STOP SABOTAGING YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
We all have thoughts about our fears and regrets. These thoughts can follow us for years to come and they are about things we did or something we didn’t do. Sometimes we don’t think we deserve to be happy, particularly when it comes to relationships.
Relationships can give us great joy but also can cause us great pain. When we open ourselves up to another person, we leave ourselves vulnerable to rejection or abandonment. These feelings will remind us of our own insecurities, and these insecurities can lead us to self-sabotaging behaviors. These fears can make us extremely jealous, manipulative, and controlling. Feeling unworthy of love will likely lead you to sabotage it in many ways.
Self- Sabotaging behaviors create problems and interfere with our goals. The most important common behaviors are: Procrastination, we start many projects but never finish them or feel no motivation to continue. Extreme fears, we dream about something but never do it or even try to do it. We don’t try because we fear failure, doubt ourselves and our abilities. Feelings of worthlessness, we let others put us down, or we take criticism very personal. Some others are feeling self-hatred, self-medicating (e.g., using drugs and alcohol), and self-injury.
In relationships the most common signs of sabotage are:
– Mistrust- you are always suspicious of your partner without any evidence or reason.
– Hiding your feelings. You are afraid to state your wishes and wants. You go along to avoid conflict.
– You give up your interests, needs, and friends to accommodate your partners’. You feel guilty for taking time for yourself.
– You want everything perfect. You have unrealistic expectations, and you believe in fairy tales. You feel you married the wrong person and run away at any small disagreement.
– You focus on the negative rather than the positive.
– You start fights, take everything personally, and you do this repeatedly.
– You keep bringing the past all the time, talking about how things used to be, and not how they are now.
Breaking the cycle of self-sabotage:
– Recognize the behavior and be honest with yourself. You need to be honest about the pain that is motivating the self-sabotaging behavior to avoid repeating the same pattern.
– Don’t dwell on “if only…” We dwell on things we can’t control like “if only I was born different,” or “if I were more talented”.
– Don’t procrastinate and always do something “tomorrow.” Take a walk, do some meditation, and put yourself back in the driver’s seat.
– Don’t hide your feelings. Letting yourself feel things is not the same as unleashing emotions in an inappropriate way. Acknowledge and accept your feelings without judgement.
– Monitor your negative thoughts.
– Develop a more realistic and compassionate view of yourself. Develop goals that are more likely to be met.
– Work on distinguishing what you really want instead of what others want for you.
Self-sabotaging behaviors can get in the way of happiness and happy relationships but work and keeping the mentioned techniques in mind, they can have less control over your life.
Maria Teresa Flores, MAAT, LCPC
Ecker Center for Mental Health