Relationships only thrive within the exchange of mutual love. But if someone loves you more than you love yourself, there is a change you may end up engaging relationship sabotage.
It can be easy to find reasons why you don’t like the person and then do things that contribute to the dissolving of the relationship. It’s common rut to find reasons why people seem to be against you, but in reality, the person you really don’t like is you.
The problem is that in our history, we have all experienced unloving relationships. Too often that kind of connection is all we know. We can even pick friendships that don’t challenge us to grow, but instead allow us to stay in our own junk. Stepping into healthy relationships is challenging if you don’t love yourself and dysfunction is all you have ever known.
So when true love comes along, we don’t know what to do with it. We end up pushing it back, throwing it away or doing something that causes the relationship to end. This keeps us from ever being challenged to face our personal brokenness.
Relationship Sabotage Prevents Growth
I see it all the time. Just as the relationship starts to get close, a self-rejection switch triggers and the relationship gets shut down. It’s heart breaking to see the powerful relationships dissolved because the invitation for growth was not received.
If you are frustrated with relationships, follow the trail of cut offs and you can often find where you are seeking to protect yourself with relationship sabotage. It’s one thing to leave a toxic relationship. It’s another thing to put a negative story on many who genuinely try to get close and love on you.
God will often send people into our lives, as vessels of freedom, giving us an opportunity to address our personal brokenness and grow. Yet we cannot experience that healing if we keep pushing back on people that we connect to. Nothing will change in our relational world if we keep listening to a rejection-based narrative. The only way of freedom is to renounce what rejection says and end the sabotaging patterns.
The invitation towards genuine intimacy can be a terrifying thing for people who have not been properly loved. So we have to be aware how we often others before they can ever get the chance to reject us. It’s easy to blanket all our pain on everyone around us. The game changer is when you break free of the rejection-based thoughts in your life and take a new approach to relationships.
Signs of Relationship Sabotage:
Here are some signs that you may be engaging in sabotaging relationships:
- You tend to blame the relationship struggles on the other person.
- You are not easy to make amends with.
- Relationships only get so close then suddenly break off.
- There is a common complaint you have that your friends don’t meet your needs.
- You often twist what is being said to you.
- You question everyone’s motives.
- You doubt that people genuinely love you.
- You take most things personally.
- Your relationships constantly have drama.
- Relationships only go so far and then you find a reason to cut them off.
You Don’t Love Me!
One of greatest lies that rejection creates is everyone doesn’t love you. Lies will find ways to convince you that people all around you do not love you and are against you. Therefore, you arm yourself up in a defensive posture before anyone can even get close. When they do, you find some way to say, “You don’t love me!” Relationship sabotage kicks in without even realizing it.
We can really hit up against this wall when our personal brokenness comes up in the relationship. Our unhealed patterns start to engage. Instead of dealing with the brokenness within ourselves, we quickly jump to blame the person. Making the other person 100% to blame may create temporary relief, but the inward issues of the heart still need to be addressed.
Everyone has to wrestle with self-rejecting thoughts. It’s all a part of our growth. But you have to realize that the thoughts you struggle with want to create a spiritual dodge ball match with others in your life. I have to remind people all the time, rejection wants to be rejected. It’s not used to being loved genuinely.
Sadly, love is defined today as accepting someone, but nothing further. This is a deep misunderstanding of what love carries. God accepts us unconditionally; right where we are. Yet it would be unloving for Him to leave us in that condition. You cannot have a relationship with God and not grow. It’s what happens when you hang out with Him.
His work as a loving Father is to grow us into maturity. And the greatest places it works to grow us, is in our relationship context. Many people think their growth relies on just them and God, when in reality, how they do personal relationships are involved as well.
Relationships often get shut down right at the point where both people can grow together to a higher level. This is where rejection seeks to work the most: prevent the relationship from experiencing its maximum potential. One of the triggers that comes into play is faulty definitions of love. Love is all about acceptance, but love also invites the truth that is meant to set us free from toxic ways we do life.
Many times we engage relationship sabotage because we don’t want to listen to the truth that love carries.
The question is, will we break the patterns that we keep falling into relationally, or will we choose to walk in a love experience that transforms our lives?
Action Step: Read Exposing the Rejection Mindset