The expression “you are your own worst enemy” rings true for most of us. Think about it. How many times have you acted against your best interest or intentionally done things to jeopardize your own happiness. This type of behaviour is what’s commonly referred to as self-sabotage.
The simplest way to define self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen. There are many different reasons why people act in such a way, but it’s seldom that they actually mean to sabotage themselves. In fact, the problem lies in that self-sabotaging is not a conscious decision. [Related: Subtle Things People Do that Send Their Partner Running]
Sabotaging behaviour will often leave you wondering why you did what you did, and it becomes especially problematic when it bleeds into your relationship. After all, being in a relationship is tough enough as it is and an added intent of destruction is only going to make things a hundred times harder.
To help keep your relationship in check and sabotage free, here are some behaviours to avoid.
Forgetting about Yourself
As much as relationships are about showing affection and supporting your partner, it’s important to do show yourself some TLC, too!
Many times when a couple get together they get so swept away in the whimsical feeling of love that they forget they’re still two separate individuals with different wants and needs. While growing and connecting with your partner is a big element of the relationship, it’s equally as important to tend to your own needs as well. Before you can be the be the best companion for your partner, you first need to be your best self. When we’re unhappy with ourselves we find ways to project those emotions towards our partner. We may blame them for something that was in no way their fault, or direct our feelings of frustration towards them.
To void sabotaging your relationship, avoid making yourself a lesser priority. It’s one thing to mesh together, but remember that your bond is made up of two counterparts that each have their own needs.
Focusing on the Negative
Relationships can be tough, and they take a lot of hard work and dedication from both partners to thrive. On many occasions it may seem easier to give up on love than it is to fight for it, but hang in there – the sun always shines after the storm.
Every couple experiences highs and lows in their relationship, but the real game changer depends on where each partner chooses to focus: the good, or the bad. For instance, they can choose to focus on the good and keep their love alive and vibrant, or they can choose to focus on the bad and only see the negative aspects of their relationship. They can choose to see their partner as a lousy bum, or they can choose to see them as the most wonderful and loving person alive.
Each partner has the ability to live in a world of their own making, so when given the choice it’s important to look to the positives and avoid sabotaging something beautiful.
Expecting Instead of Accepting
We often form ideals and expectations of what our partner should be like. For instance, we might expect them to be considerate, to surprise us, support us, and to always wear a smile. Having expectations is normal, but as with most things in life, there is a line to be drawn. When you cross that line and create expectations that are unrealistic or impossible to meet, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, and the relationship for sabotage.
Find a balance in your relationship and accept that it’s not possible for your partner to live up to over the top expectations. To help put this into perspective, imagine for a moment if they set the same standards for you. Could you reach them? If not, how bad you would feel for letting them down?
A remedy for preventing sabotage is to avoid unreasonable expectations and allow your partner to be him or herself. Remember, love is accepting your partner as they are.
A Lack of Communication
Since humans are unable to read each others minds, it’s important to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner, both the good and the bad. Silence in a relationship is the biggest sign of unhealthy communication and it becomes a major issue if it leads to unresolved conflicts and resentment.
If you bite your tongue and choose to avoid confrontation as a way of keeping the peace, then chances are that unresolved issues will build up and ultimately end the relationship. This kind of unwillingness to talk about the tough truths is in fact a method of sabotage.
Instead of ending what could otherwise be a perfectly happy relationship, share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. If they know what’s going on inside, together you can work on your issues.
A Desire to Be Right
We all like to be right, but how far are you willing to go? If your desire to be right is so domineering that you’re willing to sacrifice your relationship for validation, then simply put, you’re sabotaging your relationship.
People who have a desire to be always be right have a hard time looking beyond their own opinions and feelings. As a result they’re unable to be supportive of their partner’s opinions and feelings. In a relationship it’s important for both partners to realize that there are different ways of looking at issues and experiences. Without this type of empathy a couple cannot work out their misunderstandings or be open with one another.
Remember that while winning arguments in the short term may sound appealing, it ultimately means sacrificing a relationship in the long term. Don’t let your ego sabotage your love. [Related: How to Build a Healthy, Mature Relationship]