One of my clients, who recently started a new relationship, asked me a very insightful question:

“How can you tell whether your partner is in love with you or they’re just emotionally dependent? What red flags should I look for?”

There are numerous red flags to look for, but in order to see them, you have to have done your inner work so that you are not vulnerable to these flattering behaviors. If you haven’t learned to deeply value and love yourself, then you might be drawn in by these red-flag behaviors. Here are some warning signs to be on the lookout for:

– Comes on very strong at the beginning of the relationship, wanting to spend an inordinate amount of time with you.

– Doesn’t respect your limits—such as boundaries on how often you see each other or how often you text or talk on the phone. Tries to monopolize your time.

– Can be very charming but doesn’t listen well to you and isn’t tuned in to your feelings. May try to make you feel that your feelings or your position is wrong.

– Sexually demanding and attaches their worth to having sex. Needs sex to feel validated.

– Gets angry, withdrawn, or pouty when you don’t do what they want you to do. Not open to learning from relationship conflict.

– You feel “pulled on,” i.e., you feel an energy from them that is pulling on you to take responsibility for their feelings. You sense an emptiness in them—a black hole that pulls on you to fill it up.

– Has an abusive background and has not healed from their past.

– Has abandoned their children.

– Participates in addictions that are unacceptable to you—smoking, drinking, drugs, addictive eating, gambling, TV, and so on. Uses various addictions to fill emptiness.

– They are not truthful—you catch them in lies or withholding the truth.

– Has few friends.

– Is judgmental of him-/herself and others. Talks about him-/herself and others in disparaging ways.

– Is possessive and jealous. Gets upset when you do your own thing.

– Has few interests and hobbies.

Knowing the difference comes down to trusting your feelings.

This is not a conclusive list. Really, what it comes down to is trusting your own feelings. Our feelings are a reliable inner guidance system, letting us know what is right or wrong for us, good or bad for us. If something doesn’t feel right inside, then it isn’t right for you. No matter how good things look on the outside or how much this person professes their love for you, if you can’t feel that love or you feel a pull from that person or an emptiness inside them, you need to trust yourself more than you trust what they say or even how they act.

Many of us have been taught to NOT trust our feelings, which is very sad. From the time I was little, I was taught that I couldn’t possibly know what was right or wrong for me. I was taught that others knew better than I did what was good or bad for me. This is one of the major disservices our society has done to children. When we lose trust in ourselves, we can easily be controlled by others—by parents or teachers, religion or government, or by a partner in a relationship.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to do the inner work of learning to trust your feelings. Our good feelings of peace, joy, and fullness let us know that we are in alignment with what is right and good for us and that we are being loving to ourselves and others, and our difficult feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, emptiness, aloneness, jealousy, and so on are letting us know that we are abandoning ourselves in some way—being unloving to ourselves and others.

If you want to know the truth about whether someone loves you or is emotionally dependent on you, learn to trust what you feel inside. Your inner guidance system will let you know whether you are loving yourself or abandoning yourself and whether another is being loving or unloving to you.

This article was originally published on Mind Body Green.

About the author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of eight books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding and of the transformational self-healing/conflict-resolution software program SelfQuest®. Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course. Join Dr. Margaret for her unique and powerful 30-Day at-home courses: Love Yourself, Loving Relationships, Attracting Your Beloved, and Frequency.

Do you want to have an insight into someone’s personality? A new study exposes the number one question.

When you first meet someone, say a colleague or a new acquaintance, it’s hard to judge their character straight away.

This can be difficult because most people try to present the most positive version of themselves when meeting new people in an attempt to make them more attractive to them and it’s only when you get to know them that you discover their faults.

So how do you know if it’s going to be worth the time and effort to speak to them?

Usually, you don’t and it means people are wary of one another until they decide whether this relationship is going to be worth their time and effort.

Science may have the answer though as a new study claims one question will reveal an insight into a person’s personality and that is by asking them what they think about someone else.

Dustin Wood, a professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, previously said: “Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality. Seeing others positively reveals our own positive traits.”

How positively you view other people can be a sign of how happy and content a person is in their own life and how much they are liked by other people.

Those who are perhaps unhappy or unsatisfied with their life will be more likely to give a negative view of others.

As are those who have higher levels of narcissism and those prone to anti-social behavior, as they tend to be quite critical in their outlook.

Wood explained: “A huge suite of negative personality traits are associated with viewing others negatively. The simple tendency to see people negatively indicates a greater likelihood of depression and various personality disorders.”

Asking for someone’s opinion about someone else also gives you a good indication of how they view themselves.

People usually tend to pick up on traits that they recognize in themselves.

