Signs They Don't Want What's Best For You

E.B. Johnson

by: E.B. Johnson (Image by @dashapats via Twenty20)

When we fall for someone or bring them into our closest circles, it can be hard to see their true intentions. We want to see the best in people. Especially those who we care for, but that’s not always reality. Sometimes, the people that we love control us, manipulate us, or otherwise force us down paths we don’t want to walk. Though they promise to hold our best interests at heart, however, these are not people who truly respect us. And they’re certainly not people who want the best for us.

Intentions can be difficult to navigate.

The intentions of other people can be difficult to navigate, but it’s not at all impossible. Our words only portray one side of our truth. Actions speak much louder when it comes to determining whether someone is holding your best interests in their heart. In order to spot these actions, though, we have to embrace a new reality and a radical and worldly acceptance that requires both commitment and conscious courage.

Have you built a life with someone who regularly manipulates you? Or tells you that you aren’t good enough? Do they encourage you to chase dreams that don’t fit, or careers that leave you burned out and feeling empty? When someone pushes you toward unhappiness (and away fulfillment) they aren’t looking out for your happiness — they’re looking out for their own.

Stop allowing someone else’s vision of life dictate yours. Stop giving the power of personal choice over to someone who only has the limitation of their own temporary vision. We have a right to live life according to our own principles and our own values. We have a right to be who we want to be, and an inhered right to pursue our own vision of happiness. Express these rights by waking up and freeing yourself from the oppression of someone else’s skewed intentions.

Proof that they don't want what's best for you.

Are you questioning whether they really want what’s best for you? These are the signs you should look for and the red flags you should never ignore.

Off-balance awareness

One-sided awareness is a common sign that your partner doesn’t want what’s best for you. Though they might tell you that they sacrifice in your name, or that they love you, they’ll also demonstrate a seeming inability to spot or empathize with your needs. Instead, it’s all about them. They’re only aware of issues in their own life, and they’re only aware of their own emotions and needs. When it comes to you, you’re more of an accessory or subsequent object in their gravity.

Endless jealousy

Is your partner or spouse extremely jealous? Whenever you talk to someone new, or branch outside of the usual routine — do they lash out and blame it on their “love” or “worry” for you? This is a common tactic used by both manipulators and abusers, and it has little to do with your personal welfare. It does have a lot to do with control, though, and their own experiences and personal insecurities.

Always the victim

Victimhood is a strange device that’s used by manipulative people to control the surrounding environment. The eternal victim is one who is never to blame. Everything that goes wrong in their life is the fault of someone else.They can also often suffer from insecure attachment, which makes them intense and clingy partners. A person who displays signs of constant victimhood is someone who is only ever looking out for their own needs.

Mental control

Does your partner or loved one believe that their outlook on life is the only one that matters? Do they have a very particular set of ideals that they insist on making you live by? This (again) is a common sign of a controlling person. When we try to force someone to fit our standards, we indicate that there is no inherent value in the things that they want for themselves. We deny them personal identity, and we deny them their own definition of happiness and fulfillment.

Social isolation

You may find yourself with someone who encourages you to cut ties with your friends or family. In a few instances, this can be appropriate. When it comes to total social isolation, however, you’re dealing with a major red flag. Social isolation is a common tactic used by abusers. It’s meant to restrict your ability to find help or gain perspective. Therefore, establishing a total web of control that becomes inescapable as your potential support networks dwindle.

Emotional manipulation

Manipulation and control don’t just dwindle down to someone who tells you what to do and how to be. Someone with twisted intentions can also push you around by engaging in emotional manipulation. If someone has to tug at your heartstrings, or hold your relationship hostage in order to get your compliance — they don’t have your best interests at heart. What they are concerned about is getting their own way and using whatever means they need to in order to get there.

An array of abuse

Does your partner or loved one submit you to physical or mental abuse? Do they claim that this is done in order to “teach you a lesson” or “make you a better person”? You need to run — not walk — in the opposite direction. When we love someone, and truly cherish their needs, we don’t cause them pain and unnecessary hardship. Abuse (in any form) is never acceptable.

Natural negativity

Negative people have a hard time truly connecting to others because their compassion becomes lost in pain. They expect the worst, and they see the worst around every corner. Even if they do truly want the best for you, they hardly become the best judge of that when they’re lost in negative patterns of thought, and belief; as well as behavior which sends their own happiness into a complete tailspin.

Lack of honesty or trust

An insecure person who quarters and culls your happiness in the name of their trust is not someone who is looking out for you. This indicates an insecure person who has allowed their fears to become the master of their thoughts (and relationships). Likewise, a person who constantly betrays your trust (ie infidelities) is also not someone who can be looking out for what’s best in your life and your future.

What you need to do next.

Are you starting to suspect that they don’t really want what’s best for you? Whether they realize that their intentions are muddied or not, you have to start taking action in the name of your wellbeing. Get clear on what you want from life so that no one else can define the course of your future.

1. Figure out your own life

Before you can break free of someone else’s burdensome expectations, you have to get clear on your own needs and expectations of self. This means taking the time to really consider what the breadth and scope of life mean to you, and how you want to fill your hours, emotions, and experiences. But it also means breaking away from the person who is pushing you in a different direction long enough to clear your head as well.

Break away from your partner or loved one and build in a regular personal routine for yourself. Find time each day to spread yourself out in a space where you can be completely alone (and uninterrupted) with your thoughts. You can spend this time journalling, meditating, or any other craft that facilitates planning and focus.

