Manipulation Through Low Self-Esteem

T-nation forum thread “I’m Very Insecure in Relationships” is excellent.

Pretty typical, young 20 something guy notices his new girl friend change her behavior when her dance coach walks into the room. He decides to post this to get people’s input.

There is a lot of wisdom thrown around, and the older people do seem to hammer in on the issue fairly quickly and with very little back-ground or BS. I don’t know any of the people, what their jobs are or if they workout, but it’s clear that there are some standard things that happen to young 20 something men that older people know a thing or two about.

Some gold from Charlie Horse

You were feeling jealous that she was noticing another man and pulled away from you when he came in the room so the other man would not see you two so close together. She maybe doesn’t want the other man to know that you and her are close. Why would she do this?

This could be a sign that she is cheating or wants too. That’s why it’s important. The proper question may be why you drive women away with your jealousy or why you are a poor judge of women. If you want to work on something you need to know what the problem is right?

Jealousy can be a sign of cheating btw. Who is the jealous one first, you or her?

She is manipulating you with her low self-esteem.

Do you often feel sorry for the women you date?

The fundamental issue is insecurity, the original poster mentions this, but as the thread continues, he begins to resist the notion that his girl friend is not his responsibility to fix. A lot of people respond this way to the information that they shouldn’t be trying to “fix” other people. Later on in the thread, someone suggests that he may be codependent. The general view is that he needs to work on himself to make sure he’s confident in-spite of his relationship status. This is the usual outcome when someone is spending time in relationships that they know are not working for them.

I think the killer line in the entire thing is “she is manipulating you with her low self-esteem. This happens a lot and it creates an automatic behavior pattern that can be alarmingly destructive in a relationship.

We know we shouldn’t validate someone’s insecurity. “I may fall out of love with you and move on” is a tough reality about EVERY relationship. Even in marriage, things aren’t wrapped-up, more than half of them end. The sooner a person accepts that their relationship, like their life, is only temporary the sooner they can get on with the enjoying of it instead of the trying to lock it down and make it permanent. But when someone we care about present us with some sort of insecurity for the first time, we very often indulge them in it without thinking about the pattern we’ve just started. Before you know it, you’re building them up constantly like children on the first day of school. When you get sick of doing this, you stopping will be seen as withdrawing and your in for a world of drama as their confidence sinks lower and the relationship goes into the toilet.

Great thread on a strength and conditioning site!