15 Ways You Unconsciously Sabotage Your Relationships, Because You Have Low Self Esteem

  1. You play the victim

This is one of the trickiest parts of having to deal with your own insecurities. You’re always in fight or flight mode when a problematic situation occurs and never take full responsibility for your words and actions. Instead of acknowledging what went wrong and working through the heart of the matter, you pull your inner child from the closet and hide behind them, hoping things will come clean for you. On the long run, this approach negatively impacts both you and your partner, because frustration grows both sides as you avoid taking responsibility for your own mistakes or misjudgements. Remember: protecting yourself will sometimes mean accepting you are not perfect.

  1. You put them on a pedestal

It’s perfectly normal to be completely and utterly in love with someone, but it’s unhealthy to idealise a person and ignore all their flaws just because they seem amazing to you at some point. Placing someone on a high horse isn’t just altering your own sense of reality, it also feels unnatural to your partner, who may feel they always have to stand up to a standard hard to access for mere mortals.

  1. You feel they should change for you

The truth is people won’t change unless they actually want to or feel it’s beneficial for them. When you constantly think your partner has to change in order to match your ideal of a romantic interest, you belittle their authenticity and set yourself up for failure, regardless of how great they might truly be. Watch yourself and your partner closely and try to determine what is it about them that triggers your wish for change, and what is it about you that rejects their actual behaviours. You might be surprised to discover people are mirrors, and what we normally dislike in others is something that needs work within ourselves.

  1. You get jealous for no reason

Everyone can get legitimately jealous now and then, but it’s good to have a sense of what’s triggering jealousy in you in the first place. Is it because your partner actually engages into flirt with other people or cheats on you, or do you somehow just feel they might cheat because you think you’re not good enough for them? Pay attention to your emotions. Jealousy comes from a deep well of broken self esteem, and thrives on the idea that we’re not capable of achieving what others have.

  1. You think you’re unhappy because of them

In reality, no one can make us unhappy without our consent. If you feel your partner is the reason for your questionable life choices, bad mood or bad temper, try to have a look at what your expectations of them are in first place. Putting your happiness in the hands of another is the 101 of emotional disaster. It’s like giving your heart away to someone and hoping they won’t drop it. Instead, listen to your intuition and pay attention to how your body reacts when you think something’s not right. Hover through the areas in your life that need balance and search for truth within yourself, instead of your partner.

  1. You shy away from leaving them, even when the relationship is bad for you

The most common reason people stick to unhealthy relationships is the deep fear of not being able to survive without a partner. Which is not only totally false – you were happily single when you met them – but also detrimental for your emotional (and physical) health in the long run. Write down a list of all the moments you thought you couldn’t survive without a relationship and add notes on how things worked out each time for you. You will notice that your inner balance is still present and that it will help you make the transition without feeling like you’re disintegrating.

  1. You think you don’t deserve them

This is a tough one, but nonetheless worthy of your attention. Look for patterns in your life that confirm the rule and then investigate ways of breaking this unhealthy trail of thought. Consider analyzing your biggest achievements and channel your inner strength to overcome any outside voice that’s been ingrained in your system to tell you how you’re not good enough. It often takes great persistence and exercise to start believing the opposite, but it’s worth your time and attention to overcome the idea that you’re not worthy of love.

  1. You compare everything they do to your exes

We often fall victims of the past and in our attempts to “better” our relationships, we try to make a fixed profile of what we desire in a partner. The reality is that no partner will be perfect for us, not in the 100% way. It takes time and willingness on both sides to make a relationship flow, and comparing your lover with figures in your past will only rob them of their own authentic self in your eyes. Instead, make a list of all your ex partners and write down their 10 best assets and 10 worst characteristics. Burn the lists down and gently let go of the past in order to be able to look ahead to the future.

