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11 WARNING Signs Of Unhealthy Relationships You Need to Be Aware Of

11 WARNING Signs Of Unhealthy Relationships You Need to Be Aware Of

Are you in an unhealthy relationship?  Is it real love or just infatuation?  What, you’re not sure?  

Here are the 11 telltale warning signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:

1. Your personal growth can not flourish in the relationship

Whereas healthy relationships offer safe havens for personal growth, people who feel that their own growth and happiness needs to be sacrificed for the survival of the relationship often find themselves going the wrong way in the tunnel of love.

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2. You feel as if the life is being sucked out of you

Did you ever hear of emotional vampires? These unseemly characters thrive while sucking the energy and life out of others. If you feel like you are in a relationship that is draining your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted and spent, there is rarely a happy ending.

3. They don’t “get it that it’s not all your fault!

If you are involved with someone who tends to blame you for their anger and problems, and you spend too much energy either defending yourself or trying to be understood, stop expecting the light bulb to turn on. Rather, it only will serve to dim yours. After all, no one can make sense out of nonsense.

4. The conflict and arguments just keep popping up

Relationships that are defined by conflict, fighting, blaming and a lack of forgiveness spell disaster. Remember that it takes two people to argue, and another person’s unreasonable behavior is never any excuse for yours. Arguments are like the Finger Trap carnival toy: the more each side is pulled, as in an argument, the more both sides get stuck in the trap.

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5. One person has most of the power over the two of you

Does your loved one have too much power over you, aside from the power of love? A sure sign of unhealthiness is when someone has more power over you than you have over yourself. Remember—no one has power over you unless you give it to them!

6. The negatives aren’t turning positive

Unhealthy relationships are filled with negativity, and bring out the worst in people rather than the best. Put-downs, criticisms, and insults are all examples of emotional abuse and should never be tolerated. No one deserves to be treated like that, and never make excuses for anyone who treats you that way.

7.  Being in need is confused with being in love

Look out for possessiveness and jealousy, as those signs are more about someone being in need rather than in love. If someone’s love is contingent on “what you can do for me” realize that there might not be room enough in the relationship for the two of you. If there is no foundation of trust in your relationship, you can trust that it’s a warning sign of more trouble ahead!

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8. When the team is losing, they get lost

People who think they’re in love might really be more in infatuation. How do you know? One sure sign is when times get tough, the tough get going. It’s easy to be part of a winning team, but it’s time life does not go so smoothly that reveal the depth of a relationship. Infatuation is less about what a person can do for you and more about what you can do for the other person, especially through challenging times.

9. You feel worse about yourself, not better

Watch out for a relationship that do not make you a better “you.” If the relationship makes you feel worse about yourself and less comfortable in your own skin, it might be time to shed yourself of the relationship! Mature relationships are based on acceptance, not judgement of how someone thinks someone else should be.

10. The focus is on changing the other person

In unhealthy relationships, the focus is more about changing others rather than working on changing yourself. In a mutually respectful relationship, you won’t be trying to mold someone into your ideal person. When you do that, it becomes more about you than the other person, and becomes a recipe for chronic relationship unhappiness. In healthy relationships, people are respected for who they are, and are not anyone else’s “project.”

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11. You lose yourself trying to find someone else

Last but not least, make sure that you don’t lose yourself in trying to find somebody else. As much as you may think you need someone else, you need yourself much more. 

So if you find yourself in a relationship that stunts your growth and can only survive at expense of your own emotional survival, might be time to get out of the love boat before you find yourself sinking!

More by this author

Judy Belmont

Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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