Don’t let a Selfish Partner Hurt you

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Don’t let a Selfish Partner Hurt you

It may be hard to recognize the selfish, at least at first. Oftentimes they are social butterflies. Everyone loves and adores them. And everyone wants to cater to them, including you. But as time goes on and the charm starts to wear, as you get to peek more and more below the surface sometimes you start to see that this person’s whole world revolves around them. There isn’t room for you at all. You find yourself giving more and more, but they never return your energy or affection like they should. Instead, they suck you dry like a psychic vampire.

Don’t let a selfish partner hurt you. First, realize when a person is selfish and when you haven’t communicated your needs with them fully. Perhaps they don’t know what you want or how to fulfil your needs. Be patient. Communicate in lots of ways. See if they have a need to fulfill your desires but don’t know how to go about it. Help them. If they find excuses or are too resistant chances are they are selfish. But oftentimes one person in a relationship thinks the other should automatically know what they want. No one automatically knows what anyone wants. It isn’t a sign of love or not loving. It just means you have to learn to communicate your needs effectively.

Next, consider what the speech or behavior they are exhibiting is and if it is in fact selfish. What things do you do for them? Make a list. See what things they do for you. How does the list measure up? Some people look to date those that they can manipulate to get their own needs, wants and desires fulfilled without any concern or regard for the other person. Does this sound familiar? In a normal relationship the power dynamic is equal. But if you never do what you want to do, never go to the restaurants you want, never see the movie you want, never visit your family, and always undercut your desires to that of your partner, that person is indeed selfish. Your partner is probably convinced of how great they are and how lucky you are to have them. They think you need them and should get down on your knees and thank the heavens for putting them in your life. Talk about nerve.

If you think you are constantly being manipulated by a selfish person and no matter how many times you confront them, or try to get them to change, they don’t, make plans to end the relationship. Start drifting from them physically and emotionally. Detach from them. If they start freaking out show them the behavior you have to put up with. Use their words against them. Make it really uncomfortable for them. Then approach them about splitting up. Chances are they will be happy about it by then. No one wants to be in a relationship where they aren’t having fun, where they are being used. So turn the tables on them with coldness and you will have your freedom soon enough. For more advice read, Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You by Patricia Evans.

Never Appreciated

unappreciated

Never Appreciated

Do you feel that you have control over your life, but you are always getting stepped on? You go out of your way to show love, devotion, and perform grand gestures in hopes that they will be reciprocated. Instead, they turn out to be expectations. It stings the most when it’s a lover. But often those who are taken advantage of by romantic partners suffer at the hands of bosses, professors, friends and family too. If you’re never appreciated, or taken for granted more often than not, read on and you’ll know how to change it all around, and put some new direction in your life.

First, evaluate what you do for your lover and what they do for you. Writing two lists might make sense. Compare. Are you actually being taken advantage of? If your column takes up two pages with footnotes and addendums whilst theirs is barely two lines long, your lover has some explaining to do. Don’t get heated though. Instead, start to take a look at the patterns you take part in, in life. Do you get taken advantage of often, and by whom?

A lot of people are people-pleasers, so don’t feel bad. These people gain self-esteem from the gratitude of others. When they bestow their gratitude you get a bump. The problem is this person doesn’t often voice their own needs, wants and desires. No where do they feel more awkward at voicing their needs than with their partner. They secretly believe their own needs aren’t as worthy as others. But they are. So sit down with your partner and discuss how you feel with them. Tell them how hard you work on your grand gestures and how disappointed you are when they don’t reciprocate. Understand that they will be defensive. Don’t point the finger at them, or make them feel guilty. Just tell them how you feel and ask how they feel about that.

Approach it as a problem and invite them in. Have solutions outlined already. If your lover is resistant perhaps they aren’t in it for you, just for what you do for them. Assert yourself with your friends and at work too. Ask for what you want. Don’t overcompensate for past behavior. Be reasonable and ask in the right manner. But don’t back down. They may try to scare you off, but stand your ground. When you stick up for yourself others recognize it and you get respect. For more advice read the New York Times bestseller, The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D.

ADHD and Relationships

couple at therapy

ADHD and Relationships

When one person has ADHD in a relationship, and the other person doesn’t, unique problems can occur. The power dynamic can become that of a parent to child, which isn’t healthy. The non-ADHD person becomes the one with the power, guiding, reminding and helping their partner. When the ADHD partner has a chore to be done, their counterpart may remind them, indeed several times, until the ADHD partner does it. Or the non-ADHD partner may give up and do it themselves rather than keep reminding their other half. Eventually, too many chores or responsibilities are allocated to the non-ADHD partner.

The symptoms of ADHD unmanaged are permanent. Distraction, memory problems and other symptoms start to weigh on the relationship. The non-ADHD partner becomes the parent, the ADHD partner the child. The power dynamic in this relationship becomes off kilter, leaning only to one side. This leads to a lack of respect on the part of the non-ADHD partner as they begin to view their partner like a child, and a condescending attitude can ensue. The ADHD partner begins to resent their significant other.

Adaptation is generally considered a good thing. One partner sees an issue arising and both partners change to meet and overcome it. Some research has shown however that stronger couples see problems coming down the pike and counteract them before they become an issue in the relationship. For ADHD, this power dynamic increases over time. As more and more control is lent to the non-ADHD partner and the more they become the parent, the other the child, the more resentment builds. Both people in this relationship have their problems with the other. One doesn’t want to do all of the work of the other. The ADHD partner doesn’t want to be treated like a child. They get tired of constant reminders, general bossiness and nagging. And the non-ADHD partner gets tired of doing so. And this dynamic puts a strain on the relationship. The couple feels less inclined toward positive feelings of love, affection, physical intimacy and romance.

