as insults, name-calling, or belittling each other.
  • One partner may attempt to control or manipulate the other, either through emotional manipulation or through controlling behaviors, such as monitoring the whereabouts of the partner or limiting his or her contact with friends and family.
  • In some cases, a partner may engage in physical abuse, such as hitting, pushing, or other forms of physical abuse.
  • It is possible that one partner is engaged in alcohol or drug abuse, which can lead to a cycle of abuse and toxicity in the relationship.
  • Infidelity or other forms of betrayal may occur between one or both partners, resulting in feelings of resentment and mistrust.

When it comes to relationships, there is no doubt that they can be complicated. From the early stages of infatuation to the long-term commitment of marriage, relationships require effort, understanding, and compromise. But what happens when a romance becomes harmful? Recognizing the signs of a toxic relationship and taking action to end harmful dynamics when necessary is essential.

A lack of trust is one of the most significant signs of a toxic romance. If you feel like you are constantly questioning your partner’s actions or motives, or if they are questioning yours, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. Trust is the foundation of any healthy romance; without it, it is challenging to build a strong and lasting connection.

Another red flag is if you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells around your partner. If you fear expressing your thoughts and feelings for fear of how they will react, this is a sign that the romance may be toxic. Being with someone who allows you to be your authentic self and supports your emotional well-being is essential.

Additionally, if you find yourself constantly compromising your values or sacrificing your happiness for the sake of the relationship, it may be time to consider walking away. While compromise is necessary in any partnership, it should never come at the cost of your mental or emotional health.

If your partner is emotionally or physically abusive towards you, this is a sign that the relationship is harmful and should be ended immediately. No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship, and it is imperative to seek help and support if you find yourself in this situation.

Setting boundaries in a romance is critical for maintaining mental and emotional health and fostering a healthy and respectful relationship with your partner. It can be difficult to communicate your needs and boundaries to your partner. However, it’s imperative to be clear and direct about what you need in order to feel safe and respected in the relationship.

“I” statements should be used when communicating boundaries and needs rather than “you” statements. Instead of saying, “You always do that, and it’s not okay,” say, “I feel uncomfortable when this happens, and I request that you respect my boundaries.” This may lead to a more productive conversation and prevent your partner from feeling defensive.

If your partner is unwilling to respect your boundaries, it may be a sign that the romance is not healthy or sustainable. It’s critical to prioritize your well-being and safety and have a plan in place if you decide to end the relationship. This may involve seeking legal help, finding a safe place to stay, and having a support system in place to help you through the transition. Remember that you deserve to be in a romance where your needs and boundaries are respected and honored.

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato

Celebrity singer Demi Lovato recently opened up about her experiences with toxic relationships, stating: “I think that when you find something that’s very toxic or something that’s not serving you, you have to let it go, no matter how hard it is.” Lovato’s words serve as a reminder that ending a toxic relationship can be difficult, but it is an important step towards protecting your well-being and reclaiming your life.

I believe that Rock’s most recent stand-up special serves as a mechanism for reclaiming his life or, at the very least, the narrative related to the slap heard worldwide. In truth, we may never know what caused Will Smith to act so uncharacteristically. Along those lines, we will never truly know the pain and hurt that it caused Chris Rock, and by pain and hurt, I mean trauma. What we do know is that hurt people hurt people. The virulent experiences that shaped their personal and professional lives awkwardly manifested themselves outwardly for all the world to see.

That being said, a toxic romance can be dangerous. So, it is imperative that you seek support from trusted family members, friends, or a therapist if you have concerns. It is essential to recognize when a relationship is unhealthy and to take the steps necessary to protect yourself. Relationships with patterns of verbal, physical, or emotional abuse, manipulation, or control may be harmful. Thus, taking the necessary measures to end a toxic relationship and seek help from trustworthy sources is essential. Do not tolerate abuse, manipulation, or control; prioritize your safety and well-being.

Remembering that you deserve to be in a relationship that’s all about love and support is important. And in case you don’t know what that looks like. A supportive relationship means both partners can speak their minds freely and honestly without worrying about being judged or criticized. Each partner should be willing to listen and respect each other’s boundaries, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye. That’s how you build a real, solid connection.

At the end of the day, and certainly with all due respect to the brilliant performance that Rock gave in his most recent special, any physical, verbal, or mental abuse deserves our collective outrage, not just our selective response. Anything less is equivalent to a slap in the face.

CL Reddon – Photo Credit: Roy Cox

CL. Reddon is a self-help author, coach, and communication strategist who specializes in relationships, mindfulness, and self-awareness. He has multiple successful titles to his credit, offering practical guidance for personal and professional development. To learn more about the author, visit

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