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7 Myths About Love That Could Harm Your Relationship

7 Myths About Love That Could Harm Your Relationship

Remember those fascinating Mills and Boon love novels, the ones we hid under our school books to read at night and the romantic movies that literally swept us off our feet with their mushy love scenes? I don’t remember the names of those novels or the movies anymore, but I sure remember how they made me feel.

Somewhere in the back of my mind they made me build a wish list of the qualities I wanted to see in my better half—the way he should be, the way he should not be, the way our life will be together and the magical ways life will turn into a fairy-tale once we are together.

But real life was a complete eye opener. It is for a lot of us who unconsciously carry these ideals (even when they scoff at it) and get into relationships disillusioned by their own beliefs and expectations. This often leads to facing a fall in the real world.

It thus comes as no surprise that, according to John Cacioppo, an expert on loneliness from the University of Chicago, roughly 20 percent of individuals—that would be 60 million people in the U.S.—feel alone and credit this loneliness as a major source of unhappiness in their lives.

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It’s time for a reality check and to bust those Love myths that have been deluding our senses and blocking us from having balanced, healthy relationships.

1.  “Someone somewhere is made just for you; Love is about finding the missing half, the one person who will complete you.”

The Truth: This has to be the most distorted and yet the most widely followed description of love and relationships. In reality, a healthy relationship constitutes of two wholesome people. They share and grow together with time, and experience and aid each other’s emotional and mental growth along the way.

But in no way are they dependent on each other to find fulfillment in their own life. And if you do feel the need for someone else to complete you, maybe its time to introspect and find the real reason behind that feeling: an insecurity, a dream you didn’t persuade, an unrewarding job, or something else?

2. “Love at first Sight! I will see that person and knows it’s him/her. Some magical signs will alert me that he/she is the one I have been looking for all my life.”

The Truth: While people can be instantly attracted to each other, some scientists say that being in love means really getting to know someone over time. Since love is about finding your soul mate and a person you can connect with at a mind-and-soul level, it is impossible to fall in love at first sight because there is no way you can tell if a person’s values, beliefs, and thoughts match those of your own just by looking at them.

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For that you need to spend considerable amount of time together, meet often, or do activities together.

3. “ Love means everlasting happiness. Couples in love, are always happy and sharing laughter and giggles all the time.”

The Truth: This is one of the deadliest myths because it makes people believe that relationships should bring them happiness and somehow evade their sorrows and transform their lives into one long, romantic fairy tale.

The truth cannot be far from this. Finding the right partner is just the beginning of a relationship which brings with it its own responsibilities: the hard work that is required to understand the other person, particularly his or her ways of doing things, which you then must mold with yours so that you can somehow find a balance and create a zone of peaceful co-existence, where differences can stay together without colliding.

Yes, it requires that much thought process!

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4. “If it is meant to happen, it will. If I am supposed to meet my soul mate one day, I will. I just have to wait for the D Day.”

The Truth: It’s funny how we leave the most important decision of our life in the hands of fate and literally sit with folded hands waiting for the perfect one to just one day appear out of the blue.

In reality, we have to just keep looking to find someone we are compatible with. Just like finding our dream job, finding love too takes a lot of preparation, thought, planning and action. The relationship needs to be nurtured, strengthened and allowed to grow.

5. “Love is another name for sacrifice.”

The Truth: By dictionary meaning, sacrifice refers to “giving up on something that is highly valued.” If you think from this perspective, love will never demand or create a situation where you have to give up on something you value most.

A loving partner will never demand you to give up on something you treasure, e.g. an old friendship. In fact, he or she will ensure that you will always get to keep this precious relationship in your life. Adjusting and compromising to make the relationship is acceptable but sacrifice is not.

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6. “People in love never fight. They just live happily ever after.”

The Truth: Since no two people are 100% alike, it is natural that some friction will be created when they share the same space 24 hours in a day.

It is also impossible for them to be in the best of their moods all this while, but the couples who survive these rough patches are the ones who create something meaningful and useful even from arguments, and take a step forward in understanding each other better after a discord.

7. “Jealousy, Thy name is love”.

The Truth: Jealousy is just another name for irrational insecurities. It represents weak bonding and distrust.

Misunderstanding jealousy for Love is just spoiling its name and disrespecting the selfless emotion that love truly is. If you were to truly love a person, you would rejoice in his/her happiness, try to be a part of his success and joy, and accept his family, friends and loved ones as your own and value the things that are important to him or her.

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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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