“Four things come not back – the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.” – Arabian Proverb
The spoken word has way more power than we realize or care to admit. This is true for both good words and bad ones.
Unfortunately, this can work against you if you find yourself in toxic relationships. Your toxic partner can misuse the privilege of the relationship to harm you emotionally with toxic words and bring you down.
In a normal relationship, healthy boundaries exist to prevent such damage. However, a toxic partner may make it hard for you to set up and enforce such personal boundaries, making you vulnerable to abuse and harm.
Often, such toxic phrases are disguised as innocent statements and observations, making the whole scenario worse for you. Even you may fail to recognize the malice and toxicity those words contain. You may even make excuses for your toxic partner in your efforts in making the relationship work.
However, ignoring such hurtful and toxic phrases and finding excuses for them can only make your relationship unhealthy and weak. It’s better you learn to notice the red flags early on in the relationship and take remedial measures. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to end toxic relationships to retain your sanity and mental health.
This article lists some of the worst things toxic partners say in toxic relationships. Most of them may not appear nasty or toxic at the outset, but they are just as harmful.
Nasty things toxic partners say
The nasty things toxic partners say are to manipulate you emotionally and keep you under control. Most of them are part of their gaslighting tactics to make you doubt yourself and question your sanity. If you find it impossible to speak your mind or defend yourself, you should seriously reconsider the health and dynamics of your relationship.
The primary idea behind such toxic behavior and comments is to make you feel guilty and take on responsibility when things go wrong. This is the case even when the toxic partners are hurtful and responsible for the troubles in toxic relationships.
Sometimes, you may realize that something is amiss but you don’t trust yourself or are confident enough to fight back. You may have doubts, but dismiss them as just unfounded notions.
Toxic partners tend to place the entire responsibility of the relationship on your shoulder, including their happiness and well-being. Or they use toxic phrases to dominate and control you.
All you need to do is recognize the toxicity for what it is and take appropriate action. As a first step, you can initiate an open conversation with your partner to let them know how their toxic phrases are affecting you.
Even after repeated appeals and reminders, if your toxic partner refuses to change their ways, it is time you take a hard look at the relationship. Your mental health and well-being should be your top priority.
Let’s see the common hurtful and harmful things toxic partners say.
1. “Look what you made me do”
This is a clear case of shirking responsibility for their toxic behavior. Instead, with seemingly harmless words, your toxic partner is laying it on you. When their wrongful actions or toxic phrases are pointed out, instead of owning up to them and apologizing for the same, they turn it around and make it all your fault. You’re the one who forced or triggered them into doing it. So, the implication is they are not at fault but you are.
Shifting the blame with such finesse is something you can expect from toxic partners. They have honed their skills so well that you often fail to recognize what is happening. As a result, you may end up shouldering the blame and even apologize, even though you actually don’t understand what you did wrong.
The only thing for you to do is to open your eyes to what is happening and fight back with all your might.
2. “You are overreacting”
This is a typical gaslighting technique perfected by toxic partners to keep you unsettled and unsure of yourself. Your protests, complaints, and reactions are ignored and invalidated because your toxic partner feels that they are too trivial or over the top. You need to realize that your emotions are being manipulated here. You are being forced to doubt your ability to judge situations and form opinions.
Comments like this are subtle and covert and hence not easy to spot. However, the harm they do is as devastating as open insults, sometimes even worse. Toxic phrases like these can slowly corrode your confidence, self-belief, and self-esteem. Until you’re completely dependent on your partner for your emotional needs and validation.
Similar hurtful things toxic boyfriends say are:
“You can’t even handle a joke.”
“Don’t mope around, get over it.”
Recognize the venom in these toxic phrases and put your foot firmly down.
3. “This is too much. I can’t continue like this. I’m done.”
You may hear this every time you try to fight back against unjust and toxic phrases and actions. Your toxic partner is pushing you into a corner by giving you threats and ultimatums. This is definitely not part of a healthy relationship.
With these toxic phrases, your toxic partner is in effect telling you that if you don’t stay within the limits that they decide, they’ll leave you. Your partner is trying to exploit your fear of abandonment to keep you under their control and agree to their terms. When your fear is triggered, you will be anxious and careful not to disappoint or antagonize your partner. In effect, you will be ready to do whatever is asked of you.
