You might not realize that it's happening, but your actions may be paving a one-way road to solitude and loneliness. Almost everyone is guilty of occasionally doing things that cause friction in their relationships, and it's normal to make mistakes and to have a bad day every once in awhile, but if you find yourself staring at a revolving door of friends and love interests, you might have some toxic habits that set you up for a life alone.
A lot of people who have a hard time maintaining friendships or romantic relationships become defensive about it. They will automatically point the finger at the other person, convincing themselves that they are not to blame. After all, it's much easier to cope with feelings of abandonment when you believe that someone else is at fault. But, you can't ignore the fact that it may be more than just bad luck if the people in your life are constantly walking away. This is probably a sign that it is time to evaluate the kind of friend and partner you have been, and maybe even the person you are in general.
Here are some toxic habits that may be setting you up for a future alone.
1You Think You're Better Than Everyone
Whether you're a narcissist or you have standards so high they can never be met, a superiority complex can almost guarantee that you'll stay alone forever. Psychology Today noted that many narcissists have an idealized self-image due to insecurities. They then project this self-image in order to avoid feeling and/or being seen as a wounded individual. In turn, their persona comes across as grandiose, self-absorbed, or highly conceited.
Relationships are difficult for narcissists. They aren't looking for a friend or partner to compliment them and make them a better person because they have already convinced themselves that they are the best.
2You're Super Negative
If you're the kind of person who only sees the bad in every situation, or you make it a habit of bringing others down just because you're feeling down, no one is going to want to for a long-term relationship with you. Harville Hendrix Ph.D., a clinical pastoral counselor wrote in Healthy.net, "negativity is invisible abuse and is an addiction of the human race." Hendrix suggested that there is no relationship that can grow, deepen, or survive in negativity. It is a habit that needs to be unlearned if you don't want to spend your future alone.
3You Try To Change Others
There are people who get into relationships and try to mold the other person to suit their needs. No one likes that – people want to be loved just as they are. Instead of constantly trying to change others, simply don't start a relationship with someone who has characteristics that don't suit you. Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., a family sociologist, gerontologist, and professor of Human Development at Cornell University wrote in Psychology Today that in his studies of over 700 older Americans, he found that the consensus is, "accept your partner as is, or don't get married." People who had been happily married for 50, 60, or even 70 years, and those who'd gone through divorce noted that trying to change your partner is simply a recipe for disaster.
4Talking Bad About Others
The negative things you say about others always have a way of getting back to their ears. And, people who have a reputation for gossip tend to have a hard time keeping relationships. So then, why do people still talk behind the backs of their friends and spouses? According to psychotherapist Michael Hurd, Ph.D., it is because they are unhappy with themselves. On his website, Hurd explained that happy people tend to choose to form relationships with those who share their values, beliefs, and interests. But unhappy people are not as selective when choosing partners and friendships, which can lead to venting their frustrations out to others.
It may seem like the best thing to do in a relationship is to avoid arguing. But if there's something seriously wrong, you should be willing to talk about it. In an interview with Reader's Digest magazine Stan Tatkin, Psy.D. said, “People think they’re doing a good thing [by avoiding conflict] but they’re actually making themselves appear quite dangerous. It makes your partner nuts because they can’t engage."
Keeping secrets from your partner is generally a bad idea. But you know it's become a serious problem when you start to hide things for no apparent reason. Partners and friends who feel as though they are purposely kept out of the loop may start to distance themselves from you. According to Divorce Magazine, keeping secrets is the same thing as being dishonest. This leads to issues with trust (which is very difficult to regain once it's lost). Relationships are almost always irreparably damaged by secrets and lies.
It probably doesn't need to be said, but cheaters are the worst. In a Redbook magazine interview with Dr. Megan Fleming, a licensed sex and relationship therapist, she suggested that sometimes cheating is a sign that something is wrong with the relationship. According to Fleming, "typically, if someone's cheating, it's because needs aren't being met in a marriage or relationship."
But, if you find yourself cheating in all of your relationships, it is indicative of an individual problem. According to Self magazine, habitual cheaters have four things in common: They're hooked on drama, they're unhappy, they're afraid of being alone, and they are opportunistic. Compulsive cheaters should seek help, or they may find themselves alone in the future.