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How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Relationship

Learn to communicate

If specific themes continue to arise, at some point it could be helpful to speak to your partner. 

They can be an asset, as they can help you point out self-sabotaging behaviors as they arise.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Relationship

How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Relationship

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/201707/how-avoid-sabotaging-your-relationship

psychologytoday.com

6

Key Ideas

Understand your attachment style

We come out of our family of origin with a blueprint of how we attach to others. The closer someone is to another person, the greater the likelihood that their attachment style can become challenged, and that the strains will bring out their worst qualities, such as jealousy, anger, and enmeshment, often leading to self-sabotaging behavior.

Many people can re-work how they attach in adulthood and thrive in romantic relationships.

Identify your triggers

Journal about the experiences in your relationship that trigger behaviors you experience as self-sabotaging. Ask yourself: What was happening? What did you feel at the time? What were you afraid of? How likely is it that the outcome you feared would happen?

Having an awareness of what triggers these behaviors can prepare us for the inevitable conflicts that arise.

Be mindful of your behavior

Insecurity in relationships is inevitable because everybody has issues to work on.

It’s critical to know what yours are. With this insight, a person can then stop negative behaviors, learn to tolerate the discomfort, and engage in alternative and more healthy behavior.

Decipher the past from the present

Our strong emotional reactions can be our best clues to unfinished business from our past. 

The next time you experience a reaction that you suspect may be out of proportion from what you identify as the triggering event, take a moment to pause before responding.

Learn to communicate

If specific themes continue to arise, at some point it could be helpful to speak to your partner. 

They can be an asset, as they can help you point out self-sabotaging behaviors as they arise.

Self-care and self-compassion

Cultivating self-compassion is essential for those who struggle with low self-esteem, especially when this manifests in relationships. 

Seeking a therapist as a collaborator is a helpful way to begin healing from past hurts, finding self-acceptance, and moving closer to lasting and fulfilling love.

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You have an eye on the exit

You avoid anything that leads to a bigger commitment. You're always wondering: "if it goes wrong, how can I extricate myself easily from this relationship?

Because comm...

You gaslight your partner

The aim of Gaslighting is to deny the other person's reality or experiences. It is a sign that you don't really believe your partners' feelings are real. 

For example, if your partner says: "I'm really upset that you canceled our date", you respond with something like: "You're not really upset, it's your fault I canceled and you're just trying to blame me for it." 

You are known as a "serial dater"

You break up with partners on the slightest of issues, only to start dating another person right away and repeat the cycle. 

You don't want to be seen as a "player" but you can't seem to find someone who you can commit to.

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Why You Self-Sabotage

For many people, the fear of rejection and the fear of engulfment keep them out of relationships.

These fears are based on false beliefs, such as success or failure defines my worth as...

How You Self-Sabotage

Relationships:

  • You keep yourself isolated.
  • You make so many demands on your partner that he or she feels smothered and ends the relationship.
  • You judge everyone you meet as not being good enough for you.

Work:

  • You keep putting off looking for the kind of job you want.
  • You are able to work, and say you want to, but keep living off other means.
  • You stay in a job that you hate.
  • You keep yourself uneducated regarding doing what you really want to do.
Healing Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior
  • Notice self-judgments.
  • Shift your definition of your worth, from outcomes to effort. Decide that you will define your worth by the loving actions you take for yourself and others.
  • Consciously see mistakes and failure as stepping stones to success, rather than as definitions of your worth. 
  • Learn to be kind and compassionate toward your own feelings
  • Make a decision that you are willing to lose another person rather than lose yourself. 
Interdependence

Being dependent on another person can be unhealthy. Independence, taken to an extreme, can actually get in the way of us being able to connect emotionally with others in a meaningful way.&nbs...

Codependency

A codependent person tends to rely heavily on others for their sense of self and well-being. There is an enmeshed sense of responsibility to another person to meet their needs and/or for their partner to meet all of their needs to feel okay about who they are.