When subjected to such manipulation, you will be an emotional wreck – scared, insecure, and submissive. This is no way to live even for the sake of being in a relationship. If your partner threatens to leave, don’t take the bait. Let them leave.
4. “You never/always do/say this”
This can be used in its various forms as the situation demands. As innocent as this sounds, this is one of the most destructive and hurtful things toxic boyfriends say. Using words for generalizations like “never” and “always” has a devastating effort on the psyche of the listener. It can make you feel inept and idiotic.
A minor mistake or misstep is treated as the be-all and end-all by a toxic partner. “You always say this” or “You never do that” are nothing but exaggerations to make you feel guilty and bad about yourself. Your confidence and self-esteem plummet as a result.
A similar one to this is “How many times should I repeat to make you understand?”. Your toxic partner is intentionally trying to undermine your confidence with such toxic phrases, making you feel inadequate and incapable. You will start feeling insecure and less comfortable in the relationship and may start depending on your partner more and more.
5. “Are you sure you are doing the right thing?”
The undertone in this question is of concern. So, there is no reason why you would consider this toxic or even suspicious about it. Only when you look at the bigger picture, will you get to know the real intention behind this seemingly innocent question. It depends mainly on who is asking the question and in what context.
“Should you be doing that?” is another equally harmful one from the same stable. These kinds of questions are aimed at restricting and controlling you. There is a strong suggestion that you should reconsider your decision. In a relationship, when your opinion and decisions are given no value or you aren’t afforded the space to make them, it is not healthy.
If questions from your partner start with “Are you sure …” or “Should you …”, be wary. It may look like you are asked for confirmation and you still have the freedom to decide but in fact, your toxic partner has already made the decision for you.
The only thing for you to do is to assert yourself and take back control of your life.
6. “You’re exactly like your father/mother”
This can be a compliment in certain situations. But depending on who is saying it and when, this can turn into a toxic statement. The tone of the voice matters a lot. With this, your toxic partner is trying to tie you up with your not-so-great parent. Even if this were true, it is so below the belt. Why drag your parents into the middle of your disagreement?
No matter what kind of relationship you share with your parents, your partner has made their views clear about them. It is evident that your partner is not a big fan of your parents. So comparing you to your parents is definitely not a compliment. In case, your relationship with your parents is strained, it can make matters worse. It can even act as a trigger for you.
Recognize what your toxic partner is trying to do to you. They have inside information about your weaknesses and are exploiting them to gain an advantage over you.
7. “Why do you make it difficult for me to love you?”
Your toxic partner is implying that it’s your fault that you’re fighting. In case you have already accused your partner of apathy and indifference or are yet to, your partner is shifting the blame right back to you with this statement. Making you lovable is entirely your responsibility.
“Dating you isn’t easy at all.”
“You‘re making it so hard for me to be with you.”
The implication here is that you’re not lovable or easy to be with. That is just a hurtful and cruel thing to say. Hearing such toxic phrases daily in a relationship can make you believe in them. You will be convinced that you are unlovable and unworthy of being loved. Your partner is doing you a big favor by being with you.
Besides being hurtful, this is also untrue. No one is forcing anyone to stay in a relationship. Your partner always has the choice to end it and walk away if they find it stifling and hard to carry on. However, if your partner decides to continue the relationship, at the same time makes you feel terrible and guilty, it is clear that something is not right between the two of you.
Rest assured, whatever the trouble is, it’s not your fault or yours alone. Your partner has no right to make you feel this way.
8. “Can you even do one thing right?”
“Wonder why you find it so hard to do anything right?”
“Can’t you manage this as well?”
“Oh! Did you get it wrong again?”
All these hurtful things toxic girlfriends say drip with sarcasm and contempt. Even if you messed things up, this is no way for your partner to point it out or treat you. There is a clear lack of love and empathy in your partner.
When your partner is making such toxic phrases, they are refusing to discuss the matter or ask your take on it. The only attempt here is to belittle you and make you feel bad about yourself. If you allow this to continue for long, you will actually start believing in these toxic phrases and your confidence and self-esteem will plunge.