Child/parent dynamics will almost inevitably lead to relationship or marital dysfunction. ADHD should be treated with the help of a mental health professional. Both partners should be involved. But if you are married or seriously involved with someone who has ADHD or if you have ADHD make sure to talk about it in depth with your partner. Treatment should also be sought. For more advice read, The ADHD Effect On Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov.

How Men Nonverbally Dominate

couple-sitting

How Men Nonverbally Dominate

A power dynamic is how power exists in a relationship. Does one partner have more power than the other? Does one have all the power? Or do they share power? Power dynamics shape love. They either allow a place for it to grow and develop or they choke it. The power dynamic that is the healthiest and aids relationships is when both partners share in the power equally. You can see a power dynamic at work by examining who interrupts the other, who talks over the other, who makes final decisions, who punishes, who generally wins fights and so on. Men and women utilize and respond to verbal and nonverbal cues in different ways.

Of course either sex can be domineering in a relationship. However, men are the ones who traditionally dominate heterosexual relationships. Men control women either consciously or subconsciously using certain verbal and nonverbal cues. For instance, personal space tends to be different in each sex. Men have a bubble of personal space around them. Others penetrate this to cause discomfort, get closer or create arousal. Women have smaller personal space bubbles. And men tend to invade a woman’s personal space more often in the hope of persuading or controlling her.

In terms of posture, men tend to use more open, expansive forms. Therefore they need more space. This taking up of space is deciphered as dominance. Women are more constricted because they tend to take up less space. If you notice how men and women cross their legs, it displays clearly this phenomenon. Men tend to cross their legs with one ankle on top of their knee or thigh, taking up lots of space. Women however cross their legs at the knee taking up far less space. Expansive positions communicate dominance. Constricted positions tell of submission. The latest research shows that incorporating more expansive body language increases one’s confidence and self-esteem. If you notice the mode of dress, a man’s dress portrays power, a woman’s submissiveness. Women have to cross their legs in skirts, ergo communicating submissiveness outright. Women also carry things in a handbag or purse, which also communicates submission while men carry things in their pockets.

Touch is another way men subconsciously dominate women. Research shows that men who aren’t romantically involved touch women more often as a way of dominating them. This is true of dominant personalities too. They tend to touch in order to dominate; someone that puts their hand on your arm to make sure you are paying attention to their point, for example. Men who care about taking part in a blissful, well-adjusted long term relationship should be aware of what nonverbal cues they are sending their female counterparts, and make sure not to dominate, but to allow her an equal share of the power. To learn more about dominance in relationships read, Intimacy and Power: The Dynamics of Personal Relationships in Modern Society by Derek Layder.

Are you a Pushover?

pushover

Are you a Pushover?

Are you dating someone that you think is taking advantage of you? In a relationship, for real love to blossom there has to be mutual respect and if there isn’t, then it’s merely a relationship of convenience. You can’t have a real relationship where one person takes advantage of the other. But what is the difference between being sweet, considerate, understanding and showing your appreciation for your significant other and being taken advantage of? Read on to find out whether you are a pushover or not.

Are you in a committed relationship? If not, are you interested in being in one? If you haven’t established exclusivity, you two have been seeing each other for a while, you want to establish a commitment but you are afraid of being left, you are a pushover. Of course, when you are first dating and figuring things out, you don’t want to push a relationship. It should develop naturally. But if you’ve been seeing each other regularly for months with no signs of commitment on the horizon, talk to your significant other. If they still don’t want to give you a commitment, when that is what you want, let them go. They aren’t serious about you. Discuss the issue, in depth to make sure there aren’t any extenuating circumstances. But by and large, if this is the case they are taking advantage.

Does he or she have friends over all the time and you feel more like the wait staff than their romantic partner? If you are cooking, cleaning, and taking off so they can have guys or girls nights at your place all the time, you are definitely a pushover. Why can’t they prepare all this themselves? And what about times when people aren’t coming over? Do you do his or her chores in addition to your own? If so, your significant other treats you more like a servant than a partner. Unless this is some type of weird fetish or you are female and very traditional from a certain ethnic or religious background that causes you to do all these things, you are a pushover.  Everyone goes out of their way once in a while for their significant other. But if you are always making accommodations, allowances, and keep saying to people that’s how he or she is when confronted by what they see as an injustice, you are definitely a pushover. Is this person loving, attentive, and do they surprise you with something, a little sweet text, a gift, take you out, something like that? If you feel perpetually taken for granted, while you do all the little niceties for your partner, you are a pushover.

If you avoid conflict and every fight ends with you backing down, you are definitely a pushover. Now what are you going to do about it? There are two problems here, your significant other is taking advantage and you are giving them more than enough opportunity to do so. Instead, sit down with them. Have a chat. Set some ground rules. Go over everything that is unfair and tell them what you think would make it fair. Hear them out. But if they aren’t willing to bend you have to be willing to walk. Instead of investing all that energy in your relationship start investing it into yourself. Work on your goals, your dreams, your career, going to college or whatever it is that will enrich you. You are worth it. If they don’t see how worthwhile you are, be brave and lose them, and find someone who does. For more advice read, How to Be More Assertive: Quit Being a Pushover and Boost Your Self Confidence in Any Situation by Alfred Hale.