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It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

It May Be Time To End Your Relationship If These 14 Signs Show

Relationships are a part of everyone’s life. As humans, we crave for companionship; a person to share experiences with, a person to touch and to be touched by, someone who will listen and someone who can make you laugh. Often, when we first meet someone, everything seems to click and that feeling of elation which seems to only exist in romantic comedies, becomes real life.

However, real life has ups and downs, and these can affect your relationship negatively. So, how do you know when the going is rough, but better times are around the corner, or if the relationship you are in is rearing its ugly head as a bad match? When your heart is invested, are there signs that your head should be able to see? The 14 signs listed below should aid you in figuring out if you need to make the tough decision of ending your relationship, or if grey skies are going to clear up.

1. You don’t want the same things in your futures.

It is certainly possible to be in love in the here and now and that is a wonderful thing. However, it is important to be able to talk about what you and your significant other want in the next few years. Where do you want to settle? Do you want children? Are you the same religion and if not do you care? If you find that you have opposing, non-negotiables that neither of you are willing to compromise on, it’s time to have an honest conversation about whether or not a prosperous future is realistic.

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2. Nothing you do makes your significant other happy.

If you are trying your hardest to make someone else happy and nothing you do is good enough, then you are giving your best to the wrong person. Time, energy, effort and love should not go unnoticed. It is not your fault if someone cannot see how wonderful and giving you are. If you have been in your relationship for a long time, try having an open and honest conversation where you express that you are trying your best and you feel like your efforts are going unseen. See how your mate responds. Perhaps he/she was just going through a selfish phase and the confrontation will snap him/ her back to reality. On the flip side, if you keep trying, and you are communicating but your attempts are not being reciprocated, its time to reevaluate. You deserve to be happy and to have your partner recognize you. Stand up for yourself and what you deserve. Respect and love yourself first! You will be a better person to the other people in your life when you feel happy and not defeated.

3. You constantly feel insecure.

Innately, we as humans go through insecure times. The people we are closest to, should be the one’s to remind us why we are fabulous! Thus, if your girlfriend/ boyfriend is the cause of your insecurity this is not a healthy relationship. Take a moment to write down a list of at least five things you believe you should be receiving from a healthy relationship. After you have done this, ask yourself honestly if your current partner is providing you with your list. Be aware of defense mechanisms! Are you making excuses for your woman/man? It will be important to be honest with yourself so that you can know if your relationship is healthy. Remember, being in a relationship doesn’t make you who you are. You have a right to feel secure and happy every day.

4. You find that you have nothing nice to say about your partner, when you talk about her/ him to your friends or family.

Depending on how long you have been together, the honeymoon period may by long gone. That being said, do you want to be in a relationship where you can’t find redeeming qualities to still rave about even after all these years? It may be a sign that you have grown out of your relationship if you (perhaps without noticing,) are always speaking negatively about it. Ask your friends and family for a reality check. They can tell you if you don’t seem happy anymore. Look at your life, are you content in your career and home? Are there changes in your life that you can have control over? Ask if the problem is you, or your relationship. Perhaps you are not in a good place in your life, or perhaps your relationship is no longer working. Listen to what you’re saying and decide if your pessimistic comments are a true reflection of your companion or is the attitude adjustment one that needs to come from within.

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5. You’ve been setting deadlines for your relationship to get better by and they keep passing.

You shouldn’t have to set deadlines for your relationship, you should be able to communicate and get on the same page at any time. Setting deadlines creates for unwanted insecurity. By putting a date in place that you need a verdict or an action by, you are creating a waiting time where you are likely to not be living in the moment but rather counting down until the zero hour. Life should be about gratitude for your current moment. Of course a sense of direction is important, but if we are living for a time and unknown answer, then we are missing the joys of daily ins and outs. Drop the deadlines, and get to the point. Live your days to the fullest and choose happiness today. If you both are focused and happy in the moment then the future deadline is unimportant.

6. You fight all the time.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that fighting for weeks on end is not healthy. Your relationship should be a wonderful part of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life. If simple things like, what to have for dinner, or what movie to see, are turning into fights, it’s time to ask what is really going on? Usually, there is a deeper issue. Communication is the key to success. Be adults and talk about your feelings and thoughts in a calm manner. It’s often not what you are saying but how you say it. So if your relationship is important to you both, you should be able to have an honest and productive conversation without the neighbors wondering if they need to call the cops.

