Last week, I talked about how consent was important in everyday aspects of your life. Today, I’m talking about your game plan should a relationship turn toxic.

You know the hallmarks of a toxic relationship – and I don’t mean the romantic kind. You’ve watched it in teen movies, whether it be altering behaviour Plastics-style or murder sprees like Coven or the Heathers. These sorts of relationships can turn the most passive person into a pissed-off psychopath.

Whether you’re in a toxic relationship, or looking at one from the outside, there are a few things you can do. Let’s assume you’ve gotten yourself into one, which is why you’re reading this.

Step One: How does this person make you feel?

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Friends support friends like bras support boobs. An ill-fitting bra is going to hurt you, give you back pains and leave ugly red lines where it’s cut into your skin. If you spend time with this person and they don’t make you feel good, think about your relationship.

I’m not saying your friendships should make you feel a-ok all the time, but there has to be healthy conflict resolution. Leading us to step two.

Step Two: Can you express yourself freely around this person?

You know when you’re in high school and you hide some of your ‘dorkier’ pursuits in case people thought you were weird? If you never had to do this, you lucky SOB. Friends make you feel comfortable being you. If you feel like you need to change yourself in order to be around this person, you need to take a good hard look at your relationship.

Step Three: Does this person respect your boundaries?

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Boundaries are important. Boundaries are monumental levels of important. However, if this person steps all over your boundaries – they don’t respect you as a person with individual needs and wants and all. If your friend is constantly encouraging you to break curfew, do things you’re uncomfortable with, etc – it’s not cool.

Step Four: Does this person know where to draw the line?

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We all have invisible lines that we know not to cross and there’s a fine line between ribbing and outright kicking your friend. Friends don’t backstab friends. One case: I have a friend who’s trying to lose weight. Rule of thumb: I don’t make fun of her weight and she doesn’t bring up my past relationships. We’re cool.

Does your friend cross those boundaries? Does your friend act more like a jealous lover? Think about it.

That concludes this week’s Thirstday. Let me know what you think in the comments, and recommend new topics for me through my email OR tweet me at @hannahcyanide.

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