(The following is the introduction found in the book, 20 Traits of Relationally UNSAFE People.)
20 Traits of Relationally UNSAFE People
We have all been there, holding the hand of, hugging, or reassuring someone who has gone through a tragic break up in a relationship. Many of us have been in that person’s shoes for each of us at some point in life has experienced some form of a relationship, be it plutonic, romantic or professional that has left us feeling abandoned, taken advantage or, abused, belittled, berated, and left with nothing to show for what we’ve invested into it.
In the silence of our misery, quite often we find ourselves asking those painful questions, why did I let this happen to me?
Perhaps the greatest tragedy comes when we find ourselves asking the really tough question of, why did I let this happen to me AGAIN!
We have all been blessed in life to know some really great people. We have also known many of these great people to experience relational break downs or complete failure over and over again.
Why do really great people, seem to experience one failed relationship after another? Why do they seem to pick losers for friends? Eventually as one asks these questions, they begin to point more inward examining the kinds of employers we end up with; and the kinds of people we seem to magnetically draw to us.
As children, we are taught so many great things in school, but when it comes to picking our social circle, well let’s face it…we are dumped out into a school yard expected to play amongst the really great and the true bullies. For many children, the school yard becomes a lesson in life known as “survival of the fittest”, and not how to identify and draw healthy people around you.
Most adults have no clear understanding of the warning signs or character traits which are openly visible in those who struggle with personality disorders, or mental illness. Having said this, many mentally ill people, and people with personality disorders are capable of having life long relationships, but when they link up with the wrong people…abuse happens.
Many adults are unaware of something known as the “cycle of abuse”, or the “power/control wheel”. They don’t understand what a healthy relationship, where two people love and treat each other as equals really looks like. For the most part, couples get married based on sexual or attractive chemistry, only to find 3 to 7 years later that some things grow familiar, and “Holy crap…my Mr. or Mrs. Right has a lot of flaws!”
For those of you who might not purchase the full eBook version, let’s take this opportunity now to present an image which clearly defines the Cycle of Abuse.
Every relationship, if one or both partners are not relationally healthy, has the chance to fall victim to the cycle of abuse. If we do not take time to learn this cycle, then we will not know when we, or a friend is in real need of help.
While the power/control wheel appears later on in the eBook, I should also take this opportunity to share this image with those of you who may not secure the full eBook, in hopes that it will open your eyes to possible dangers in your relationships, or provide you with the knowledge to be able to stand beside a friend going through a tough experience.
We move forward in healthy relationships when we begin to understand what personality disorders look like. We move forward when we take time to reflect on the kind of person we are inside of a relational commitment. Am I a Narcissist? Am I a predator (psychopath)? Am I a control freak? Am I a manipulator or worse a Machiavellian? Am I a gossip, a meddler? Do I continually apologize with out making changes in my behaviour? Am I relating to another adult in an adult/child style of relationship? Am I being a responsible partner?
Do we even understand what it means to be a responsible partner? Many people assume this means financially responsible, but truthfully, finances have very little to do with being a responsible relational partner, and if assigned a percentage to it’s significance, finances would only rate 5% of all the areas that makes up a responsible partner. You might be great with money, but neglect the emotional needs of your partner. You might be bad with money but your partner has a strength in that area. You might be bad with money, but incredible at looking after the home, the kids, and emotional support of your partner. Being a responsible partner in life, applies to far much more than most people consider, and when they do take a close look at this area, many discover they’ve been overly critical of their partner.
Are you being a supportive partner in your relationship?
Being a responsible relational partner includes:
- Being supportive of your partner’s vocational goals;
- Being supportive by being a willing intimate partner in the relationship both physically and emotionally;
- Taking care of your own career goals and aspirations;
- Taking care of your own physical and mental needs;
- Being committed to your relationship in ways that will preserve and protect trust;
- Sharing in the responsibilities around the home;
- Sharing in the responsibilities with the children;
- Being fair with your partner;
- Relating to your partner both in and out of their absence from a position of respect, etc.
It’s one thing to accuse a partner of not being financially responsible, but you really have no right to complain if you are being verbally abusive to your partner; actively maligning them in public; neglecting the home; dumping the care of the children totally onto your partner; refusing to be intimate with your partner; not being supportive of his or her career aspirations, etc.
So how do we aspire to avoid bad relationships? There are 20 recognizable traits which are common in relationally unsafe people.
This book will teach you the 20 traits of relationally unsafe people, and help you understand if you are attracting these people into your life, or if you’ve simply, through ignorance, been ignoring the red flags that wave frantically in front of your face hoping to warn you away.