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Relationships and Learning to Put Ourselves First 

 December 31, 2021

By  Liz B

In relationships, most of us at some point eventually, (and often unfortunately through the course of pain), learn to put ourselves first. This is a massive lesson that often takes multiple heartbreaks and life experiences. To finally not seek completion of ourselves or our lives in some way through another or shy away from facing what’s deep within us.

We may have never even felt as though we were doing that (I didn’t), until we look back and see how we compromised in places that maybe we shouldn’t have. Many of us have built our lives around a long-term relationship and our identity becomes so intertwined with it that it’s anxiety-inducing to think about living a life alone again, and facing things maybe we didn’t have to face before.

On top of this, our lives are full of projections. Even when we might know this intellectually, we rarely see when it’s coming into play in the moment. We’re constantly projecting our ideas of things onto another person or situation. This can make it so that we barely see the actual entire character of the other person. And that’s what’s dangerous about becoming so intertwined with another, without also having the strength to stand up for yourself when you’re not being seen or treated correctly.

The dynamics of relationships can also cause distortion issues. During arguments or a breakup, acting out of pain can make you seem desperate or even clingy. It can make you ignorant or vengeful, depending on if you’re willing or able to face and address your pain or not. It can make you vulnerable, and like you’re putting the other person above you, respecting them more than yourself in those moments, which in turn can make them want to respect you less.

Just remember in any case, conflict is normal and we all have faults we must work through, but a baseline of general respect should never be missing.

“I’m all I need…not another soul can set me free…no more sneaking around to find myself. no more ignoring signs to blind myself to the truth…focusing too much on adulthood and forgetting my youth. the reasons i am me. You should never have to cheat…with yourself.” —artikulate/cory russo

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About the author

I am a certified personal trainer and psychology/counseling student, as well as a web/graphic designer. I am based in the US, but travel a lot. I love video games, learning languages, helping others, and I need a separate life for every interest I have. Don't hesitate to get in touch!

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