1. Be abusive: As well as physical abuse, this includes put-downs, sarcasm, negative comments, withholding affection, stonewalling, refusing to talk, and repeatedly threatening to leave the relationship.
2. Be defensive: Individuals who are always on the defensive are so wrapped up in protecting themselves that they rarely grow in their relationships. They won’t admit that they have faults and so end up committing the same mistakes again and again. This eventually destroys the relationship.
3. Be critical: While there’s a place for the occasional critical remark, if you’re always complaining and pointing out their flaws then you’ll soon undermine your partner’s self-esteem. In all areas of life, a critical person is an unattractive person.
4. Be always right: If you’re always right, the other person’s always wrong – and who wants to feel that they have nothing to contribute, or their point of view is stupid, unwanted and wrong.
5. Be narcissistic and selfish: The person who always has to have their own way, or who’s only interested in their own needs and desire has little to add to a relationship.
6. Be dishonest: Trust is at the heart of all good relationships. If you can’t be real and honest, or are not dependable, then there’s no foundation for a strong relationship. This includes being unfaithful or hiding the whole truth.
7. Be superior: If you’re quick to judge others or to put people down, or you think that you are better than everybody else (more intelligent, prettier, cooler etc) then you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of heartache. For although we all have strengths, and we may excel at times, each person is unique and is worthy of respect.
8. Be controlling: A relationship’s a gift. That person’s not your property. They’re allowed to be themselves, with their own views and beliefs. They don’t answer to you; they don’t have to change themselves; they’re autonomous and free – they’re not there to be controlled.