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18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

You’ve probably heard of the seven deadly sins (greed, lust, wrath, etc.) With relationships, however, that number is a steady 18, in no small part due to the fragile nature of our romantic entanglements.

Most of the sins listed below have a specific cause and effect, and we exercise at least a portion of these deadly errors. As a result, it can be nearly impossible for us to avoid committing these sins once in a while. Still, you can make a substantial effort toward recognizing these sins and preventing them from becoming a lifestyle that will undoubtedly ruin your relationship.

1. Negativity

Think about it. Do you like being around a negative person? Maybe you’re the one who is sick of the other person constantly being cynical and unenthusiastic about things that make you happy. No matter who is on the receiving end, negativity that has gone unchecked will ultimately sour the romance.

2. Indecision

99.99% of girls claim they like a guy with confidence, and for a good reason. Guys are also far more comfortable being with someone who is able to show assertiveness when the situation calls for it. Though you don’t have to have an over-inflated ego, it’s essential that you’re able to make decisions and stick with them, especially when it counts the most.

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3. Insecurity

Related to indecision, insecurity is a sin that can lead to major relationship problems, such as jealousy and envy. If you’re constantly filled with self-doubt, then your partner may start to have doubt in you as well. Sometimes, our insecurities can be brought on our exasperated by our partner, so in these cases, the best fix is for you to communicate openly about your insecurities with the person you’re dating.

4. Belittlement

Constantly berating and bad mouthing your boyfriend or girlfriend is a huge relationship transgression, especially if you’re doing it behind their back. It’s normal for couples to playfully banter, but this can lead to a dynamic that is built on unhealthy habits, like competition and intimidation. Worse, this can lead to serious issues, such as verbal or physical abuse. If you’re openly and harshly criticizing your boyfriend or girlfriend on a regular basis, then you need to make some serious changes or call it quits before it gets worse.

5. Clinginess

Not being able to give someone space is one of the most common relationship sins, mostly because it’s rooted in external problems like dependence and (sometimes) immaturity. It can be difficult to recognize when you’re committing this sin, as it tends to happen when you have genuine intentions, but you have to read the signs. If your partner is complaining or avoiding you because they can’t seem to find time for themselves, then your relationship is headed for trouble. Additionally, if this is a persistent problem for you, then it may be better for you to take a break from dating.

6. Being Disagreeable

Have you ever talked to someone who disagreed with you by default? We like to do this with our parents or individuals we’re initially skeptical of, but it really doesn’t settle well when we do this in our relationships because…well, it’s really annoying. You don’t have to agree with your partner 100% of the time, but you need to make it clear that you’re supportive of them. Before you agree or disagree, hear them out and be empathetic toward what they’re experiencing. Otherwise, they’ll be tempted to go to someone else.

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7. Neglect

This can be a very bad sign for a relationship because it typically means that one person (or both) is not interested or inclined to be involved with the other. It should be obvious that ignoring or being indifferent to your partner is going to lead to conflict and/or will make them want to end the relationship, so if that’s not what you want, take a look at why you’re being neglectful in the first place and fix it.

8. Not Listening

Maybe you’re not neglecting them completely, but you do have a hard time listening to what they’re saying. It’s easy to be a good listener during the first stage of a relationship because the information is new, and you’re infatuated with this person. Eventually, it gets harder, but that doesn’t mean good listening skills aren’t expected of you. Men tend to be the usual suspects for bad listening skills, but women can be just as bad. No matter what the reason is for your difficulty in this area (mine is that I have a deaf ear), find a way to start correcting this sin before it leads to bigger ones, like neglect.

9. Bossiness

Being too controlling in a relationship is a dangerous problem because it usually starts out innocently. The more domineering person will step up and make the decisions because that is the nature of their personality, and the other person may be more than fine with this. Down the road, however, this level of bossiness can become too much for the other person to bear once they realize they don’t make enough of their own decisions.

10. Resentment

It’s easier to forgive than forget. When we make a sacrifice for someone, or if we are wronged, resentment starts to grow, especially if we don’t feel validated and affirmed by our partner. The major problem with resentment is that it leads to a lack of empathy, which can lead to cheating and insecurity. Also, resentment can be difficult to overcome if it has been bottling up for a long time, so if you want your relationship to last, you need to be open about how you’re feeling toward the other person before it overwhelms you.

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11. Pedestal Building

Most people get pretty excited when they find someone to love, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations. If you put someone on a high pedestal, it’s that much more painful when they make a mistake and fall. The root of the problem is trying to fully know someone before you have all of the facts. Pace yourself, and your expectations, so that you don’t make your partner feel like they can’t live up to who you see them as.

12. Ingratitude

This is a simple one, but it’s a cinch to commit. Over time, it gets challenging to show our appreciation and gratitude for our significant others, and this can ruin a healthy relationship. Sure, you can verbally thank someone for what they’ve done, but the best (and lasting) types of gratitude are done through actions. Doing this may actually prevent many of the other sins on this list because they typically start with simple appreciation.

13. Stubbornness

Not only are you disagreeable, but you’re stubborn to the point where you never make compromises. If you’re the person who is a statue, keep in mind that faltering doesn’t show weakness or make your relationship flimsy. Instead, it shows that you’re willing to trust the other person and meet them halfway. What’s really stubborn is how detrimental this habit is to your dating life.

14. Narcissism

Being self-obsessed is another “root” sin that leads to the other sins on this list, especially neglect and not listening. Symptoms of narcissism are that you force yourself to the be the center of attention (or the conversation), you quickly bail if you’re bored and you are consistently looking for praise and affirmation. To be honest, most people under 30 are pretty narcissistic, including me, but we can make great lengths toward curbing our self-obsession with genuine care and compassion for the people we love.

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15. Manipulation

A great way to lose someone’s trust is to manipulate them. Obviously, outright deception and dishonesty for our own gain is a common method of manipulation, and you probably know this already. But manipulation can start in your other relationships as well, making it a tricky habit to stop. Acknowledge how you treat the other women/men in your life (like your parents). If you tend to mislead them for your own needs, then chances are that you’ll do the same thing in your dating life. Eventually, you’ll probably get caught, and your relationship will suffer.

16. Duplicity

The opposite of integrity is duplicity. This means that you’re one way with a group of people and another way with everyone else. When dating, we do this during the “impress me” stage. When we first meet someone, we want them to like us, so we put on a mask to accommodate them. The problem is that our true colors come out eventually, and our duplicity can lead to a souring of the relationship. It’s okay to make yourself seem more flattering when you first meet someone, but avoid being fake and dishonest about your values and personality. It’s more beneficial in the long run.

17. Monotony

There are plenty of ways for your relationship to fall into a rut. Routines make our daily lives manageable, but the side effect is monotony, which can make both you and your partner bored with each other. The good news is that it isn’t hard to get out of the rut. Inject spontaneity into your relationship whenever possible, and be the person who makes an effort to try new things when you have free time. If you wait for the other person to do this, you might be disappointed.

18. Infidelity

I saved this for last because it’s one of the biggest sins you can commit in a relationship, and it comes about from some or a combination of the sins above. Understand that infidelity isn’t usually something that happens on a whim or out of nowhere. It happens when the other person is neglectful, manipulating, disingenuous or unwilling to compromise. That’s why one of the best ways to prevent cheating or being cheated on is to avoid these deadly sins at all costs.

 You may also want to read: 7 Ways To Let Go Of Insecurity In Your Relationship.

More by this author

Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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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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