  1. You want to do everything together

Repeat after me: I am independent, I am whole, I am blessed. There’s nothing more important to the human spirit than their own passions, their own hobbies, the things that are unique to them and make them channel beauty into the world. Your life doesn’t revolve around your partner’s and while it’s great to spend a lot of time together, you should never place your alone time under the rug. Making sense of yourself is in the little (and big) things that make you tick, and guess what, these don’t even have to be things your partner enjoys as much as you do. So allow yourself the pleasure to run, hit the yoga mat, have dinner with your friends, travel and work on your soul projects without your partner. It’s the light that comes from our own passions that makes us irresistible.

  1. You’re envious at their achievements

This goes hand in hand with #9. One life changing lesson I learned when I was feeling envious at other people’s success was to alter the envy I felt into curiosity. If you feel you’re not doing a great job compared to your partner, sit down with your envy and hear out what it has to say. Maybe you’ve been postponing a project or class you wanted to enrol into but never took the time to actually do it. Maybe you don’t make enough time for yourself and your personal dreams. Maybe you’re simply thinking your partner is too competitive, but here’s the catch: a relationship is not about competing. While you may think you’ll never be as successful as them, turn your envy into curiosity and have your partner walk you through all the details of their work that makes them so brilliant at it. There’s a reason why TED Talks are always so inspirational, and why they trigger such big change in our handle of life. Have your partner guide you through what makes them tick and be amazed that you can learn from the best in the comfort of your living room.

  1. You blame them for your own insecurities

Now, now, that ain’t fair now, is it? While it’s great to have someone to look up to, it’s not so nice to secretly wish you were better than them. Your own insecurities have nothing to do with your partner’s mindset and should not be triggered by their achievements. The key to solve this is to look deep into the garden of opportunities life has offered you and pick only the ones that resonate with your wishes. While you can’t be good at everything, you can for sure excel in your own talents.

  1. You fish for compliments (and feel awful if you don’t get them)

Looking for validation in others is something we’ve all learned, as resentful Millennials, by the book of social media. It’s healthy, though, to be aware that the Likes and Loves you crave for in your relationship will never add enough to your need for being appreciated when that need thrives on a much deeper confidence issue. A compliment is something great to receive, but it shouldn’t be the base note of how one sees themselves. Instead of keeping count of the compliments your partner has (or hasn’t) given you, stay aware of your own beauty, dignity and courage, and compliment yourself each day with a gift of your choice – be it a heads-up, a pep talk, a small present, a good meal or a great book. You are as precious as you choose to be!

  1. You constantly doubt their intentions

Constant reassurance is a huge bummer, even for the most light hearted, kind and empathetic people. When you’re always looking for needles in the hay, you gradually dismiss your partner’s good intentions and end up mistaking them for cruel ones. The worst part: you convince yourself AND them that something is missing, that something needs to be fixed, or (worse) – that they’re not trying hard enough. Not everyone is on to get you or has a secret agenda. Go back to father Freud’s analysis and remember, for once, that sometimes A cigar is just a cigar.

  1. You don’t make an effort to hear what they have to say

The Devil is in the details, and the gift to listen and actually understand what someone has to say is one of those worth expanding throughout a lifetime. It’s the ultimate key to solving conflict and “getting” someone, even when a situation seems dead end. Learn to pay attention to what your partner says – also through their body language. While we’re not all speaking the same language sometimes, the body doesn’t lie, and you might feel relieved to finally unlock the truth in the messages your lover is so hardly trying to send you.

  1. You fight over things they do that remind you of your parents

Some relationships are karmic, they say, and in that sense, they are meant to teach us an important lesson about ourselves, or make us take a turn onto a different path than we did before. If your partner reminds you of the relationship you had with a parent, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good opportunity to address the reasons your relationship with that parent didn’t work out and make the change you need in your life so that you can benefit from this encounter. Remember: not everything is as it seems on the surface, so dig deeper into the depths of your discontent and find the grounds for reconciliation. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ioana Cristina Casapu is a book author, photographer and producer living life in transit.

Keep up with Ioana on Instagram and ioanacasapu.com

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