Self-care is often about keeping difficult people at bay, says the psychologist.
We can all think of people who have been a destructive force in our lives – whether it was a former romantic partner, friend, or colleague. Looking back, we can see that our relationship with them has done more harm than good and that our present life is much better without them. But how do you recognize the signs of a potentially destructive relationship before putting too much effort into it? Here are three things to watch out for in order to keep yourself from the emotional wreckage of an unhealthy relationship dynamic.
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Be careful when investing in an emotionally unavailable person
When seeking a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, whether romantic or platonic, you often force yourself to engage in the renegade stalker dance. In this type of relationship, the more you chase the other person for approval, intimacy, and/or connection, the more they may move away from you. This can be an extremely draining activity as it leads to constant feelings of dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and detachment.
People tend to think that men are more likely to play the role of distanced, but a recent study shows that women often practice emotional distancing as well. Regardless, for a relationship to thrive, both parties must be interested and willing to express and observe each other’s vulnerabilities.
Avoid unapologetically people
A non-apologising person is a person who finds it difficult to admit their behavior, especially in cases where an apology is justified.
We all make mistakes. So we all need to be able to apologize. Apologizing at critical moments is an important component of a healthy relationship.
Moreover, apologies should not be reserved only for the biggest mistakes. Admitting your small mistakes matters and shows genuine concern for the person who may have been on the side of your mistake.
A simple apology: “I’m sorry I came later than promised, I missed my alarm, please know that I really appreciate our time together” followed by corrective action is all that’s needed.
Since the non-apologist is often unaware of their offhand behavior, the best course of action may be to reach out to them. If you feel that the non-apologising person is aware of the harm their behavior has caused you, but still doesn’t want to apologize on principle or because of a distorted view of the situation, you’re probably better off leaving the relationship.
Beware of self-serving people chasing status
All relationships are selfish in one way or another. We rely on others for support, connection, love, friendship, laughter, and so on. – that helps us to feel complete human beings.
But there are times when the equation of value becomes one-sided. For example, there are many people who are looking to connect with others because it serves some momentary purpose. This is an unfortunate fact of social life.
Such people often associate their self-worth with material things rather than with friendships and emotional connections. According to them, there is nothing wrong with viewing a relationship with someone as a means to some other end. Unfortunately, often it is you who remains the loser in them.
So beware of status seekers who stay around just to reap the benefits of what you can do for them. Once they get what they need, they will most likely move on to their next victim.
As difficult as it is sometimes to cut toxic people out of your life, it’s also important to know that the one-sidedness of such relationships will end up hurting and disappointing you. The sooner you let go of them, the easier it will be to reshape your life in accordance with your ideas.
Previously, Focus wrote that money can really buy happiness. But psychologists warn of one condition.
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