5 Tiny Habits That Will Keep You In A Toxic Relationship Forever

Here's how your choices keep you stuck in a bad relationship.

Couple back to back travenian | Canva 

If you're stuck in a toxic relationship, it may be because you haven't learned how to be more confident and get over your low self-esteem. Have you ever been in a relationship where you took feeling not good enough to a whole new level? Have you ever wondered if it was because you felt not good enough that you got into a toxic relationship in the first place? We have all known someone like this.

Sometimes, feeling not good enough can make having healthy relationships downright impossible. And yet, the signs of feeling not good enough will show up in your life just the same. They will be as clear and damaging as if a rotten boyfriend were driving home the message. The seed of low self-esteem and low self-worth is usually planted in childhood. The self doesn’t have the cognitive or experiential ability to unearth it. It becomes part of the child’s formative development.


She knows no different, even though she grows up feeling somehow "not right" and "not good enough." Perhaps, you recognize that young girl. Perhaps, you struggle with self-doubt and self-defeating habits. Perhaps, you value others’ opinions at the cost of your own time, energy, and self-esteem. Perhaps, you are so sensitive to rejection that you will do anything to avoid it.

If you are a people-pleaser, you probably don’t even recognize that you are misusing the gift of empathy. Your seemingly selfless concern for ensuring everyone else’s happiness is a mask for your fear of rejection. "Oh God! What if I speak my opinion and everyone disagrees? I’ll have no friends. What if I’m not there to help when a friend is hurting? Better to keep everyone happy, even if I’m not." 5 damaging habits make you feel not good enough in a toxic relationship so if you want to learn how to be more confident, you need to be aware of them.


RELATED: 5 Early Warning Signs Of The Most Toxic Relationships

These 5 tiny habits will keep you in a toxic relationship forever:

1. You feel guilty

In unhealthy relationships, you don’t feel guilty because you have done something wrong. You feel guilty because you have internalized negative messages and are convinced you can never be or do enough.



2. You think you are a failure

You disregard your achievements, difficulties, and efforts. You procrastinate because you get lost in the details, missing the forest for the trees. Your insecurity convinces you that anything less than perfection from you equals failure.


RELATED: 16 Toxic Expectations That Sabotage Even The Best Relationships

3. You're a perfectionist

You second-guess yourself, feel overwhelmed, procrastinate, and often simply give up. Not getting into the game is somehow easier than risking a shut-out. When people recognize your gifts and achievements, your belief that you are not good enough convinces you that you are an imposter. "It’s only a matter of time before they find out," you think.



4. You struggle with depression and anxiety

If you always feel you are not good enough, you are at a higher risk of suicide. Your self-esteem and confidence are conditional — and fragile — and always based on an unrealistic notion of perfection.


RELATED: The 6 Most Common Reasons Why We Stay In Toxic Relationships

5. You ruminate over bad outcomes

"It’s all my fault. If I had only said this, done that…." When you read this list, you may feel sorry for the person described. That’s a sad way to have to live, right? But what if the person described is you? Can you recognize and quiet the liar in your mind that is tearing apart your self-esteem? And can you recognize how the habit of not feeling good enough is keeping you from being confident and living your best life?

How long would you stay in toxic relationships with toxic boyfriends who constantly berate you? Convince you that everything that goes wrong is your fault? Tell you that no one else would even give you the time of day, let alone love you? It’s a horrible situation to imagine. But, it’s the reality — both in relationships with others and (especially) in the relationship with yourself. And allowing it to continue can lead to the erosion of all your beautiful potential.


Sadly, the time when you need love the most is also the time when you feel you deserve it the least. But that is the very moment when you have to heed the call to heroism on behalf of your precious inner child. There are moments in life when you simply have to rise and do what you know is right. The adult in you may not feel worthy of the effort, but the child who was unjustly taught she wasn’t good enough deserves the effort. Eventually, you can say to yourself, "I am enough" and that's the best reward. 

RELATED: 30 Signs Of Unhealthy Relationships To Be Aware Of

Lisa Lieberman-Wang is a relationship expert, and author, and has been seen by millions on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW as their Success Strategist, Relationship, & Breakthrough Expert. She’s spoken on some of the most prestigious stages, including Harvard University, the Navy, Women Leading the Future, and more.