Do you worry about being the toxic one?

09 Jun 2020

Have you ever worried about being the toxic one in your relationship?

Did this happen because you were labelled The Problem or The Narcissist by someone who was, actually, in no position to cast a first stone?

If so, you know that such labels and accusations play strange tricks on your mind.  You end up both knowing that you are the one way more sinned against than sinning but also fearing that, at bottom, you are The Bad One and everything that has gone wrong in the relationship is your fault.

Being abused of being ​the toxic one, ​when you are doing everything you possibly can to earn your partner’s love, is one of the most soul-destroying things that can ever happen to you.

It consumes so much of your mental and emotional energy.

This post will show you how you can finally get closure on your anxiety about being “the toxic one”, as well as discovering why it is so hard to discover why your mind plays tricks on you and how you get past that problem.

The reason why your mind plays tricks on you

Now, the reason why your mind plays tricks on you is simple. Your rational mind and your emotions are just NOT on the same page.

Your rational mind can relate the accusations to relevant knowledge and information that you have acquired over the years and say, “No, this is nonsense.”

However, your emotions will relate the accusations to prior accusations and painful, early experiences.  Those early experiences, sadly, leave you emotionally defenceless.

If people that you loved dearly could come out with such statements about you, they would have to be true, wouldn’t they? Because, otherwise, why would someone even come up with such horrible things?

Why indeed?

The fact that a loved one is now repeating the same kind of accusations – or even the self-same accusations, word for word, must mean something, right?

And being the kind of honest, accountable person that you are, you are hardly going to run away from your share of blame.  Not even if it is the lion’s share.

The problem with rational arguments

So, I am not going to seek to persuade you by presenting my best rational arguments. Rational arguments don’t work when it comes to effecting emotional change. Those rational arguments would be right. But, chances are, they still would not really connect with you at a profound emotional level.

Instead, I propose doing something far more effective – getting you to connect with the question on an emotional level. Because that is the level at which deep change occurs.

It’s not what you know that changes the way that you feel enough to heal your wounds. It’s what you feel and own – or disown – emotionally that makes all the difference.

For that reason, I would like you to provide your own emotional response to the questions that follow.  Ideally, you will take a moment to write down your answers. I agree that may be a tad inconvenient and even a bit of a bore.

However, there is something quite magical about writing your thoughts out.  Doing so gives you a far clearer insight into your own thinking and is far more likely to lead to some powerful Aha moments than just rehashing those old, oh-so familiar notions in your head. So, I do hope that you will venture outside your comfort zone enough to do it.

13 Questions to know if you are The Toxic One

1) Does the fighting and hostility make you feel powerful? Do you instigate fights and hostility with a view to making yourself feel better at your partner’s expense?

2) Do you enjoy the fights and hostility?  Toxic people love power and control, remember.  They excel at using fights and hostility to cow you into submission.

3) Do you want to keep on fighting over the same old things that could have occurred months, years or decades ago? If you don’t, why don’t you?

4) Do you enjoy hurling abuse?  Do you think your partner does?

5) Do you enjoy being on the receiving end of abuse? How much does it bother your partner? And how does your partner react to abuse?

6) Are you happy for this state of affairs to continue? How does this compare to your view of how a good relationship should be conducted?

7) Do you prefer anger and hostility to love and intimacy? How prepared are you to throw away what could be happy moments to pick a fight over something unimportant, if not downright idiotic?

8) Do you get a kick out of hurting and humiliating your partner, for the hell of it?

9) Do you believe that your partner is an unlovable, unworthy individual who deserves to be punished?

10) How low will you go to hurt them?

11) Do you calculate and store the most hurtful things you can find to say about them?

12) Do you thrive on fights, intimidation, control and The Silent Treatment?

13) Do you feel awful and as guilty as hell most of the time?

Does that really sound like you?

Apart from the last question – which, likely does sound exactly like you.

Toxic people mess with your mind

Toxic people mess with your mind.  They gaslight you until you don’t rightly know what is going on inside your own head.

But you do know where you stand emotionally. You stand on the side of love, connection, intimacy, gentleness, supportiveness.

So, let me ask you, given your values and your partner’s, could you really be The Toxic One in the relationship?



Toxic people tend to be a lot more persuasive than you are – because they are really good at playing mind games while you are not. Therefore, as a general principle, you are better not believing a single word they say.  Especially when it comes to you.

You are not The Toxic One.  They are just covering their tracks when they beat you up emotionally.  Never trust anyone who makes an art form out of telling you all that is bad about you.  In reality, they are making a powerful statement about their own toxicity. Your job is to put as much emotional and physical distance between yourself and them as you possibly can.

If you need help to stop believing that you are The Toxic One so that you can get back to rebuilding your life and your self-esteem, get in touch.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

7 thoughts on “Do you worry about being the toxic one?”

  1. Amazing Post!! Seriously I said a prayer- God why doesn’t my mind totally get they dynamics of the abuse and the narcissists bx tactics etc, but my emotions keep vacillating ..

    Anyway – your post showed up as I was doing my morning readings.. perfect timing for where I am at in my healing-

    Thank you!

  2. I sometimes do feel my ex is unworthy and unlovable. He doesn’t deserve to ever get in another relationship. He has abused many many people in his life and broken ties with anyone who has ever truly cared about him. Does that make me toxic? I have fought back and been ugly to him, too.

    • It makes you angry about what has happened to you – which is not unreasonable.

      The chances are that your fighting back and ugliness were actually “reactive abuse”. You would need to say more for me to be clear about what really happened.

      Reactive abuse occurs when you have taken so much abuse you respond in an abusive way.

      However, it has also been my experience that when victims of abuse say that they have behaved badly too, what they mean is that they have slipped below their standards. But when they describe their ugly behavior and that of their abuser, there is a gulf. Reactive abuse is not seriously about repeatedly sitting down and calculating the way that you can cause someone the most harm. Rather it is about trying to make the pain of being abused stop, for once.

      Warm wishes for your healing and happiness,


  3. It has been 7 years since the emotional And verbal abuse along with gaslighting and betrayal… recent wedding of son with ex is causing me distress… in a good relationship now , but find myself feeling lost … ???

    • I’m not sure that I understand. Is it the recent wedding of your son with his ex that you are talking about?

      I would need more context to help you explain this lost feeling.

      Warm wishes for your healing and happiness,



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