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7 Subtle Traits That Ruin Relationships

Most people can agree on deal-breakers that ruin relationships to the point of no return. However, there are a few subtle ways we ruin healthy interpersonal relationships. Identifying and acknowledging them can prevent friendship sabotage. Let's be real, honest, and take some ownership in growing healthier connections.

Here are a few subtle ways you may be sabotaging or ruining your relationships:

  • You're too controlling. Most don't mind helpful critiques and advice, but if every encounter begins with "What you should do is..." it may be a bit too much. Also, constant unsolicited advice comes across as very judgmental, a tad arrogant, and closed-minded to a loved one. No one wants to hide who they are or share what they may be going through, out of fear of judgment. Your heart may be sincere in giving advice, but be wise in projecting your opinions as a given mission statement for someone to live by. It's nerve-racking to stay connected to a controlling personality. Most will in time distance themselves, or separate completely.

  • You're extremely competitive. Look, rather it's outright competitive or low-key with passive-aggressive blows of being competitive it's too much for most to stand. Being competitive is okay if you're in actual competition in a race, maybe a career in marketing, or something ranking, but everyday life shouldn't be so competitive. If you're constantly throwing shade to one-up a friend or loved one it displays more a lack of confidence in feeling deep down insecure. If you find yourself in your downtime researching others to prove you're better, comparing social media likes, literally sabotaging others to prevent their growth for the better, having a family taste test of dishes after every family potluck gathering to see if your dish ranks among the best, or putting others down to build yourself up to have a sincere reality check on the deeper issues that are pulling you to respond in such an unnecessary competitive matter.

  • You're too needy and dependent. There's a thin line between asking for help in times of need, and there's a big difference in taking clear advantage of others on things that you have the capability to do for yourself. We are not to use our loved ones' care for us in holding them at an emotional ransom for selfish needs in abusing their time, resources, and efforts. If you don't get a certain response or a reply from a friend it's not for you to abuse social media in tagging them ten times a day in every post, blowing up their phone, or dare I say popping up uninvited. It's also dangerous to use manipulation through emotional blackmail, emotionally dump on them, acting out, lashing out, or creating dramatic conflict for a brief high for the need of attention. The best of friendships and relationships will bulk under the strain of needy behavior.

  • You're messy. No one wants to stay connected to someone who constantly creates drama, gossips on the details of everyone they know (or think they know), consistently has hostile conflicts with others, and brings unexpected tension at every turn. The popular phrase "spilling the tea" has taken over when it comes to sharing unsolicited details of the personal lives of others, but in truth carrying so much drama creates a lack of trust from others towards you. Most would ask, "If this person would say so much about so and so, I wonder what would they spread about me?" The entertainment factor of being messy wears off quickly, and most connections with "messy people" end strained from the chaos.

  • You're not yourself. People enjoy being in the presence of people who are authentic in being themselves good, bad, or other. My mom would say, "At least you know how to take them." It's like playing Double Dutch when you know someone is deep down on the surface of not being who they really are. It's like they're asking you to willing to join them on their masquerade. Look, we all have those we feel more comfortable around in being more casual, and we have those with who we are more formal. However, you shouldn't appear as a completely different person depending on who you are in front of. Relationships grow into deep connections when there is a sense of equal vulnerability and trust.

  • You're a closet frenemy or hater. There's an old saying, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." No one wants to constantly look over their shoulder in wondering what someone who says they care about them is saying or doing behind their backs. In addition to that, no one wants to carry the negative vibe of having someone who secretly or better yet openly means no good in their presence. Jealousy is a big relationship killer, and in relationships, entertaining such tension never ends well.

  • You're constantly on the defense. It's not good for all parties involved if someone lives in constant defense mode. You're not able, to be honest with a defensive loved one. It's like walking on eggshells of knowing what to say and what not to say in setting them off. People who live on defense mode also choose to not take ownership of their part of an issue or concern; constantly deflecting the blame on everyone else. Don't allow pride and ego to ruin your relationships. The best of us falter and have things we need to work on. A trusted friend should be allowed to share concerns, give sincere advice, and bring forth a valid grievance before you go respond in "People's Court" mode.

* Bonus * You allowed things to grow one-sided. There's nothing worse than lopsided investment in a relationship. It's not fair to the other party if you constantly flake, go ghost, or have them be the ones to initiate communication. The thing about one-sided connections eventually the other person will grow tired, frustrated, and weary in feeling like they are the only one who cares. It's only right for the person who's invested to distance themselves or let go.

Minimarie Andrews is a writer, blogger, speaker, and host. She is a proud mother of four, and she has a passion for teaching young people as a fine arts educator. She's also a former gospel radio host and now has her own podcast. She shares in her blog, "Purpose Filled Mommy with Minimarie", along with other outlets, wellness, embracing joy, having a grateful heart, cultivating centered families, establishing healthy relationships, and living a life of purpose. Find out more at

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