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If you’re having trouble making and keeping friends or relationships, here are a few reasons why. 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 and makes life easier and more pleasant.


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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.”

These behaviors will keep you in defensive mode if your partner doesn’t cooperate and will lead to unnecessary arguments.


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Have you ever been to visit someone and left 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.”

If you catch yourself being negative, stop your words and change your attitude into a more pleasant, optimistic one.


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The green-eyed monster is not a pretty one and can make people do some pretty absurd things. Jealousy is resentment and envy toward others when they have something you want or when something is being threatened to be taken away from you, e.g., a partner, a career aspect, or when your friend gets invited backstage at the last Elton John concert.

Try to be happy for your friends when something good happens to them. Not only will it make you feel good to celebrate their joy with them, but good things will come your way, too!


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Talking behind someone’s back is disrespectful and childish, not to mention rude and unfair. Very often, the facts get twisted, stories become 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. Isn’t that crazy?”

Next time you’re with a group of friends, and someone starts to gossip, change the topic and let your friends know you are no longer interested in gossiping.


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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.”

Next time you find yourself gearing up to make someone feel guilty with your passive-aggressiveness, stop and think how you would feel if they did that to you.

Blaming Others

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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.

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 average. It’s clear that they are to blame for this project’s failure, not me.”

Stop yourself before you point the finger at others, and ask yourself if your comment is helpful or hurtful.

Toxic Pride

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These are the people who have to be right or 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.

Remind yourself that we are all equal and that no one person is better than the other. When you act like this, people actually lose respect for you.

Control Issues

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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 decisions are the best and the only ones that matter. These are the people who need to control every aspect of people’s lives or situations.

Example: “I don’t think you should wear that dress. It makes you look _____. I think you should wear this one instead. It will make me happier if you do.” This statement is controlling, manipulative, and slightly passive-aggressive.

When you feel like you are about to tell someone what to do or wear, remind yourself that you don’t like being controlled and you have no right to control others either.


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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.”

Gaslighting is extremely damaging and toxic behavior. If you are the victim, tell them to stop. If you are the gaslighter, stop and listen to yourself for one minute and see how ridiculous you sound.


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Disrespect includes using derogatory language, insults, or belittling comments toward another person. It also includes not respecting your time, efforts, or your friends and family. Disrespect comes in so many forms that it’s hard to pinpoint just a few examples.

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?”

If you are being disrespectful and you can see the hurt in the person’s eyes, stop and apologize. Try to show more respect in the future.


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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.”

Most people want everyone to succeed and understand that life is not a competition or a race to the finish line. If you find yourself being competitive, remind yourself that we’re all winners, no matter what.

Boundary Violations

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Some people don’t think further than their noses and disregard and cross others’ personal boundaries. These boundaries relate to a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological space.

Example: John and Susan are friends. Susan’s privacy boundaries involve her only sharing things about her personal life with people with whom she has built relationships. John finds out some information about Susan and blabs it on their work colleagues, completely disrespecting and crossing Sarah’s boundaries.

Boundary lines are very important in everyone’s life. They allow one to maintain control over one’s life and gain respect from others. It’s important to respect people’s boundary lines as you would have them respect yours.

Showing Off/Bragging/Boasting

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Some people just love to show off all the new expensive things they have or brag about how successful they are or how much money they make. No one likes a braggart. Trust me on that. If you wonder why people don’t want to be around you, this is why. It’s boring and obnoxious.

Next time you have something new or shiny to brag/boast about, try to include others in the conversation and talk about their nice new ‘thing’ as well, so it’s not a competition or an attempt to make people look small and you look larger than life.

Holding Grudges

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Stop holding grudges! Life is too short for this, and the negativity is essentially toxic. 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.”

Holding on to past hurts or grudges only hurts you, not the other person. It’s time to forgive them, let them off the hook, and move on. You’ll be happier for it.

Constant Criticism

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Constant criticism occurs when a person constantly finds faults and flaws in others and tells them about them in a negative and judgmental manner. It can cause self-esteem issues, erode confidence, and 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.”

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you open your mouth to criticize anyone. Would you like it if someone was constantly doing that to you?

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