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No relationship is perfect. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, whether romantic or otherwise. Even the best of lovers will have moments of misunderstanding, frustration, and confusion. However, with open communication – which is vital in a healthy relationship – most conflict can be remedied through mutual respect, support, and compromise.
In a healthy relationship, each partner usually feels comfortable sharing their feelings, wishes, and disappointments. While there are different levels of emotional maturity, if your partner attempts to consider your point-of-view and makes sincere efforts to make compromises, your relationship is probably healthy.
Passive-Aggressive Does Not a Narcissist Make
An important thing to keep in mind is that although a person may exhibit passive-aggressive behaviors, it doesn’t automatically make them a Narcissist. Though passive-aggressive people aren’t bad at their core, it’s a learned behavior that often leads to the destruction of important relationships if their negative coping behaviors are not corrected. The difference between a person who is passive aggressive and a narcissist is that passive-aggressiveness is a self-defeating behavior, whereas the narcissist engages in other-defeating behaviors.
A person who is passive-aggressive has a true desire to not rock the boat. He or she is loath to bring up any displeasure or objections. Because of this, their anger and frustration become pent up until they have a meltdown of sorts. It can appear that their anger is extremely disproportionate to the event that triggered them.
It is sometimes difficult to make the distinction between a person engaging in passive-aggressive behaviors and a narcissistic person. In general, they both exhibit explosive anger, place blame on their partners, and seem hostile. The passive-aggressive, however, isn’t sadistic like the narcissistic personality. They typically aren’t serial cheaters, stalkers, pathological liars (unless having to do with deadlines and tasks), nor have a desire to hurt the other person, as ironic as that may seem at times. Further, passive-aggressive types generally don’t take advantage of their partners financially, engage in sexual deviation or degradation, or lack empathy when their partner is sick or has a death in the family. They simply haven’t learned to communicate their anger and frustration properly.
Toxic relationships, on the other hand, are based on power and control, not fairness and respect. According to loveisrespect.org:
In the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may not think the unhealthy behaviors are a big deal. However, possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, pulling hair, pushing or other negative, abusive behaviors, are — at their root — exertions of power and control. Remember that abuse is always a choice and you deserve to be respected. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind.
Other signs of a toxic partner include:
- Parasitic lifestyle
- Criticism and contempt
- Repeated and prolonged silent treatments
- Wanting you to keep the relationship a secret
- Criminal inclinations
To find out more about whether your relationship might be toxic, take the following test – Toxic Relationship Test – 10 Toxic Love Signs
**If your test results indicate that you are in a toxic relationship, it’s important to realize your partner will not change. Those with disorders such as narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy do not believe their destructive behaviors are wrong. The best thing you can do for your mental and physical health is to go No Contact.