One of the biggest hindrances to having a loving, healthy, happy relationship is choosing the wrong guy to be in a relationship with. This number isn’t exact, but I’ve found 95% of a relationship’s success is determined before you even enter into the relationship. It’s about who you choose.
There are a lot of red flags to be mindful of, but there is one that trumps all the rest. Listicle articles can get tedious, and who remembers everything they just read? That’s why I want to point out the one sign that indicates a guy is pretty much an emotional psychopath and you need to steer clear at all costs.
I’ve dated this kind of guy and the ramifications to your sense of self and self-esteem can be devastating.
So what is the one quality to watch out for?
Whenever there’s a problem, it’s your fault. If you’re hurt because of something, it’s your fault because you’re too sensitive. If he does something wrong, it’s your fault because you made him upset.
I got to thinking a lot about this topic a few months back when I was stuck in traffic with a divorcee and a social worker (both close friends of mine). We got to talking about personality disorders because the divorcee (who is now happily married to a wonderful man) strongly suspects her ex has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or something similar. The social worker explained that the biggest sign of an emotional psychopath is the inability to see things from the other person’s perspective, ever.
They can’t understand why something might upset you or why you might be hurt over something, and they make you feel ashamed of your feelings, they make you feel like you’re somehow flawed or bad and that this is a problem you need to fix.
The whole conversation brought up a lot for me because I was once in a relationship like that, and it made me feel like I was absolutely crazy!
I felt like my emotions must have malfunctioned to a point where I felt the wrong things at the wrong times because that’s how nuts he made me feel. I thought that maybe I didn’t know how to properly communicate because it seemed like he could never quite understand what I was saying or where I was coming from. I thought I was the problem and it was a horrible, crippling feeling. I felt like I was running on a never-ending treadmill trying to fix a problem that just couldn’t be fixed. And there were times when I genuinely questioned my own sanity.
His insults never looked like insults so when I got upset about them, he made me feel like I was a crazy person. Like the time he told me that he chose me because he knew he could never “breed with” someone like me. Yes, that’s an exact quote. He didn’t think he ever wanted kids and he thought a wild party girl like me would be the perfect mate to enjoy and never, ever breed with. I was shocked and devastated and he just couldn’t understand.
“I’m not saying this to be mean,” he gently explained. “Do you honestly think you’re the kind of girl who’s cut out to be a wife and mom?” (Cut to all these many years later where I am a wife and mom and love it, but anyway!)
And then rather than being upset with him, I questioned myself. Wow, I really am so horribly damaged. I am fatally flawed. No one will ever want me. It’s a good thing I have him!
And this is why we stay. This is what keeps us in it even though we know better.
You question everything about yourself. You’re the one who is always wrong and he’s always right and you’re just lucky he’s giving the time of day to someone who is such a mess!
It never starts out this way though.
The reason it’s confusing is that he was so enraptured by you at first, at first everything you did was right. You were a shiny unicorn and he looked at you like you were magic and it was the greatest feeling in the entire world.
But then you become the problem. Now suddenly he’s unhappy and he blames you for everything that’s wrong. You don’t inspire him enough, you don’t give him what he needs, you are always negative, it’s always you, never him.
When he says something hurtful, it’s not because he’s mean or insensitive, he’s just telling you the truth about yourself and you should appreciate that!
If you question his behavior, like why he was texting with some random girl he met on Instagram until all hours of the night, he says you’re just paranoid and you need to relax and stop being insecure.
No matter what, nothing is ever his fault. There are no apologies. There is no empathy. There is no seeing things from your perspective. If you have a problem, it’s your problem. If you’re upset about something he said or did, it’s because you’re remembering things wrong or being too sensitive. It’s always you, never him.
I’m not saying every guy who does this is a narcissist, sometimes they are just highly immature and need to develop their emotional intelligence a little further. But these situation can be highly toxic and emotionally abusive. And sometimes we don’t even see it until we’re out of it and by then it can be too late.
It’s not always the easiest thing to see things from another person’s perspective, that’s because our default setting is to be selfish. Getting beyond yourself and having a refined sense of empathy can be challenging. So can taking responsibility when you’re in the wrong. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but most of us are willing and able to do it.
If a guy can’t or won’t take responsibility or try to see where you’re coming from, then it’s a huge, massive red flag and you should get out now. The deeper you get into these relationships, the harder it will be.
Don’t turn a blind eye. Don’t convince yourself that something is better than nothing. Don’t delude yourself into believing you’ll never find better. The longer you allow these beliefs to penetrate, the more firmly they will become wired into your psyche and the harder it will be to undo.