Forming valuable relationships is an essential step toward a rewarding life. Relationships are an integral part of being human, and constructive relationships have the potential to improve your livelihood.
Whether the relationship is long-term or a newly formed friendship, they should always be completely respectful.
In an unhealthy relationship, the other person will often:
Try to control you—with kindness
A person’s kindness isn’t always a true indicator of their actual intentions. Sometimes, a person in an unhealthy relationship uses kindness as a tool for manipulation. When they realize their acts of kindness result in them getting what they want, they sometimes abuse their power.
Does the person’s kindness often seem forced, or illegitimate? Do they choose to be kind only on specific occasions, their kindness and consideration often turning out to be short-lived?
If the answer is yes, you may want to re-examine your relationship and make sure both of you are on the same page.
Attempt to change you
When two people are in a healthy relationship, they appreciate each other’s uniqueness. They may motivate each other to make beneficial life changes, but ultimately, they respect each other for the distinct individuals they are. If any concerns come up regarding the other person, they feel comfortable calmly discussing the conflict in a compassionate manner.
A person who values your relationship will not attempt to turn you into something you’re not. They appreciate you for your genuine self, and don’t actively seek out ways you should modify yourself.
Blame you for your feelings
You shouldn’t ever feel guilty about the way you feel—emotions are an indispensable part of life. The point in forming a worthwhile relationship is to build each other up and offer endless support, not inflict more stress.
If you’re upset and made to feel ashamed about it, you might need to step away from the relationship. Is the other person acting reasonable? Do they have good intentions, or do they refuse to meet you in the middle? Be sure not to make any excuses for them, though it may feel tempting or unavoidable.
Need you—too much
Sometimes when a person is a part of an unhealthy relationship, they request the other person’s presence in an unreasonable way. They often convince the other person to change their plans or cater to their desired arrangements.
Do you have a friend who acts offended every time you make plans without her—even if they’re with someone she doesn’t know? Does your partner make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with other people?
These characteristics are often associated with intimate relationships, but friendships can be affected, too. There’s a fine line between appreciating your company and becoming possessive—and it’s in your best interest to identify that line early on.
Have bad former relationships
The status of a person’s past relationships is a good indication of their capacity to form healthy new ones. If they are on bad terms with all their ex-partners or hold grudges with various former friends, you may want to consider this a warning sign.
It’s also important to feel secure within your relationship, which can be damaged by a reputation for lying. Do you feel your relationship is strong enough to form a lasting bond? Do you genuinely trust each other? Does the other person act in a way that leads you to think they genuinely care for you?
If you find yourself constantly worrying about the other person sticking around, it may be time to find someone who you know will always be there.
Disregard your dreams
One of the best parts about achieving your dreams is sharing the news with someone who cares greatly for you. A healthy relationship requires constant motivation and a genuine desire to see the other person succeed.
If you’re constantly sharing your passions and dreams with someone who gives you nothing in return, you may not be a part of a relationship that you deserve. Instead, consider forming a relationship with people who celebrate your interests, and push you to take risks.
Be dismissive and unreasonable
When you’re in a relationship, your success should make the other person happy. You should acknowledge the other person’s impressive accomplishments and provide them the support needed to become even more successful.
In an unhealthy relationship, one person will often assume they’re the smart one, disallowing any opportunities for open-minded discussion. They often become jealous when the other person reaches their goals, and instead of rooting for them like a supportive companion, they gloat and await their failure.
No matter the type of your relationship, it should always be a healthy one. You deserve to be surrounded by people who make your life more enjoyable—not more of a struggle.