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Why People Make Repeated Mistakes In Relationships? Unconsciously They Look For Their Parents’ Faults

Why People Make Repeated Mistakes In Relationships? Unconsciously They Look For Their Parents’ Faults

Take a minute and look back at some of your past relationships. Notice a pattern of repeated mistakes and heartaches? Maybe you’re always falling for emotionally distant partners, psychological manipulators, or people who cheat. Do you have the same old argument in every single one of your relationships? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a psychological and neurological explanation for your behavior.

You, like all humans, are a creature of habit in all areas of your life: professional, friendships, and romance. This means you end up doing the same thing over and over again without realizing it because it feels comfortable. You tend to avoid the unknown while claiming to search for happiness. According to Alain de Botton, a psycho-emotional philosophical author, we aren’t seeking happiness, but rather familiarity in our personal relationships. [1]

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Attachment Theory and Your Relationships

Attachment Theory tells us that your earliest relationships, which were most likely with your parents, set the stage for your future relationships. How your parents acted towards you as a child affects your ability to relate to people as an adult. Those relationships also provided you with a model of how relationships should work. [2]

What does this mean exactly? Well, because you crave familiarity, you unconsciously look for your parents in future romantic relationships. The partner you choose depends on the kind of attachment you developed as a child. People are either securely or insecurely attached. There are two principal types of insecure attachment: avoidant and anxious.

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Dr. Cindy Hazan and Dr. Phillip Shaver of the University of Denver conducted research on romantic relationships as a process of attachment. The results of this study showed that 60 percent of people have secure attachment. The other 40 percent were split between avoidant and anxious. [3]

So how does a person become insecurely attached? If, for example, your father or mother wasn’t emotionally available or didn’t provide consistent attention, you might develop anxious or avoidant attachment. This might cause you to search for an emotionally distant partner. If you were abandoned as a child, you might search for relationships where you have to earn the other person’s love. [4]

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Anxious Attachment and Your Relationships

As an anxiously attached person, you might need to be with your partner constantly. Or, you might need to be reassured of your partner’s feelings for you and their happiness in the relationship. [5] This need may cause strain on your relationships, leading to arguments, stress, and break-up.

Avoidant Attachment and Your Relationships

As a dismissive avoidant attached person, you might be able to emotionally detach yourself from your relationships. This avoidance type makes you feel independent. Because of the relationship with your parents, you have learned to depend only on yourself. A fearful avoidant person wants a healthy relationship, but is afraid of being hurt and finds it hard to trust others. [6]

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Changing Your Attachment Style

Repeating mistakes in your relationships is because of both psychological (discussed above) and neurological issues. Your brain produces neurons that gravitate toward familiar paths which makes it difficult to change your learned behavior. The first step to changing this behavior is recognizing the pattern. Once you have established the pattern in your relationships, take small steps to change. This will be difficult at first, but possible with perseverance. After some time, the new behavior will become the new pattern, resulting in healthier and happier relationships. [7]

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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