Center in on what you want most from life. Consider your future 10, 20, or even 30 years from now. When you are on your deathbed, what legacy do you want to look back over? What memories do you want to hold, and who do you want to be in them? Break yourself away from what other people have told you to want. Really align yourself with your authentic values and desires. Once you get clear on what your life needs for meaning and fulfillment, it will be that much harder to push you around or pull you away.

2. Make yourself a priority

You have to start prioritizing your own needs and your own space if you ever want to break free of the machinations of others. We give our power to other people because we don’t value and respect ourselves. As our self-esteem crumbles, we start to see our dreams and our desires as “silly” or secondary. We lose sight of ourselves and lose touch, deciding a better investment of our energy would be in helping someone else establish their happiness.

You have to prioritize yourself on an equal level to your partner and everyone else who holds meaning in your life. No matter how much you love them, you are just as worthy and deserving of happiness and success. Fall in love with yourself, and use this love to rip off the rose-colored glasses that are keeping you stuck.

Put some space between their needs and yours. Carve out some time for yourself every day and focus on the steps you need to take to bring back joy and authenticity to your life. If you’ve been relying on another person to provide you with a sense of acceptance or validation — stop it. You can provide these things to yourself and avoid getting stuck in the trap with someone who is disingenuous. Meet your own needs and take action in the name of your dreams. Little by little, you will create space and an ability to separate yourself.

3. Set better boundaries

Boundaries are an important part of every single relationship we build, but they become especially important when we feel pushed around or goaded away from our needs. You have to communicate your boundaries with the other person and then stand strong beside them when you’re pushed or challenged on them. Before you can do that, however, you have to get clear on where your boundaries lie (as well as what limitations you’re going to set for yourself).

While you’re getting comfortable in your own space, spend some time considering your boundary lines. Look at your relationship and the life you’re building with the other person. What role do you play? What role do you want to play? Compare where you’re at against where you ideally want to be. How do you want to be treated? How does your environment need to change?

After you’ve spent time getting clear on how you need to be treated (and what you want), you need to sit down the important people in your life and communicate your boundaries. This isn’t always something that happens at once. Chances are, you’ll have to repeat yourself a couple of times. Be explicitly clear. Explain what you expect from your relationship, how you want to be treated, and why. Leave plenty of room for the other person to do the same, but make it clear that pushing your boundaries won’t be tolerated.

4. Re-claim your individuality

Individuality is so important to our journey, but so many of us put our authenticity in a box the minute we settle down or get too comfortable with someone. It’s understandable. We want to be loved, and we want to emulate the things that we love. The problem with losing our identity within a relationship, however, is that it leaves us vulnerable to the manipulations and emotional attacks of others. Knowing who we are is a superpower and makes it harder for others to define us.

Lean into your individuality and start celebrating who you are again. Live out loud and in full, unadulterated color. Chase your passions and fall back in with those social circles and pastimes that bring you confidence and joy.

Pull back all those pieces of self that have drifted away on the wind of someone else’s desires. Stop mirroring their wants and ideals, and start proudly wearing your own on your chest. You don’t have to change who you are to be loved, and if someone tells you that you do — they don’t love you.Love means to embrace someone’s authenticity, and to embrace their journey of self…wherever that arc may take them. To be human is to grow. We should nourish this growth in those we love.

5. Discover courage and action

The fact of the matter is that there is limited real estate in our lives. There’s only so much time and energy that we have to give those we love; we can only be stretched so far. When we discover that someone poisonous or insincere has entered our circle, we often have to make some tough choices and tough action in the name of our own happiness. Are you standing next to someone who doesn’t (and can’t) want your true happiness? Find the courage to walk away.

If that person can’t allow you to be yourself — walk away. If they can’t value your dreams and aspirations as being just as worthy as their own — walk away. Our partners and our friends should see us as equals. Once we communicate an issue with them, they should strive to fix it out of a desire to respect our needs.

You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to do overnight. However, you do need to find the courage to walk away if someone is continuously disrespecting your or forcing you to do things that you don’t want to do. Relationships of any sort should never be about force or coercion. We should be free to be who we want to be, however that changes over time. Find the courage to stand up in the name of your own happiness and walk away from toxic people who don’t want the best for you.

Putting it all together…

It’s important to know when someone is looking out for us and when they don’t really want what’s best for us. Because we often see what we want to see, these subtle signs of manipulation can take a lot of courage and commitment to spot. Once you do spot them, though, you can take charge of your happiness and stop bending to the will of someone who only cares about their own needs.

Get clear on what you need to achieve in order to feel as though your life is worthwhile. Stop depending on the opinions of other people to define what should be set forth by you. Prioritize your own needs and allow your opinions and your thoughts to become just as important as any partner, spouse, or loved one in your life. Their ideas hold value. So do yours. They don’t have to live with your decisions at the end of the day — you do. Set boundaries for yourself (and others) and communicate those boundaries (and the consequences for disrespecting them) regularly. Lean into your individuality and stop following the pale shade of someone else’s wishes.You have a right to lead a life that is authentically aligned with your values and passions. Embrace this knowledge and find the courage to walk away when you aren’t getting the respect you deserve.

#Troubles&Advice #Psychology #Relationships #Dating

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Certified Life Coach | NLP-MP | Author I create transformative personal development and self-help content that helps you improve your life and your relationships across the board. You have the power to transform your life, but you have to heal yourself first.

Pelham, AL

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