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5 Things Independent Women Should Keep In Mind Before Starting A Relationship

5 Things Independent Women Should Keep In Mind Before Starting A Relationship

Independent women are used to making fulfilling their individual potential as their first priority, but they need to know that certain sacrifices and compromises need to be made in a relationship.

1. You don’t lose individuality, when your partner and you become “we”

Every independent woman is disgusted when couples become “we”, and there is no “I” anymore. “We like the film. We hate that new restaurant. We, we, we…” And all the independent women ask themselves, why has individuality disappeared and what happened to having your own opinion?However, there is nothing wrong with becoming “we”, and it is often an indicator of having a relationship with an actual future. Also, after a few years of a relationship, it’s normal that you are “we”, as you will have experienced a lot of things together.

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When you are an independent woman, becoming “we” is an improvement of a healthy relationship, because you’ll be aware of your needs and opinions, and at the same time share some thoughts with your loved one. Women who cannot imagine being alone or single tend to adopt all the habits and opinions of their partner, which results only in having an unfulfilled relationship, as you lose yourself in it. When you realize that your relationship has improved, don’t freak out, just go with the flow and enjoy sharing experiences, as your independence won’t let you forget your habits. Moreover, it will help you understand your partner’s habits and needs better.

2. You will not put your partner in first place, but he will become one of your priorities

When in a relationship, most women start neglecting their friends, family and, most importantly, themselves, as they put their partner first. An independent woman won’t let her relationship become an obstacle to having a life, but will have to learn that it is a huge part of their life. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to stop hitting the clubs with your friends, so, stop looking at it like an obligation, or even worse, a waste of time. When you get in a relationship, you need to invest in it, especially emotionally.

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As time goes by and you get attached to your partner, he will become one of your priorities, and you’ll learn when it is appropriate that he comes first, and when he needs to be second on the priority list. Keep in mind that he surely puts you on the top of his list too, and if you really love him, he deserves to be a consideration when certain decisions are made.

3. You don’t like compromise, but you’ll actually enjoy doing things your partner likes

As an independent woman, you certainly don’t like making compromises in a relationship, as you may think that your boyfriend is playing a minor role in the story of your life. Imagine that someone said this about you – you would feel unimportant, like you were insignificant to your partner. This might come as a shock to you, but when you are in an excellent relationship, it becomes the main story and your partner and you are the main characters. It won’t happen immediately, but as your relationship develops, you’ll find out that the relationship keeps you going in life and that your partner is the biggest support you have.

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Independent women have a huge advantage, because when making compromises they’ll actually understand their partner and his habits. This way you’ll avoid fights about what someone has done for the other in a relationship. Moreover, you won’t get bored by the things he likes, as you’ll make compromises reasonably and enjoy exploring your partner’s individuality. Getting to fully know one person is a beautiful experience, which you will understand and know to appreciate. Also, your partner will feel respected, as all independent women like to embrace their partner’s hobbies, habits and opinions, while also preserving their own.

4. You have high expectations and you won’t settle for less

Having high expectations is a good thing, and you know that there is a man who will meet these expectations. When you have certain expectations, such as wanting your man to be a gentleman and respectful of you, it means that you respect yourself and know what you deserve. Women who have expectations, know what they want from a man and respect themselves, will also know how to respect their partner and reach his expectations.

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Try not to set the bar too high for your partner, because there is no need to invest deeply in small details or petty matters. The only expectations you should have are regarding the way he behaves around you, and how he treats you. I am sure, that you as an independent woman know how you would like to be treated. Therefore, don’t settle for less.

5. You know how to spend a quality time with your partner

You don’t need anyone to keep you company and amuse you in order to have fun. When single, you explore many things and work on improving some of your skills. Moreover, you know how to have fun, and you don’t just wander aimlessly around your apartment and waste your time. So, when you start a relationship, you’ll know how to spend some quality time with your partner. Moreover, you’ll actually want to spend that time with him, and you’ll both know how to enjoy each other’s company. You know that the best time you can have with someone is a fun conversation over some nice wine, just enjoying the moment.

Being independent is a good thing, just be careful not to push your partner away by being cold and unavailable. Your characteristics will work for you – they’ll make your relationship healthy, fulfilling and fun. However, you’ll need to learn that, sometimes you just need to go with the flow and, most importantly, learn to let somebody else play a major role in your life.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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