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You Can Understand Yourself From These 8 Kinds Of Relationships

You Can Understand Yourself From These 8 Kinds Of Relationships

Life is confusing and messy and sometimes you just feel lost in all the mess and confusion. When this happens, it’s hard to remember who you are,how you got where you are now, what you want and what to do next. Examining the eight kinds of relationships discussed in this article can give you a great place to start in finding yourself again so that you know who you are,what you want and where you want your life to go.

Your relationship with yourself

Man Using Perspective To Stand On Top Of Beer Can

    How are you doing your relationship with yourself? You teach people how to treat you by the way you treat yourself. It is important that you get into a great relationship with yourself so that you know who you are and what you stand for. When you have a good relationship with yourself you know your strengths and also your weaknesses. You know your likes, your dislikes, your hobbies, interests and passions and create time for them. You embrace who you are fully and learn how to love yourself unconditionally so that you give yourself permission to be you and do what is right for you. Because after all is said and done, no one will love you and value you more than you value yourself.

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    Your relationship with your family

    Grandmaother And Childs Hands About To Touch

      When my son was born, I was scared that I would have to transition into motherhood alone with little or no support. But my family turned out to be my biggest support system. My sister flew across the world to spend two weeks with me and the newborn baby. My mother and the rest of my family all showed their love and support by calling and checking in on me constantly because they could not be there to physically take care of me. I was surrounded by so much love which reminded me that I was special, loved and that I mattered. Sometimes when you’re feeling lost, all you need is to surround  yourself with family and people who love you for who you are so that you are reminded of your value and worth in this world.

      Your relationship with money

      We all have a unique relationship with money. You may ignore it, abuse it, deny that your relationship exists but you are still involved. Your involvement in your relationship with money occurs with every decision you make that money plays a role. You are either in control of your money or your money controls you. Examining your relationship with money can give you and others insight into who you are because how you handle your money is a clear reflection of who you are. Because you can’t have everything you want all at once, you have to pick and choose what you spend your money on and you will always pick what you feel is important and valuable to you. Looking at how you spend and handle money can tell you who you are and what is really important to you.

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      Your relationship with the past

      There are many ways our past determines our present and it is easy to fall in the trap of living in the past. Spending time thinking about the past and wishing things would have been different or better does no one any good. The past is gone and done with. You can’t change it. Continuing to have a relationship with what is already done prevents you from moving forward and enjoying the present. Looking at your past experiences and learning from them without judgement and shame can help you understand who you are and why you do things the way you do them.

      Your romantic relationships

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        Romantically, we tend to attract people who share similar values and interests. By looking at your past and present romantic relationships, you can gain some knowledge about who you are by looking at the type of partner and romantic interests you attract.

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        Your relationship with your friends

        Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. Like attracts like and your friends are a great indication of the type of person you are.

        Your relationship with the present

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          You are who you are now, not who you were five years ago or who you wish you could be. Being able to enjoy what is happening in your life in the presents makes your life more enjoyable and meaningful. That tells you and other people the kind of person you are,one who is living life to the fullest.

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          Your relationship with the future

          You may not like your past or present situation but you have the opportunity to change what your future looks like. How do you want the future to be? Who do you want to be? Knowing what you want your life to look like in the future allows you to start preparing yourself and working towards becoming the person you want to be. Having a relationship with the future does not mean obsessing and stressing about what you want to happen, but being a co-creator in how your future turns out.

          Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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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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