Are you self-sabotaging your relationships?
Why do you do it?
“We sabotage the great things in our lives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of having the great things.” – Taressa Riazzi
Have you ever met someone new and everything is just going so great and easy; then suddenly, you start to pull away or push them away and try to ruin it with a bad attitude and it just seems like you cannot help yourself? This may not even be done consciously because it has become an ingrained modus operandi for you and anything that remotely brings you happiness – in this case, in form of another human. Not because you stopped liking them, but rather because you are happy and that scares the bejesus out of you.
This behavior is called ‘self-sabotaging’. This is when you consciously or unconsciously do things or create stumbling blocks that prevent you from achieving your wants. This can apply not just to your relationships but even in everyday life, like your career, weight loss journeys, personal milestones et al. You become unable to establish any form of stability and can’t seem to stay on one job, one relationship or weight for long by making excuses as to why it didn’t work out; invariably lowering your self confidence and worth in the process.
As human beings, when we sense ourselves being enveloped into a vulnerable situation, we back out because the mind analyses that vulnerability translates into a danger to itself and tries to protect itself from the potential pain by closing up. The fear of being vulnerable makes us isolate ourselves, stay away from intimacy, while struggling to embrace our authentic self.
This behavior can stem from unsolved traumas from childhood or previous relationships that have developed into:
- Abandonment issues
- Self-esteem issues
In terms of previous relationships, a lot of people have never experienced what it is like to be absolutely loved for who they are; to meet genuinely good lovers with true intentions, and are used to questioning themselves and self-worth. Hence, the sabotage.
If you tend to always do things to your partner or potential partner in a bid to provoke a reaction from them or argue just for the sake of arguing. This is because negative outcome of relationships is what you truly understand and your mind is familiar with.
Slowly but surely, this becomes a cycle. You connect with a person, become interested in them, get flashback form a previous trauma from the past or based on a loathing of the self; become overwhelmed by the unfamiliar feeling of happiness; panic and begin self-sabotaging by communicating poorly, lying, cheating, talking down on yourself and your partner, nit-picking on every flaw; until they are forced to leave or you kick them out of your life; and then rinse and repeat.
HOW CAN THIS CYCLE BE BROKEN TO STOP YOURSELF FROM SELF-SABOTAGING?
- Accept: Accept that vulnerability is a part of being human and for you make any progress in life, you must go through the process of letting down your fences and stepping out of your comfort zone. It is ok to be afraid. It is as much an emotion as happiness or love or sadness. Accept that insecurity is present in every one of us. Recognize them and work with them instead of trying to shut them out.
- Be Introspective: Open yourself to what you feel by being aware of these feelings and when you feel them. These include your thoughts too and what easily triggers you to want to disengage when you feel the fear that makes you panic. Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be you and live life as it comes. Focus on creating memories and recognizing the value they bring into your life.
- Talk to your partner: Talking to your partner about what you feel and how you feel can go a long way towards helping you become more secure and affirmed about their position in your life. Communicating how you feel helps reduce the tension and leads to seeking better ways and on the long run, a positive resulting outlook towards your relationship.
In the end, our attachment style is often how we tend to handle our relationships; understanding this, can better help you understand how you relate to others.
One thing we must understand is that, when we protect ourselves from pain or being hurt, we also simultaneously prevent ourselves from accessing good things and good people in life. And as much this is true, we must also know when it is time to walk away. In the process of not trying to sabotaging, do not hold onto toxic or irredeemable relationships. Life they say, is all about balance.