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7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

7 Powerful Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Without communication, trust issues can develop. Without talking, you eventually lose touch with your significant other even when you live with them. It’s ironic really because there aren’t words to describe how important it is to communicate. Even something as simple as a well-timed question can save your relationship. Here are some powerful questions that could do just that.

1. What made you feel good about yourself today?

Asking this question can change someone’s entire mood. It makes your significant other think about the good things that happened to them today and that can take their minds off of the bad things. If you’re significant other has been in the dumps lately, they may be thinking of making drastic changes. Drastic changes may or may not include re-thinking the status of your relationship. It’s always good to remind your loved one that you care and that you want to be there for the bad times.

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2. What has been making you feel alone and unworthy?

Save Your Relationships

    Experience dictates that the answer to this question is something that’s very simple to fix. For instance, in my own current relationship, my girlfriend told me she feels alone even when I’m in the room because I play on my phone too much. When I do that, I don’t pay attention. When I finally asked her this question and she told me, I simply started putting my phone down when I spent time with her. Problem solved! A lot of relationships experience turmoil over small lapses in judgement like the one I made. If you figure out what’s been eating at your boyfriend or girlfriend, chances are you can fix it before it’s too late.

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    3. What have I done recently that helped you feel loved and appreciated?

    Much like the first question, this one allows your loved one to think about the good things you do. This can derail bad feelings, end arguments, and put things back on track. When a relationship is going sideways, it’s really easy to point out the bad things but sometimes that gets in the way of remembering the good things. It sounds bad, but sometimes you do need to beat your own drum to let your lover know that you do good things also. The trick is doing it so that they don’t feel guilty about not thinking about it more often. That can just lead to more fighting and more issues. When couples are in bad relationships, they obviously need to talk about the problems to fix them. However, it’s also important to bring up the good things so that you two aren’t just putting each other down the whole time.

    4. What scares you about our relationship?

    Commitment is a big deal, especially for men. However, don’t think that there aren’t women out there who also have commitment problems. Sometimes it helps to ask this question to find out what the deeper problems are. Maybe s/he doesn’t think you’re parent material. Maybe they are scared of commitment. Maybe they simply can’t see themselves spending their entire life with you. If there is a fatal flaw in your relationship, this question can usually flush it out. The best you can hope for is that the problems are something that can be fixed.

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    5. How much have you loved yourself lately?

    Save Your Relationships

      This is also another one that’s happened to me personally. Last year was a tough year for me and my girlfriend went above and beyond to help me through the tough time. Of course, that meant that she ended up neglecting herself. When we started fighting about it, she told me she felt smothered. This can happen to you too! If your significant other cares more about the relationship than him/herself, then they may neglect their own needs. Ask this question so you can figure out if that’s happening to you. If it is, then it’s time you stepped up and started giving back to your partner. It’ll make them feel better and it may very well save your relationship.

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      6. What can I do better?

      Sometimes the problem really is you. It may not be your fault. There may be a habit or a behavioral trait that just drives your man or woman up a wall. A good way to figure out what that thing might be is to simply ask. Pretty much everyone has a laundry list of things they dislike about their significant other. If you can get a peek at that mental list, you can work on not doing those things anymore. Or at least work on not doing them when s/he is around.

      7. Is there anything we need to talk about?

      This is an open ended question but it’s one you should ask fairly frequently. You shouldn’t ask it every day or even every week but you definitely should every few months. Life is an ever-changing ball of chaos and things just go wrong. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may be experiencing a tough time at work or a family member may be ill. It’s important to find out what the problems are as soon as possible. There are some things you can’t fix but you can be there for them while they deal with it. Relationships are all about sharing the joy of life but also sharing the pain of life. If you’re not sharing their pain, your lover is handling it all on their own. Eventually that’ll lead to problems.

      Relationships are fickle things. There are ups and downs and it’s a general roller coaster ride of chaos. Your only defense against things going totally out of control is the ability to open your mouth and aurally express your feelings so that everyone in the relationship knows what’s going on. If you don’t do that, your relationship will inevitably fail.

      Featured photo credit: Yayo MG via yayomg.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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