There are many ways by which you might be harming your relationships. Often you are not aware of them. You use them in a routine manner, on automatic pilot. They’ve become your pattern of thought and behaviour. Not being aware of this situation, when your relationship fails you don’t take responsibility – and continue behaving in the same harmful manner with your next partner. In order to understand what you do wrong and how to change it, you need to develop Self-Awareness.
Ways in which you sabotage your relationships:
Being driven by fears and needs: These cause you to behave with your partner in unhealthy ways (such as: smothering; afraid to commit; afraid to give your partner space; needing constant approval, and more).
Trying to prove you’re “right” at all costs: You believe that proving you’re “right” about everything is more important than the relationship, therefore you can never relent but always need to “push” your partner to agree that “your way is the right way”.
Not allowing yourself to be open with a partner: You are too much in control of your emotions; operate under the belief that “one doesn’t have to be too open”; or afraid of being hurt. This can’t lead to a mutual give and take.
Wearing masks: You don’t show your partner “the real you”. At times you are not aware that you wear masks. When a relationship fails, you don’t associate the failure with your not being “who you really are”.
Denying your vulnerability: You put a wall between you and your partner; you close yourself down; you prove you’re always “right”; you behave in a headstrong manner (all of which you’ve unconsciously developed as a means of denying your vulnerability).
Having negative attitudes towards and about “the other sex”: You operate on the basis of damaging attitudes about the other sex: you feel “they” are not smart enough; don’t deserve equality; are there to “serve” you; are less important than you are, and so on. You have most likely adopted these attitudes in the home and society in which you grew up and they “control” you: you behave according to them without second thought.
Not being true to yourself: You behave in your relationship in ways which you would rather not, but are afraid to be authentic and true to yourself (and to your partner). This often happens due to fears you have, messages you adopted during your childhood about how you “should” behave, and so on.
Using manipulations to get what you want: You think that manipulations are the way to get what you want. You think in terms of If – Then: If (I’ll do such and such) then (my partner will react in such and such way). You might have learned it from one of your parents while growing up, and you don’t consider more “honest” ways of communication.
Denying and rejecting traits you own: You deny some of the traits you have (such as anger, aggression, control, unfaithfulness) without being aware that they are part of who you are – and therefore you project them on your partner. When problems and conflicts arise between you and your partners, you blame them to be angry, aggressive, controlling or unfaithful.
Having unrealistic expectations and fantasies about partners and relationships: You expect things to happen without considering if they are possible or not. You have fantasies that can’t be materialized. As long as you stuck to these expectations and fantasies you’ll be disappointed time and again.
Self-Awareness: becoming aware of the ways in which you sabotage your relationships
As long as you are not aware of yourself you don’t realize how your attitudes, reactions and behaviors sabotage your relationship.
Developing Self-Awareness helps you understand your attitudes, reactions and behaviors and realize how you have adopted them, is the means by which you can stop harming your relationships and make the necessary changes to cultivate a healthy and satisfying bond.