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Bliss Life

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Ten Signs You are Ignoring Yourself

Written by Craig Nielson

How do you relate to your mate?  Self-care is a key component of maintaining a healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationship. If any of these signs apply to you, you are selling yourself short by putting your energy into maintaining his happiness and ignoring your own.  Do any of these apply to you?

You Placate You say what you think he would want to hear rather than what you actually want or feel.  In this scenario you are unconsciously protecting yourself from criticism or rejection.  Be honest, say what you mean, and mean what you say.  You want to be accepted for who you are, not what you think he wants you to be.

You Dismiss What You Want He asks you, "Where would you like to go eat?"  You mention your favorite place, but then you dismiss it by saying something like "But we don't have to go there. Wherever you want to go is fine with me.” He’ll be happy he got what he wanted, but you miss out on what you want.  He was kind enough to offer to go where you want.  Thank him and go get what you want.  Chances are he really wants you to have it your way.

Peace at Any Price He does something that troubles you and you overlook it by making excuses for his actions.  You’re thinking it is better to avoid the argument than to risk upsetting him for fear he will reject you.  The problem is, you are still bothered by it. If you are bothered by something he did, tell him and take responsibility for your feelings.  Say something like, "I felt (your feeling) when you did (his action).  I'm curious, what was your intention?"  This will lead to a discussion instead of an argument.

You Change Your Plans You were going to train for a marathon or go back to school. Then you saw that this would require time away from him, making you feel that spending time with him was more important. Thus, you sacrifice what you want for him. If the relationship is healthy, he will want to support you in your endeavor.  With his support, use good time management skills here and schedule time to be together.  Quality time is what you want verses quantity of time.

You Give More Than You Receive You spend a lot of time investing in the relationship and are happy as long as he is happy. He, on the other hand, does not invest as much and is content that you are doing all the work.   This is a sign that you fear rejection or being alone. Over time you will feel empty because your heart and soul are not being fed, and you have given away yourself.  Make sure the give-and-take between you is fair and balanced.

You Apologize Unnecessarily He had a bad day at work and you are ten minutes late for your date.  He is upset when you arrive and tells you about his rotten day but says nothing about you being late.   You then apologize for making it worse by being late.  You didn't cause him to have a bad day.  You can have empathy for him by saying, "I'm sorry you had a rough day." However, don't take responsibility for it.  Blaming yourself for his situation will only leave you feeling worse.

You Change Your Routine You like to work out in the morning, but he likes keeping you out late.  You want to accommodate him so he will be happy.  Now you can't get up so early and have to get your workout in later in the day when you have less energy and your workouts are not as effective.  Continue your routine that works best for you.  In a healthy relationship, what is important to you will also be important to the other person.

Your Appearance Changes for the Other Person You change your hairstyle or buy a new rockin’ outfit purely to gain his approval.  You wouldn't make the change otherwise.  With this you are not being true to yourself, and you will eventually resent him for it.  Be yourself.  A healthy relationship doesn't require you to change unless you want to for the sake of improving yourself.

You Change Your Priorities Spending time with your family is important, but now you spend most of your free time with him.  You rely on a default – my family will always be there.  You believe you need to spend more time with him because he needs you.  If you value family, stick to your values and balance your time.  Be wary if he tries making you feel guilty for taking time away from him.

You Stay in an Unhappy Relationship You feel it is better than being alone or that you can't do better. Therefore, you settle for mediocre or less than what you truly desire.  This is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship.  It is better to be alone and work on improving yourself than to be trapped in a relationship that is not mutually fulfilling, does not promote your personal growth, and leaves you feeling empty.

One of the thoughts that drive these beliefs and behaviors is, "I don't want to be selfish." Taking care of yourself and making sure your needs are met is not selfish. Being selfish is when you take and keep with no intention of giving. When you are feeling fulfilled and your needs are met, you give willingly, free of expectations. You cannot give what you do not have. If you want to love and care for others you must love and care for yourself in all ways.

Be responsible for your feelings and let him be responsible for his. The reality is he feels the way he does and you feel the way you do because of how you choose to react to whatever the situation is.

It is crucial to take care of yourself and do the things that nurture your soul. If you continue to ignore yourself by continuously seeking others’ approval, you eventually will become lost, and resentment will develop in your relationship, leaving you feeling isolated and alone. Give yourself a break; take time to do something for yourself so you can be rejuvenated and relaxed with a newfound ambition to give.