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When We Were Young, 99% Of Us Made This Relationship Mistake

When We Were Young, 99% Of Us Made This Relationship Mistake

We’ve all been there before, head over heels in love and sure our partner is “the one”. We spend every waking moment together and dream about what the future will bring. We’re sure this is the deepest love we’ve ever felt. And then the day comes when the relationship doesn’t work out. Those breakups can be the most painful and often leave us asking ourselves, “what happened?”

When you’re young, it can be easy to commit the biggest relationship mistake in the dating world: Thinking love is enough to sustain a relationship. Patty Smyth had it right when she sang, “Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.” But don’t worry. You’re not alone. Everybody experiences this relationship mistake at one time or another. It’s all part of learning more about ourselves.

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How to Avoid the Biggest Relationship Mistake

Maybe you’re thinking, how can the biggest relationship mistake be thinking that love is enough? What more could a relationship possibly need? The answer is: plenty. When you rely on love alone to sustain your relationship, it can be easy to forget about some other very important factors. But don’t worry, we’re going to take a look at just what’s missing from these relationships.

Trust

Trust provides the solid base upon which relationships are built. Both partners must be committed to creating trust in order for it to work. It takes time and effort to create a trusting relationship. A relationship has trust when partners: listen to each other, show mutual respect, avoid controlling each other’s actions, and resolve problems in a healthy way. [1]

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Understanding

Along with trust, having understanding in your relationship is more important than having love. The longer you’re in a relationship, the more your partner (and you!) will develop and change as a person. This means that even your personal needs will change and having understanding for your partner helps you accept those changing needs. [2]

Respect

Part of avoiding the biggest relationship mistake is making sure you have constant respect for your partner. Remembering that both you and your partner’s feelings and values are important is crucial for maintaining respect and a healthy relationship. [3] Showing this respect during inevitable arguments is just as important.

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Communication

You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: communication is key. Communication is more than just talking, it involves listening, too. It involves knowing that you can express your feelings without criticism, feeling that you are being listened to, and trusting that your needs will be met in the relationship. [4]

Be Able to Spend Time Apart

Wanting to spend all your time with the person you love is perfectly natural. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the healthiest thing you can do in a relationship. It’s important to remember to be yourself and enjoy spending time with yourself as well. This helps you retain your self-identity. You are not his/her boyfriend/girlfriend – you are you. If you or your partner need to spend time alone or with other friends, it’s important to be supportive of this decision. [5] Being able to spend time apart helps counteract the biggest relationship mistake.

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Support

What if you decide to give up your office job and pursue painting? Would you want a partner who supports you in that decision? Probably so. Unconditional support lets your partner know they can always rely on you. You can always feel confident that the other person is interested in your hopes and dreams. [6] Support makes you feel safe on an emotional and physical level.

Featured photo credit: SplitShire via pexels.com

Reference

[1] Strategic Psychology: Importance of Trust in a Relationship
[2] Psychology Today: Couples Need This Even More Than Love
[3] Love Is Respect: Healthy Relationships
[4] Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence: What Is a Healthy Relationship?
[5] Huffington Post: 7 Ingredients of a Healthy Relationship
[6] Huffington Post: 6 Phrases More Important Than, “I Love You”

More by this author

Amber Pariona

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

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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