• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Measuring Toxic Relationships



Toxic Relationships – How do we measure them? 


My favorite resource on this topic is Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse Site. Just take a stroll through the site. It gives many of the angles as to how abuse looks, feels, and develops.


It's helped me developed a strategy of thought for helping people in the process of thinking through whether or not they are in a toxic relationship.


Clearly, no human being is perfect. Whether or not you see your relationship as toxic is subjective. What would feel controlling to me and drive me nuts might just be a personality trait that you can forgive. 

Whether or not you see your relationship as toxic is subjective. What would feel controlling to me and drive me nuts might just be a personality trait that you can forgive. 

I believe that when assessing relationships with others there are two main measurements one must use. The measurements are height and volume. By height I mean if you can imagine that “Ring the Bell” carnival game, or a thermometer showing the temperature rising. 


Are you dealing with a small irritation like leaving the toilet seat up, or a full-blown manipulative controlling behavior? 


And by volume, I don’t mean how loud things get. I am talking about how often this type of behavior repeats itself. Once in a blue moon? Or steadily more frequently? Does it go away only to come back in a different form? Or does it actually go away when you make them aware of it? 


More importantly, is there an honest, sincere apology with a true attempt to change the behavior? 


Changing behavior is not easy. Believe me, I can tell you this from experience. But with an honest desire to change and put in the work to learn and adapt new behaviors, it can happen.


Both parties need to learn the skills for boundary setting and respect to really make a relationship work. 

Both parties need to learn the skills for boundary setting and respect to really make a relationship work. 

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