You shouldn’t tolerate such toxic behavior even for a moment. You should assert yourself. You have every right to live your life with dignity.
9. “Why can’t you be like …?”
This is taking toxicity to an altogether another level. Comparison is, any day, not desirable in any relationship. All it will manage to achieve is to make the listener feel bad about themselves. In a romantic relationship, especially in the beginning, these kinds of things toxic girlfriends say can make the partner feel insecure and unsure besides hurting their ego.
Your partner should be in the relationship because they love you and accept you for who you are. And not to compare you with someone else and expect you to change yourself to suit their tastes. These kinds of comments are said in such a casual manner that it often fails to register with you. You don’t understand the malice behind them and the harm it is inflicting on your mind. By the time you realize it, it will be too late.
If your boyfriend is asking you to dress or behave like someone else, register your protest without losing any time. If they are showing no signs of improvement, walk away.
More things toxic partners say
- “If you love and care for me, you would …”
- “I was only joking.”
- “I said/did that because I really care for you.”
- “I’m so sorry if you consider my words/actions hurtful.”
- “It’s all in your imagination. Grow up!”
- “You’re too emotional/sensitive/jealous.”
- “No one would tolerate you like I am.”
- “You’ll do this if you love and care for me.”
- “You’re forcing my hand.”
- “You got it all wrong.”
- “I sincerely believe that you should get help.”
- “Who will you believe? Me or them?”
- “Let’s talk about this another time.”
- “I say sorry more often than you do.”
- “I said nothing of the sort.”
- “In your eyes, I can’t do anything right.”
- “You don’t believe in me.”
- “You’re the most anxious/emotionally fragile person I’ve ever dated.”
- “I don’t want to be with someone who …”
- Nothing or Silent treatment (If pressed, they may even say “I’m not angry”)
Final thoughts on toxic partners
At least some of these toxic phrases are harmful only in certain contexts. You also need to consider who is saying it and the tone used. Often, gullible people are taken advantage of by their toxic partners with such a constant barrage of toxic phrases. It’s quite easy to overlook and ignore them or even find excuses even if you feel hurt.
The list of things toxic partners say is compiled to help you identify the nastiness and poison hidden in them and not write them off as an inadvertent slip of the tongue. The first step for you is to initiate an open conversation with your partner to let them know how their toxic phrases make you feel. If it continues, you are within your right to walk out of the relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions About Toxic Partners
While it is possible for toxic partners to change their behavior, it is rare. It requires a great deal of self-reflection, accountability, and a willingness to seek help. It is not something that can happen overnight and is usually a long and difficult process.
There are many reasons why someone may stay in a relationship with a toxic partner, including fear, love, hope for change, financial dependence, and feelings of guilt or responsibility. It is important to understand that leaving an abusive relationship can be extremely difficult and that the decision to do so should be made with the support and guidance of trained professionals.
If you suspect that a friend is in a relationship with a toxic partner, the most important thing you can do is to be supportive and non-judgmental. Let your friend know that you are there for them and that you believe them. Encourage them to seek professional help and offer to help them develop a safety plan if they decide to leave the relationship. However, it is important to remember that you cannot force someone to leave an abusive relationship, and ultimately the decision to do so must come from the survivor themselves.
Recognizing that you might be the toxic partner in your relationship is a difficult but important first step. It is important to seek the help of a therapist or counselor who can help you understand the root causes of your behavior and provide you with tools and strategies to change. It is also important to take responsibility for your actions and to make amends for any harm you may have caused to your partner.
No, not all toxic partners are the same. There are many different ways in which someone can be emotionally abusive or manipulative, and the tactics used by toxic partners can vary widely. It is important to remember that abusive behavior is never acceptable and that no one deserves to be treated poorly by their partner.
There is no specific personality type that is more likely to be a toxic partner. While some personality traits, such as narcissism or sociopathy, may be more commonly associated with abusive behavior, it is important to remember that anyone can be emotionally abusive or manipulative. The most important thing is to recognize the red flags of abusive behavior and to seek help if you suspect that you are in a relationship with a toxic partner.