4. Do you neglect your own needs to avoid feeling “selfish” or “lazy”?
Do you feel guilty for taking care of yourself or doing things for yourself? Do you feel uncomfortable when you have “me” time? Do you only have a sense of worth if you are being productive or doing things?
It could be that you have been trained from an early age, probably by parents, caregivers, or educators, that taking care of yourself or having leisure time and allowing yourself to rest is lazy, self-centered, and must be absolutely 100 percent avoided at all cost.
5. Are you a people pleaser?
Does it bother you when other people think poorly of you? Some people believe that it is a requirement to have people like them and they are willing to do almost anything to gain approval from others.
Some people are overly concerned about offending or hurting people’s feelings and as a result, become “people pleasers” who overlook their own needs in favor of someone else’s.
When you are a people-pleaser, you’re more likely to put up with inappropriate, hurtful, and toxic behavior from a partner. You don’t want your special guy to feel too guilty about his bad behavior toward you, so you say, “It’s okay. I’m fine. Don’t worry. We’re fine.”
6. Have you experienced rejection, abandonment, shame, betrayal, and/or unfairness?
Have you been a victim of some form of abuse in your past? Did you feel invalidated by a parent, like you weren’t entitled to your feelings, or your feelings were wrong or selfish? Some caregivers raise children with an incredible dose of shame as a way to control their behavior.
They may use guilt trips to make you feel guilty for having feelings because they were hurt that you expressed them. Perhaps you were criticized as a child and felt as though you couldn’t do anything right? Maybe they gave you the message that you could never achieve their approval and that their love and acceptance were conditional on being a “good girl”.
When a parent uses shame or guilt, it’s actually a form of manipulation. Since this is what you are raised with, it will lead you to be susceptible to being manipulated as an adult, especially in an intimate relationship.
7. Do you feel worthless and fear being alone?
Do you beat yourself up and criticize yourself for your failures? Do you fear being single? Do you berate your weaknesses and hate yourself for them? Perhaps you feel as though you are unlovable, unworthy, and flawed, and don’t feel worthy of love?
It’s perfectly normal for you to want security in your life, but some people’s internal shame and sense of unworthiness leads them to a willingness to do everything in their power to ensure their own security. Even if it means they have to make excuses for others, fix their errors, or protect them.
If you are afraid of being alone, it is far more likely you will willingly overlook a problem in order to maintain security and protect yourself from being lonely.
8. Are you goal-oriented and persevere, no matter what?
Do you set goals and know you will always achieve them? Do you feel your value in life is based on what goals you achieve? Do you feel unworthy if you fail to meet your goals?
Some people are so committed to their “never give up or give in,” attitude that they end up overlooking terrible behavior by a partner, with the misguided idea that they can’t give up on the relationship because it will be seen as a failure.
Sometimes people are so perseverant that they end up over-functioning and doing everything for everyone, resulting in them getting completely walked on. You might even hate relying on other people for help and choose to do everything yourself. If you do, it’s time to reconsider the consequences of being so focused on avoiding failure.
You can go through this experience of taking responsibility for your healing, knowing that it is going to be difficult and take time but that you will emerge on the other side so strong and healthy you will absolutely exude empowerment.
You will never again accept substandard behavior. You will repel toxic, abusive, and parasitic men with narcissistic personality traits and only attract high-quality individuals into your life.
Trust me, and trust yourself. You can unquestionably do this and live the life of truth, respect, and dignity you deserve.
Written by Joanne Brothwell
Originally appeared on JoanneBrothwell.com