7. You Cry All The Time

If you wake up every day with sorrow in your heart and tears in your eyes, something needs to change! Make a list of things that are bothering you. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I so sad? What is making me feel this way? How can I change?” If you find that your answers are revolving around your relationship then it may be time to choose happiness for yourself. You can only change yourself, you cannot change someone else. Make the choice to feel good inside and to cut out the things or people who are making you feel bad.

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8. Your Relationship is Negatively Impacting Other Areas Of Your Life

Do you find yourself being less productive at work? Are your friendships and family relationships suffering? Is your boyfriend or girlfriend at the base of these issues? A relationship is supposed to build you up, not drag you down. You should not find work, or friendships suffering due to your companion. Ask yourself what is more important, how you want to live your life, or how someone else tells you to live it. When we are kids we don’t like to be told what to do  by our parents. It should be the same when when you are in a an adult relationship. A partner shouldn’t be controlling you or decisions. In addition, the way you feel about your life shouldn’t be negatively effected by your significant other. Remind yourself what kind of relationship you want to be in and ask yourself if you are really living that. Don’t let your work suffer because of the mood you feel. Negativity feeds more negativity. You have to find a way to pull yourself out and that may be by starting fresh without a lousy partner.

9. You Never See Each Other

For some people long distance relationships work, but if you live in the same area and you can’t find time to see each other this may be an issue, especially if only one person is making all the effort. You should never have to put time and effort into a relationship if it isn’t being reciprocated. This causes for resentment, stress, anxiety and angst. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly making excuses as to why he or she can’t see you, then ask yourself if this union is really a fit for you. Some people have an understanding with their companion that they only see each other a few times a week, as long as neither person feels let down by this, then that is great. However, if one person is feeling neglected, a conversation needs to be had, and a re-evaluation should be placed. Relationships take time, energy, effort and a mutual desire to want to spend time together. Make sure you’re the priority you want to be.

10. You Are Flirting With Someone Else

Some of us are naturally flirtatious people and it really means nothing. It is simply a banter or a way of expressing oneself. However, if you find that you are flirting and this is out of character, ask yourself if you are lacking attention in your relationship? Is your person making you feel special?  Or are you looking for attention from other people to fill a void. Have an honest conversation with yourself and then with your significant other. If you can’t be made to feel special then it could be time to change your status.

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11. You Don’t Trust Your Partner

Relationships should be built on trust, so if you are even questioning if you trust your spouse than you probably don’t. When we don’t trust people we can grow insecure and ultimately drive ourselves crazy creating realities in our minds that may or may not be true. No one needs, or deserves to spend their days consumed with questions about what their significant other is doing. Not trusting your partner will certainly cause you to drive yourself into a tizzy and will effect other areas of your life. You deserve to be in an honest and open relationship, make sure you’re getting the answers you need.

12. You’re Living On A Future Idea

There is no time like the present! If everything in your relationship is built around a concept that has never actually occurred then you are not living in the moment and merely consumed with an idea of what could be. You may never get that idea so be sure that you are happy now. You never know what would happen tomorrow.

13. You Find Yourself Lying

Having to create alternate realities to mask the one your in, is not ok. Eventually lies catch up with you and they certainly seep into other areas of your life. You should be proud, confident and secure enough to live in the life you are in. You shouldn’t have to make up lies and create a facade. If you’ve noticed yourself lying frequently about your relationship or your partner ask yourself why you are doing so. Maybe you are lacking some excitement, or perhaps you are covering up your unhappiness. Be honest with yourself and then be honest with your man/woman.  Remember too, he or she should not want you lying either!

14. You constantly say, “When X Happens, Everything Will Be Fine”

Assuming that when you buy a house, have a baby, get engaged or whatever major event your waiting for, will make your relationship better,  it’s not true. Major life events cause stress. You need your relationship to be strong and communicative before you step into a major event. Big changes can make everything seem better, they can also make life much harder. You need a strong foundation before you ‘build the house’. We cannot control tomorrow, but we can control today. So look at the here and now, and don’t assume that an unknown future is the solution.

Featured photo credit: Bad relationship- Po Yang via flickr.com

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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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