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10 Reasons To Let Go Of People Who Choose To Leave Your Life

10 Reasons To Let Go Of People Who Choose To Leave Your Life

Why is it so much easier to let go of people we chose to let go of, but find it so much harder to let go of people who chose to leave our lives? Could it be something to do with the fact, that when we make that decision, we are in control, but that control is taken from us by another when they go, and there is little we can do about it?

Lets break things down a little and look at the reasons first why we need to let go of people and secondly why people chose to leave our life in the first place.

1. Because it is not always about us.

Sometimes it is about them, when they walk out, and what they need to get from life and for their personal happiness and well being. We are not center of the universe for anyone’s life except our own!

We all want different things in our lives no matter how compatible we may be, or how well we get on. When someone recognizes a strong need or desire that grows, or doesn’t fade, and they feel they cannot fulfill that passion or desire they have, while being with you, then they must ultimately leave or  live resenting you.

Is that what you really want for you or for them? Do you now see why you need to let go of people who chose to leave your life?

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Sometimes it may be a new career, a place they have always wanted to live, something they want to do, but to do it alone and not have to commit to a time frame or to being with a person. This really is about them and not you, so let them go, so they can be fulfilled. Go find something that will fire you up and inspire you in the same way.

2. Because some relationships are toxic.

Can I put it any more simply than that? It will either be detrimental for one person (you) even if you were prepared to hang in there, keep hoping that things would change, or was it detrimental for the other person and they  realized that and left.

Or was your relationship detrimental for both parties? Where any part of a relationship is toxic, it is not a good place to be for either person. Being with a manipulative, controlling, jealous or abusive partner are examples of a toxic relationship.

Don’t expect them to change and stop making excuses for them. It doesn’t change a thing. Let them go.

On the other hand if you were accused of being the toxic component of your relationship, then again just let them go, and use that time wisely to reflect on why you may need help, to resolve any issues you are going through.

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3. Because some people will do what they want whenever they want.

They won’t cast you a second thought. Call them what ever names you want but I doubt they will care. Yes, some people will never change. They may have promised to change or may have had no interest in changing. After all they think they are perfect, so why suffer with someone who will never see you as someone of any significance?

Their ego and degree of self importance blinded them to your pain and suffering. Have you waited up for them to come home, did they ignore you or belittle you, did they forget your birthday, to take you out? Was your relationship very one sided and all about them and they decided to leave you for someone else without casting a thought your way? If so, let go, breathe a sigh of relief, you had a lucky escape. Count your blessings. It is no loss!

4. Because maybe you have driven them away.

Have you changed? Has something happened? Did you miss the signals or alarm bells going off? Were they trying to tell you something? Did they act differently? Only you can answer this, or if you find it too difficult, confide in someone whose opinion you respect, but may not always like! You deserve an honest answer before you can make peace and get some closure.

5. Because sometimes you just have to recognize that it was only you trying to make things work.

Maybe they found what they were looking for elsewhere and you no longer met their expectations. You were surplus to their requirements, they lost interest. I know this can be devastating and hard to face, but is that possibly what happened? Sometimes we try so hard to meet all the expectations of another, but it is unsustainable and exhausting.

You tried to look perfect, smart, cool, try to really fit in to the other persons life, interests and hobbies but there is no guarantee that they would stay.  Maybe they are so fickle, they will continue to float between people, not quite sure what they really need or what they are looking for. Do you really want to be with someone like this?

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6. Because sometimes letting go of someone is kinder than holding someone back.

Yes, sometimes letting someone go is the kindest thing to do. Are you now free to do the things you always wanted to do, are you no longer held back from doing something you have been putting off or felt unable to do before this?

Alternatively maybe that is why someone left because they felt held back and stagnant in an aspect of their life that was making them very unhappy, so unhappy they had to do something. That something was walking out on you no matter how hard that was for either or both of you.

7. Because you have become too dependent.

Did you lose yourself along the way and become too dependent on this person and you craved being with them and having them around you and they recognized this and feel trapped, stifled and wanted out! Were you less independent since you have been together, did you have greater expectations from the other person? Did they see you as needy, clingy, vulnerable and perhaps a bit demanding?

8. Because together you no longer worked.

You constantly argued and underlying resentment and hostility built up. You either didn’t want to acknowledge it or keep thinking it would get better but the other person decided to get out first but you still find it hard to let go.

9. Because the trust has simply gone.

It is very hard to turn back the clock and if significant trust has been broken by either party, being in a relationship will become unsustainable when one person has had enough and isn’t going to work at the relationship any longer. Where someone chooses to leave your life, let them go, learn and build yourself up again. Take what was best from the relationship so you don’t become cynical but learn also from what went wrong.

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10. Because your relationship was all about control.

Lets face it, this was not a healthy relationship to be in. Looking back, is it possible you were being controlled by the other person or were you trying to call all the shots?  Either way, there are no real winners and regardless of who left, it was not a recipe for success. Going forward neither person would be happy.

I know the above may be hard to take in, process and work through. What I find helps in very troubling situations is the Serenity Prayer. Look it up and keep repeating it when you find yourself dwelling on why someone left and finding it hard to let them go. If this does not work or if it is not something you are interested in pursuing, then I leave you with the following:

“There comes a point in your life when you realize:
Who matters,
Who never did,
Who won’t anymore,
And who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.”
― Adam Lindsay Gordon

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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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