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Do You Have A Toxic Support System? 8 Signs To Watch Out For

Signs You Have A Toxic Support System

We all need a strong support system to get us through the rough tides of life. But what happens when you have a toxic support system? How can you know if your friends and family are doing more harm than good? Let’s explore some signs that your support system is toxic. 

What is a toxic support system?

Your support system refers to the network of individuals you have who can offer you mental, emotional, practical and even financial support in times of need. Our support system often helps to drive us forward, cope with stress and anxiety, improve our overall well-being and achieve our goals. Our support system generally includes –

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Coworkers
  • Peers
  • Neighbors
  • Doctors
  • Religious or spiritual institutions

These people act as a source of motivation and support – people who we can rely on in our darkest days. A healthy support system helps us grow by being responsible, gaining knowledge and experiences, and learning from people who have overcome similar challenges. A toxic support system can make us feel lost and confused by deceiving, misguiding and misdirecting us.

This is why it is crucial that you make sure your support system is actually supportive and not harmful. Learning to identify a toxic support system can help you cut ties with people who are harmful for your well-being and build a new, healthy support system.

Related reading: What Is A Toxic Relationship?

Do you have a toxic support system?
Do You Have A Toxic Support System? 8 Signs To Watch Out For

Signs your support system is toxic

We often blindly trust our family and friends believing that they always want the best for us like we do for them.

Even when we are aware of our dysfunctional families or narcissistic parents, we find it hard to believe that they can be toxic or give us advice that can be harmful for us. Unfortunately, having a toxic support system is a reality we need to wake up to.

If you are wondering whether your relationships and friendships are actually healthy or toxic, then here are a few toxic support system signs that you need to know about.

1. They dominate and manipulate you

When your support system is toxic, you may feel like you’re being controlled instead of being supported to make your own decisions. Toxic family and friends will try to control and influence different aspects of your life, like your health, your career, your relationships and even your personal life. 

You will feel that their support is conditional as it depends on how well you meet their demands, needs or expectations. However, they will pretend to have your best interest in their hearts.

Related reading: Family Dynamics

2. They have a negative vibe

When you have a toxic support system, you will be engulfed with negative energy instead of feeling inspired and motivated. They will always find fault in everything, nag and complain about the way you do things, criticize or minimize your accomplishments and will manipulate you to develop a negative and pessimistic mindset like them. 

So if you notice a friend or a family member focusing on the negative aspect of whatever you talk about, then you need to avoid their toxicity.

3. They love to create drama

One of the most common toxic support system signs is incessant drama. Narcissists and toxic individuals, whether they are your mother, your father, your BFF or even your partner, can’t survive without their daily dose of drama. Whenever you have a bad day or hit an obstacle, they will feel happy about it instead of being empathic. 

Your pain and suffering is a source of drama for them that they thrive on. If you feel your support system is feeding off your misery, then it’s time to cut them off and starve them. 

Related reading: Toxic Friends: 10 Signs Of An Unhealthy Friendship

4. They love chaos

Having toxic parents or a toxic family.
Do You Have A Toxic Support System? 8 Signs To Watch Out For

Just like getting attracted to drama, your toxic support system also loves to create chaos, conflict and confrontations. Regardless of what struggle you are going through, they start fights out of nowhere, bring the attention back to them and blame you for their misery. 

They will make you feel responsible and guilty for their made up problems, while completely ignoring the real issues you are coping with. Although they may act like your biggest supporter, they will only spread toxicity in your life.

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts