The Root of the Problem
There is no single root to this problem. Everyone interacts with the world differently and sees themselves in a different light, leading to potential sabotage. But one common thread I see again and again in each of these situations is a feeling of inadequacy and distrust for one’s self and the decisions being made.
A prime example is a relationship in which someone will start to narrow in on every possible problem that can develop. From being late for a show to someone forgetting to put the lid back on the peanut butter jar, every little disagreement has nuclear fallout and the problem is not with the relationship but with one or both people looking for problems and trying to solve them before they become reality.
There are two problems with this.
First, the problem does not yet exist, but by fixating on what could be a problem, you manifest that problem into your life. By dwelling on the potential negative, you welcome it and create issues that
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The second problem is that you don’t actually have a problem with the other person.
The problem is that you feel inadequate. You are seeing yourself through someone else’s perspective, possibly even your partner. That creates a defensive attitude – one in which you feel you must continuously push to assert your abilities and worth.
This is a Systemic Problem
This isn’t just about relationships. It happens to careers, confidence, self-esteem and just about anything else of importance in your life. The solution is simple though. You need to stop thinking of what other people want from you and focus on what you need from yourself.
When you find yourself starting to think in these terms, take a break and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Are you honestly concerned about an issue or are you concerned about what other people will think of you? Are you honestly worried about what you should say to your partner or are you just worried that they will say the same thing first?
Be honest in what you want from the interactions you have, not only with yourself, but with the other people in your life and you will be more successful in all your relationships. More importantly you will stop sabotaging your life and start living it and likely enjoying it.