6 Habits That Create A Toxic Relationship Cocktail!

Nothing like a bit of late night self reflection to get the writing juices flowing, and FYI no Mojitos were sampled whilst writing this piece (drats)!

I want to keep this simple and pragmatic (haha that in itself is a oxymoron when it comes to matters of the heart) – how about shooting for helpful and applicable then instead?

Like I have said before “Life Gets Messy” and sometimes my friends that is a given, however messy doesn’t give us the excuse to do nothing about it.   I mentioned to a girlfriend the other day – two of the most important elements in my life (marriage and kids) I had no formal schooling in how to do either – how did that happen?  So through a series of miss-haps, tears, trials and many many laughs I have come up with some of my learnings and noticed there are some Toxic Habits out there that make for a Deadly Relationship Cocktail of a Slow Not-so-Comforatable Screw Ups Against A Wall by Mr & Mrs. Stagnant Harvey Wall-banger!

Here are my 6 Habits That Create A Toxic Relationship Cocktail – I know I have indulged in a few of these….what about you?

Habit 1 – Ticking the Box habit.  This is a cracker of a habit, where the box ticker has a multitude of criteria which they would like the other person to live up to or adhere to, so that they can normally mentally “tick off” all the good and make a big “X” agains the bad! Problem is normally with this habit, the only one that knows about this list of criteria is the box ticker themselves. The poor person being ticked off hasn’t got a clue. Why is the habit toxic? These people who like to tick the boxes normally think that people can’t change and judgement is their best friend.

What to practice – start voicing your criteria, not only does this inform the other person what is going on inside, but it also allows the habit maker the opportunity to perhaps see that their criteria could be a little far fetched!


Habit 2 – Keeping Score habit – a habit that works whilst engaging in sporting activities but not one for the relationship wheel of life. The Dalai Lama says when fighting fight about the current argument not something that has happened way way way in the past. People who like to keep scores don’t like to normally deal with issues there and then, they let issues / worries pile up and up and then erupt Mt Vesuvius style. “I have done this, this and this for you 3-0 to me, now you owe me!”.  Ouch so not healthy at all and by the way so “living in the past style”. Don’t justify your past wrongdoings through Keeping Score just so that you can justify your current righteousness!

Practice this instead – dealing with issues there and then. It may not be “easy” but it is a heck of a lot less energy sapping than keeping that mental score card full and up to date!


Habit 3 – Nudge nudge – hint hint habit – this is an interesting one also known as the 50 Shades of Ambiguity Habit. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people out there are NOT mind readers, clairvoyant or psychic and even if they were, free will always rules. Having a habit of nudge nudge hint hint – can again be toxic as the hinter or hintress expects the other person to intuitively know what’s going on inside and how to satisfy their every need! Not good, not helpful. Take for e.g. if someones says  “I am thirsty”.  Are they asking someone to do something about it (as in hinting) or are they literally stating a fact?  If you find yourself thinking (a) “well, okay there is the kitchen help yourself ” you are definitely a more direct type listener who needs to be told directly what the go is. If you found the statement (b) interesting and compelled at wanting to do something about it, well then you are a more of a Shades of Ambiguity type listener.  Chances are you will speak the way you listen. So if you listen by way of reading between the lines chances are you speak that way too!

Ambiguity can be toxic, especially if you expect the other person to pick up on every damn clue! There is a lot to be said for honesty is best especially when it comes to matters of the heart.


Habit 4 – Creepy needy love habit – oh this is a good one!  Not only is it immature, it is unfair and highly toxic. It smacks of having set no or very loose personal boundaries and it is very draining on the other person. I know that being someone else’s reason for living makes for great Hollywood script stuff, but relying on someone else to be everything, do everything, solve every possible need just doesn’t sit that well with me. This creepy needy love sets the trend for co-dependencies and ultimately a whole heap of resentment from the one needing all the Needy Love stuff.  “I have sacrificed so much for you, and what do I get to show for it?” = highly TOXIC.

Resentment does not equal love. Needy isn’t love – needy is sad. Needy is co-dependent or totally dependent. Practice independence so that you can both move to interdependence it is far more resourceful! Aaaaah, bliss.


Habit 5 – “You make me feel” – the guilt trip.  This habit sucks, there is no other way of saying it. It is selfish and totally below the belt sort of game stuff. You are responsible for your own emotions, your significant other is responsible for their emotions. No one can make you feel anything!  It is the meaning you choose to give to a situation that in turn you choose to feel x / y / or z over. “Drive your own bus” my mentor once said. Why would you let anyone else be your driver?

Practice looking after your emotions and stop expecting someone else to pull your leavers and buttons. A significant other can of course contribute to your happiness and aid in making it more special, but ultimately you choose your emotions. Full stop!


Habit 6 – No Responsibility & High Risk.  This is also know as the mucking around zone! As with most things in life within relationships there are risks, again its a given thing, you risk loving someone and they can break your heart (or not). Is is an age old thing, been around forever and will be around forever more. Falling in love is if you really think about it Risky!

Are you with me on this one? A friend of mine once said “Fortune Favours The Brave”….and I agree when accompanied with the necessary dose of responsibility.  See if in a relationship and you take zero risk and zero responsibility well then you and the relationship are going to Go NOWHERE! If on the other hand you take massive amounts of responsibility – but NO risk…well then you are playing it safe! Success lies when you risk and you are highly responsible for that which you do. It is a simple thing. So often I see people risking in a relationship, taking zero or less than zero responsibility….like I said highly toxic and also know as Mucking Around!


There we go, my input in so far as 6 Habits That Can Be Highly Toxic To Any Relationship! Trust you gained something and would love to hear your thoughts, insights and ideas!


Keep it real

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