Traits of a codependent relationship
  • Poor/no boundaries
  • People-pleasing behaviors
  • Reactivity
  • Unhealthy, ineffective communication
  • Manipulation
  • Difficulty with emotional intimacy
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Blaming each other
  • Low self-esteem of one or both partners
  • No personal interests or goals outside the relationship

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Sabotaging behaviors
  • You are controlling and rigid in the way that others should treat you and are easily disappointed. 
  • You have issues with real intimacy. 
  • You tell yoursel...
Examine your history

This goes back to your childhood. 

For example: if you’re drawn to the excitement of meeting and starting a relationship with someone who has a lack of morals, character and is untrustworthy, try to find out about how your parents’ unhealthy habits have affected your choice in partners.

You are part of the problem

If you have a fear of abandonment and rejection and you are constantly ‘setting’ up scenarios that lead to your disappointment, you are the puppeteer controlling this. 

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Conflict mistaken for passion

Arguments and disagreements in relationships are normal, but screaming matches and every day fighting isn’t.

People who seek out conflict in their relationship for the intens...

Keeping the peace

Ignoring problems in a relationship in order to avoid conflict will only mean that the problems pile up until they can no longer be ignored – and by then, it might be too hard to fix.

Keeping score

Keeping track of the things that you do, versus the things that they do is a way to create pressure and conflict where there should only be teamwork. 

Sit down together and work out a plan on things like chores or bills, and who does or pays what.

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Self-sabotaging Behavior

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.

Avoid self-sabotaging
  • Don't let others dictate your behavior. Choose your responses to situations rather than reacting to them.
  • Don't let others dictate your attitude. You can control your attitudes, responses and actions, but little else.
  • Don't let others devalue your sense of self. The act of comparison can lead to internal conflict and lack of self-confidence.
Sneaky Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Fight other sneaky self-sabotaging behaviors by owning your impact. Don't hand over the control of your behaviors, attitudes and sense of self-worth to other people without thinking.

Getting To The Root Of Your Reluctance

If you find it difficult to share your past experiences, ask yourself why you are reluctant to open up. Getting to the root of the reluctance is key.

Work Out Your Feelings First

Before you talk to your partner about something difficult, find the right words to express it first. Until you can verbalize it, it remains unknown to you and to your partner.

If you do not feel safe enough to talk through these issues, consider journaling, or talking with a counsellor until you are clear about how you are feeling.

Open Up In Small Steps

When you decide to open up, start by taking small steps to test the waters first.

The more you practice and see that you can do it, the easier it will get for you to open up.

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The Relationship Scorecard

This is when you and your partner continue to blame each other for past mistakes made in the relationship instead of solving the current problem.

Deal with issues individually unless they ...

Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support.

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

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See Relationships Like A Therapist

Relationships nowadays are regularly in the doldrums, with certain factors that tend to ruin them. These same factors can be ‘reverse-engineered’ to help us strengthen and improve these relations.

Validate, Not Solve

When someone talks about their problems, we are jumping in the problem-solving mode straight away. While dealing with people, this approach can backfire. A better approach is to just listen and validate their struggles, make them feel heard and understood.

Actions Have Underlying Functions

Many times, the external appearance of behaviour isn’t the full story and has underlying functions. It is just a symptom and not the problem.

Example: When a teenager is mad for no reason, it helps to understand the underlying problems they usually have in this age, and be compassionate.

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Creating routines
Creating routines

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How to respond to the "invisible work"

During the pandemic, being at home with a partner reveals the "invisible work" they're doing, which may be taken for granted. This expanded view of ourselves and our partners can go in two directions.

  • In one direction, you are curious and say, "I never knew. I really appreciate it. I realize how I let you do everything." It becomes a source of connection.
  • It the other direction, it becomes a source of blame where you want to complain and tell your partner just how much you are doing. This way, you're not going to get help.
How people should fight

Couples go through harmony, disharmony, and repair. So they will inevitably get into arguments. However, what matters is how you fight. Don't highlight everything negative while taking the positive for granted.

  • Start by saying to yourself, "What are the one or two things that they have done that I can appreciate?" If you start with that, you will fight differently.

  • Stay focussed on the one thing that you're upset about at this moment. Don't end up talking about other things.

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