If you’re having a hard time making and keeping friends or relationships, here are a few reasons why that might be. All people have at least one of these, so don’t beat yourself up about it; rather, acknowledge it and work to make changes within yourself so you can be the best version of yourself! In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind. It does a lot for your own psyche.
Examples of manipulation include blackmail, guilt trips, twisting facts, and more, to control or influence someone else for your own personal gain.
Example: A husband or wife might say to their spouse, “If you really loved me, you’d quit your job and stay at home. I work so hard to provide for us, it’s unfair that you prioritize your career over our relationship. You’re being selfish and neglecting us; if you really cared about us, you’d make this sacrifice.”
Have you ever been to visit someone and leave feeling completely drained? Negativity is contagious and extremely draining to the person on the receiving end. It includes excessive complaining and always seeing the negative side of everything. Make the effort to see the positive in situations.
Example: “Work is such a drag. It’s always a never-ending cycle of stress and misery. I can’t stand my job and I’m stuck in this dead-end career. Nothing ever goes right and it feels like I’m wasting my life away.”
The green-eyed monster is not a pretty one and can make people do some pretty absurd things. Jealousy is resentment and envy towards others when they have something you want, or when something is being threatened to be taken away from you eg: a partner, a career aspect, or when your friend gets invited backstage at the last Elton John concert.
Talking behind someone’s back is just not nice. Very often, the facts get twisted, stories became rumors, and they spread like wildlife, hurting or embarrassing someone along the way.
Example: “Did you hear about Sarah? I don’t have all the details, but I heard she got into big trouble because she messed up in a big project at work. I thought you might like to know.”
Passive-aggressiveness is when a person does not confront an issue in an open and mature way but rather indirectly expresses their anger through actions such as silent treatment, making sarcastic remarks, or using subtle and negative comments.
Example: “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’ll just do everything by myself as always because that’s the way it is, and I’m used to it.”
When a person cannot take responsibility for their own actions and constantly shifts the blame to other people. They do this for many different reasons, such as fear of the consequences, lack of self-awareness, self-preservation, and defensiveness, to name a few.
Example: “It’s not my fault that the project failed. I did everything that was tasked to me, but my teammates didn’t pull their weight. They didn’t meet deadlines and their work was subpar. It’s clear that they are to blame for this project’s failure, not me.”
These are the people who have to be right, or they have to have the last word. Whether it be in an in-person conversation, over email, or text, this person cannot let the conversation end without winning. They absolutely have to have the last word, even if it’s something simple like, “You see, I told you.” They have to feel like the winner, even though, in truth, there isn’t a competition.
Some people just have control issues. For some, it’s not too bad, and they can acknowledge it, but for others, they believe that their thinking and their decisions are the best and the only one that matters. These are the people who need to control every aspect of people’s lives or a situation.
Example: “Your dance class ends at 5pm. Message me when you are leaving and if you stop anywhere on the way home, message me and let me know where you are and who you’re with. You should be grateful that I am so caring and just want to make sure you are safe.”
Gaslighting is an evil one because, as the recipient, you could end up thinking you’re losing your mind. The person will lie and distort the truth in situations and conversations to be able to control you and control the outcome that will benefit them.
Example: “You’re being too sensitive and overreacting again. I never said that you couldn’t go out with your friends. Remember that you said you were tired of them and wanted some time to yourself? It’s not fair that you twist my words and make me seem controlling. You need to work on your memory, or go and get help from a therapist.”
Disrespect includes using derogatory language, insults, or belittling comments to another person.
Example: Rolls their eyes and interrupts the other person while they are speaking, “Ugh, you always talk so slowly. Can you get to the point already?”
There is competitiveness, and then there are the people who take it to the next level. They can take a game or a challenge, or a sport to the extreme, making it a very unpleasant experience. Should they lose, there will always be an excuse or a reason as to why they lost.
Example: “I can’t believe you won the game. I’m just not in a good headspace and you got lucky this time. We’ll have to have a re-match so I can show you that I will beat you.”
Some people don’t think further than their noses and disregard and cross the personal boundaries of others. These boundaries relate to the physical, emotional, and psychological space of a person.
Example: John and Susan are friends. Susan’s privacy boundaries involve her only sharing things about her personal life with people who she has built relationships with. John finds out some information about Susan and blabs it on their work colleagues, completely disrespecting and crossing Sarah’s boundaries.
Some people tend to shut down and bottle up their emotions from others. This is particularly difficult to deal with in a romantic relationship. It causes feelings of hurt, sadness, and loneliness, which can often lead to anger.
Example: “Why won’t you just tell me how you feel? You’re always putting up that wall and shutting me out. I want to understand what you’re going through but it’s hard for me to connect when you do this.”
Stop holding grudges! Life is too short for this, and the negativity is essentially toxic to you. Let go of past hurts and resentments but learn from them.
Example: “I can’t believe you forgot my birthday last year. It really hurt me and I can’t seem to let it go. It just makes me wonder if you really value our friendship.”
Constant criticism is when a person constantly finds faults and flaws in others… and lets them know about it in a negative and judgmental manner. It causes self-esteem issues, erodes confidence, and can create a hostile environment.
Example: “Why do you insist on wearing your hair like that? It makes your face look fat and enhances the fact that your ears stick out.”
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