woman pressing face into pillow in sadness
Jade Small
Jade Small
December 24, 2023 ·  4 min read

8 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Yourself

Everyone talks about their toxic exes. They go on and on about how badly they were treated and how much they were ignored or neglected. However, the first relationship you are in is with yourself. So, one needs to ensure one maintains a healthy connection to themselves. But how do you know if it’s not? We have listed eight signs that you might be in a toxic relationship with yourself.

Being in a toxic relationship with yourself
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1. Reveling in Drama Hints a Toxic Relationship with Yourself

We all have one of those friends who seems to be the king or queen of drama. They always seem to have the best scoops and can’t wait to fill you in on any updates from a scandalous story. If you, deep down, realize that this is a description of you, then you might be in a toxic relationship with yourself. It might be easier for you to dissociate from your own self-loathing by immersing yourself into other people’s drama.

2. You Tend to Speak Badly About Yourself

Self-love is hard to come by when you’re in a toxic relationship with yourself. You might not believe in your ability to accomplish your goals, and you have a constant internal battle going on. Someone might have offered you a dream job, but you keep telling yourself “you will fail,” or “you’re not good enough.” Or, maybe you look in the mirror and see something atrocious looking back at you, when the reality is the opposite. You can’t see your own beauty, so you constantly tell yourself, “you’re ugly,” or “you need to fix your hair.”

Overly critical
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3. You Criticize Yourself and Others a Lot

If you are in a toxic relationship, you might be overly critical. This applies not only to yourself but to others as well. You struggle to see other people succeeding because it triggers your feelings of failure. Furthermore, you tend to criticize yourself instead of appreciating yourself for your efforts.

4. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms for Toxic Relationships

People have coping mechanisms for all kinds of issues. Those with anxiety might bite their nails, and some with OCD will ensure no mess is left behind (or possibly knock on the door three times before you enter a room). If you are in a toxic relationship with yourself, you might develop coping mechanisms that help you avoid the negative internal chatter. You might drink too much or partake in another form of illicit activity. Feeling numb seems to be a better option than processing your pain.

Unhealthy coping mechanisms
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5. You Make Up Excuses for Unhealthy Habits

Just like how those in toxic relationships with another person might make up excuses for their neglectful or abusive behavior, you might do the same for yourself. Being in a toxic relationship might lead you to the previously mentioned unhealthy coping mechanisms. Your friends may have noticed, and tried to talk to you about it. But alas, you keep making p excuses as a means to validate or justify your actions.

6. You Need External Validation

If you are in a toxic relationship with yourself, you might have so much internal berating going on, that the need for external validation is high. It is a necessity in order for you to function. You might find yourself fishing for compliments at any given moment and expect their your efforts to be recognized and praised at all times. If you do not receive this, you might crumble into an emotional wreck.

The need for external validation
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7. You Sacrifice Yourself Too Much in a Toxic Relationship

Everyone deserves their me-time every now and then. It is extremely important for good mental health, and to keep stress levels at a minimum. If you are in a toxic relationship with yourself, you might neglect the self-care that you need. You might deem yourself unworthy of the occasional spa day, or a nice meal at a restaurant. You might avoid working out, or taking a bubble bath for no reason – other than a low self-esteem.

8. You Tend to Be Manipulative

This one is extremely important, and most people may not realize they are manipulative until much further down the line. A person in a toxic relationship with themselves might tend to gaslight the people in their lives because they cannot deal with more personal negativity. You might make sarcastic remarks, just to add a “just kidding” at the end. If someone opened up to you about their insecurities, you can’t help but turn it against them. You will twist facts to be in your favor, and lie about the details of a story. Passive aggression is your specialty, and you love giving people the silent treatment.

Keep Reading: 5 Things That Happen When You Meet A Good Guy After A Toxic Relationship


  1. 5 Signs you Have a Toxic Relationship With Yourself.Bustle. Lexi Inkg. January 30, 2023
  2. 8 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship With Yourself.Brown Girl in Trauma. October 17, 2022.