92% of 10 staff members and students across each grade at DVC self-reported in a survey that they’ve been in a toxic relationship whether it was with a friend, significant other, or family member.
While DVC accredits itself on its open and friendly environment, the active threat of being engaged in a toxic relationship is still real.
According to Health Scope, an Australian company which operates private hospitals, medical centers and international pathology services, a toxic relationship “is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner.”
A toxic/unhealthy relationship can be more than just a significant other, it can be a friendship and even a relationship with a family member. Having toxic relationships can affect someone’s mental health inside and outside of school. Knowing the signs of a toxic/unhealthy relationship can help in the long run in choosing friendships, significant others, and dealing with family situations.
In The Walls Health District University of Washington website, it states some signs of a healthy relationship are, “Mutual Respect, Trust, Honesty, Support, Fairness/equality, separate identities, good communication, and a sense of playfulness/fondness.”
Healthy relationships with these signs are often indicated when people support you and want the best for you.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship include, but are not limited to feeling pressured to change who a person is for someone else, feeling worried when they disagree with the other person, feeling pressured to quit activities they usually to enjoy, attempting to control or manipulate each other, or experiencing lack of fairness/equality.
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a relationship is toxic if you don’t know the signs or have a lot of experience with relationships,” stated Destiny Ceja, a senior at DVC. “If the relationship is unhealthy and or unbeneficial to any of the people involved you need to be able to recognize the signs so you can respond.”
Transitioning from middle school to high school can open a student’s eyes as to which friendships are true and which relationships are toxic.
“Coming into high school I lost a lot of friends because I feel like high school just shows everyone’s true colors and shows you who your real friends are versus the ones who are toxic towards you,” said freshman William Simmons. “Especially when it comes to toxic relationships during high school there’s a lot of projects and toxic relationships can affect our focus.”
Unhealthy relationships not only affect the relationship itself but also transfers into other aspects of your life such as school and work.
“Being in an unhealthy relationship can affect your focus and the way you work throughout school and just brings a lot of toxicity into your life,” Jorge Lua, a freshman, said.
Unhealthy relationships can cause a person to slack off on school work, get behind, and become a huge distraction. Choosing good and healthy relationships will benefit someone’s mental health and work ethic in the long run.
47.6% of DVC students and staff say they’ve been in a toxic relationship with a significant other. Many DVC students and staff think that a relationship with significant others can affect a person the most when in a toxic relationship. When a significant others work with each other or go to the same school and the two people are having problems it can cause discrepancies in other aspects of their life.
“You have to know when the relationship stops to be beneficial and or toxic and begin to take steps to either improve the relationship or find a way to leave it,” noted Ceja.
Being transparent with the feelings and intentions revolving the relationship goes a long way. Noticing the specific trends of the relationship can often help be a deciding factor in whether someone wants to continue with the relationship or not.
Beginning by talking about the issues and problems at hand and being transparent can often reveal miscommunication and help in deciding where to go next .
An important part of being in a relationship is being able to know how much effort is worth
being put in and when to stop pursuing having a relationship of any kind with that person.
Leaving a toxic relationship in a respectful way can be beneficial to all people involved and as such is encouraged.
If the relationship has any physically abusive tendencies you can begin by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline which is available for 24/7 guidance at 1-800-799-7233, contact 911, or go to CPS’s website for contact information.
The Teen Line is a nonprofit organization that works with professional mental health professors who train teenagers to have conversations with other teens for emotional support. Many teens may feel more comfortable calling teen line due to the fact there speaking with other teens their age who may understand them better than an adult, for more information you can to either Call (310)-855-4673 or Text 8398.
High school is the gateway into the real world, a part of integrating into the world and growing up is being able to be responsible and knowledgeable about the relationships being held and what steps can be taken for the betterment of all parties involved.