I am reading a true story about a woman who went through trials and tribulations since she was 6 years old. Going through sexual, emotional, verbal and physical abuse for years at a time. She speaks on the times she considered patterns in her dating life as “normal” because it’s what she had known. I started to reflect on my own experiences and was inspired to write this.
I can’t tell you the many times I felt like I was in a relationship where we were both trying to prove who was worth more than the other. You may never admit this kind of behavior as, “competing against each other" but it is in fact competing. An example of this is not giving genuine compliments because one doesn’t want to give their partner a “big head”. When you are in a partnership, you WANT to empower your partner so that they can only feel more secure about themselves with you. If you or your partner hold back on the compliments because you are fearful about the other feeling like they are better, then you are overlooking this very unhealthy trait.
When a person isn’t feeling secure about themselves (which is normal in moderation), they will often look for ways to get reactions out of their partner. I have seen this in myself and in others which is why I want to expose this trait. Maybe your partner has been busy lately and this is making you feel insecure so you start bickering over little things; you ultimately want them to worry about you. When one realizes there is a problem, they place their attention on trying to fix it which results in your partner placing their focus on you. This is manipulation and is not healthy. I would very much consider reflecting on the true root; feeling lack of value in oneself. If insecurity hits, find ways to make an impact and add value to places around you. When we add value to the world we feel valuable. Volunteer somewhere, help someone with a favor or start a new hobby to add that value back into yourself! What we want to stay away from is getting in the way of our partner’s opportunity to add value to themselves because this only robs your opportunity to do the same.
Yes, I said it! This here is one of the most overlooked and common traits! They say something we didn’t like so we say something back. They did something that you thought wasn’t considerate so you do that same thing so they “know how it feels”. Why do we do this?! Lack of emotional-intimacy. Intimacy isn’t just physical, it’s emotional. When a partnership has lacked emotional-intimacy recently or always, it’s oftentimes difficult to communicate and be transparent when feelings get hurt. We try to act like everything is okay or we just wait for the best time to get them back. Being passive aggressive only results in dwelling and suppressing the big or small issues that turn into years of resentment, it’s a snowball effect! Think of it like a prank-war, one always waiting to get the other back or waiting for the other to make their move. Your relationship should feel safe, if it doesn’t, it’s unhealthy! Consider sitting down and being clear about this specific trait you have noticed in your relationship and make a mutual commitment to making your relationship a place you feel safe. When you feel like being spiteful, SAY IT! I once told a guy I dated, “I need to be transparent with you because if I don’t, I will find another way to try and ‘get you back’ for how you made me feel and I don’t want that”. This set the conversation up for clarity and made it much easier for me to share why I was hurt even if it was embarrassing to say. This builds true emotional-intimacy which is needed to build trust.
Message from Victoria GOLD
I really hope that this was helpful and it resonates with at least a handful of you. If you would like a more one on one reflection, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!