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10 Relationship Mistakes That Make Us Lose Sight of What’s Really Important

10 Relationship Mistakes That Make Us Lose Sight of What’s Really Important

Relationships are taxing. They are frustrating, annoying, time consuming, but also absolutely amazing. A healthy relationship is one in which you don’t keep score, you both meet halfway, money isn’t an issue, you both value and respect each other and of course, harbor lots of love for each other.

But if it’s not like that, you may want to stop and consider what’s wrong. These are some relationship mistakes we all make at some point or the other that we absolutely must stop at once and here’s why.

For the Supporting Actors: Stop Undervaluing Yourself

Seriously you’re a superstar. Remember that time you aced your presentation even though you barely had enough time to prepare for it? Or when you just live day in and day out happily even though society often burdens you with ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and keeps trying to tell you how to live? Well, you are no less than a superstar.

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Believe it. Believe in your capacity and your credibility and your accomplishments. To believe in yourself, is to believe in your accomplishments and to believe that you deserve everything you get. Your relationship too, becomes happier as you are less riddled with insecurities and guilt and vulnerabilities and waste less time wondering what you might do wrong and end it or why you deserve it and instead lets you focus more on making your relationship the best it can be.

For the Co-dependent: Stop Outsourcing Your Happiness

Happiness is a strange and rare emotion. People find happiness in different places and different circumstances. Some find happiness in success, some find happiness in giving, some find happiness in contributing but very rarely do people find happiness by themselves. When we depend on others or other things to make us happy, our happiness gets conditional. And that is when something else, something we often have no power over, can make us sad. So stop outsourcing your happiness, especially to your partners. If your partner is the only thing in your life that makes you happy, their absence by itself would be enough to make you unhappy. Of course, you must be happy with your partner but your happiness must never stem from your partner.

For the Mind Readers: Stop Assuming

Men are silly. Women are silly. Many times words are misplaced, sentiments wounded and emotions hurt. It happens in all relationships. The best way to deal with it is to talk it out. A lot of emphasis is placed on communication because that’s the best way to sort things out! So don’t just give up or assume what your partner meant. If the relationship is worth it, one of you (preferably the one who shouted the loudest or who’s words were the meanest) swallow your ego and ask and talk and apologize (if need be). Work towards a better a relationship, not a petty one.

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For the Morphs: Stop Trying to Change Your Partner

To try to change someone is to indirectly tell them that they are not good enough. If you don’t think that individual is good enough for you, then don’t be in a relationship with them, however if you are in a relationship with them, accept them the way they are. Try to maintain a positive attitude about their habits that bother you and move along. We all have enough insecurities and vulnerabilities and to add to those, just because you want to see them act or behave a certain way is rather selfish. So, instead of trying to change your partner, focus more on adapting and accepting them with to their odd behaviors and weird quirks.

For the Cross Checkers: Stop Comparing Your Relationship

Every time you cross check and compare your relationship with someone else’s relationship, you’re bound to find something in another relationship that you like, that doesn’t exist in yours and then wonder why that is so. All relationships are a careful balance of uniqueness, love and the good and bad.  As far as someone else’s relationship is concerned  you more often than not you see only the ‘unique’ and then compare it to yours. Comparing you relationship to any others will not only tarnish what you have but it will also compel you to find reasons to be dissatisfied in your own.

For the Score Board Keepers: Those Who Keep Scores

It isn’t a game. A relationship doesn’t need scores to be kept. Who did what, when, how many times, these are things that each member in the relationship should be holding themselves accountable for and not keeping tabs on your partner. If you do catch yourself ‘counting’ ask yourself, is that, that insignificant task that would take you simply a minute to do, is more important than the love and support you harbor for each other?

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For the Competitors: Stop Competing With Your Partner

Competition is good as long as it’s not with each other, to compete with each other shows an attempt to outdo the other as you may not feel you’re good enough. Competing with each other in a relationship ruffles your ego urges you to out do the other in everything to ‘win’ and then subsequently you might end up resenting your partner for your need to constantly compete with them. Instead accept and know that you and your partner are equal in the relationship and feel comfortable in the idea that sometimes your partner will do better than you and sometimes you will. That you partner does well should make you proud of having a partner who is able and capable and not instill petty competition.

For the Dog Lovers: Stop Putting Your Partners Needs Before Yours

Self love is the best love. Love yourself before you love anyone else. As selfish as it may sound, loving yourself fully, completely, madly and in totality is the best way, if not the only way that you can love someone else. If you put someone else’s needs before yours you are likely to eventually burn out and get frustrated in the relationship as your needs then take a backseat. For when you love yourself, you take care of yourself, your needs, your happiness and then this  happiness is what you spread to the world and give to your relationship.

For the Mirrors: Giving Into Your Partner’s Idea Of You

Everyone is unique and just as you shouldn’t try to change them, don’t let your partner change you! You are the best version of you that there possibly could be and to try to change it would mean to live your life on someone else’s terms. That is not what a relationship is about. The change starts with little habitual observations and can blow into an entire attitude. You stick to your guns. If your partner respects you for it, you know you’ve found a keeper, if not, then, well, it’s your decision henceforth.

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For the Silence Decoders: Stop Taking Their Silence As An Indicator Of ‘Something Else’

Many times we are tired, or are having a bad week or just don’t want to talk. A lot of people tend to resort to silence even when they feel perfectly happy. They just don’t want to talk. If you feel your partner is like that, ask them about it, discuss it and then once you know, let them be. If they get silent don’t take that silence for something it’s not. Don’t over think it. A relationship goes both ways, your partner is bound to tell you if something is bothering them but if nothing is bothering them what will they tell you? Pestering them about it with constant questions, does nothing but annoy them. So don’t over think it, be patient and let them be.

Featured photo credit: Getty via i.huffpost.com

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Sanah Rizvi

Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

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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!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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