So it is worth baring in mind that when someone describes others, they could actually be revealing parts of their own personality.

This article was originally published at Peace Quarters.

Manipulative people try to influence other people through mental and emotional exploitation, in order to get what they want.

Their purpose is to have control, gain power and use others to their advantage. According to psychologists, manipulative people have the ability to hide their intentions and aggression. They know how to use weaknesses of others to reach their goals.

Psychological manipulation is different from healthy social influence. Healthy social influence occurs between most people, and is part of the give and take of a constructive relationship. Instead, people who manipulate others use them for the benefit of themselves. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.

According to the book How to Successfully Handle Manipulative People by Professor Preston Ni, who specializes in human communication, manipulative people have some common features. Not everyone who acts in the following manners may be deliberately trying to manipulate you -some people simply have very poor habits. Regardless, it’s important to recognize these behaviors in situations where your rights and your personality are at stake.

1. They play at their headquarters

According to the professor, psychologists speak to their “victim” in their own place (home, office, car), where they feel more authority and familiarity and can exercise more dominance and control.

2. Let the other speak first to find weaknesses

By beginning with general questions, they understand the basic line of thought and behavior from which they can evaluate his/her strengths and weaknesses.

3. Distortion of facts

Lies, excuses, concealing some of the truth or distorting it. They oblige the “victim” to cause his victimization. They present the issue as it serves them better.

4. They raise their voice

Some people raise their tone of voice as a form of aggressive manipulation. They think that in this way they will submit the other to coercion so he will give them freely what they want. They usually combine this technique with intense body language to make them even more influential.

5. Negative surprises

Some people use negative surprises to disorganize you and bring you down. For example, they may present some negative information, without warning, so you do not have time to deal with the issue. Then, they will ask for additional concessions to get the upper hand.

6. Give the other little or no time to think

Manipulative people are putting pressure on others in a way that they can decide for something before they are ready. By applying tension and control, they hope that the victim will “break” before even thinking about the issue or discussing it.

7. Negative humor designed to disempower you

Some manipulative people make critical remarks, disguised as humor or sarcasm, to highlight your faults and feel inferior and insecure. They can use a variety of ironic comments, such as your appearance, the oldest smart phone model, the background, the fact that you have delayed two minutes, even your breathing. By making you look and feel bad, the attacker hopes to impose psychological superiority over you.

8. Consistently criticize you to feel inadequate

In the previous manipulation tactic, negative humor is used as a cover. Here, the manipulator does an open attack: he marginalizes you, ridicules and rejects you, to bring your psychology down and preserve his superiority. He or she deliberately fosters the impression that there is always a problem with you and that, however hard you try, you are inadequate and you will never be good enough.

9. The silent treatment

By deliberately not responding to reasonable calls and messages, the manipulator makes one wait and have doubts and uncertainty. This technique is a mind game where silence is used as a form of leverage.

10. They pretend they do not know

This is the tactic “I play dumb”. They pretend that they don’t understand or don’t know, in order to hide something or to avoid an obligation.

11. They create guilt

They blame for unjustified responsibilities. By targeting the emotional weaknesses of the other, they urge him to give in to unreasonable demands.

12. Playing the victim

They pretend to be weak to gain sympathy and exploit the goodwill of the actual victim, in order to have a personal benefit.

Related: Control Dramas – Roles we Play Unconsciously

Manipulative people do the above consciously or because they have some weakness or unconscious insecurity, trying in both cases to win something that will put them in an advantageous position.

Have you ever being in situations with such behaviors? Share your experiences in the comments below!

References:

Image credits: Can Stock Photo

The art of attraction spans far more than the romantic, sexual, or physical.

Your charm, personality, and attitude can win people over in business, on dates, and when forming new friendships.

In other words, your ability to attract and engage people seeps into every corner of your life – from the superficial to the spiritual. Needless to say, we were curious about the most universally attractive habits and personality traits, just as we were about the most universally unattractive traits.

After combing through various psychology studies, here are the three personality traits that are attractive to everyone.

A Positive Attitude

Unsurprisingly, those who project a positive attitude and outlook on life succeed in attracting the people around them. Not only do more optimistic people tend to live longer, but they’re also more professionally successful, mentally and physically healthy, and socially attractive. Similarly, people who practice kindness are also perceived as being more attractive. The best part? You can actually train yourself to be a naturally positive thinker.

Balanced Extroversion

While one study actually linked extraversion to physical attractiveness, extroverts simply have “big social networks, a history of good relationships, an inclination to explore opportunities, and dispositional happiness,” writes psychologist Adrian Furnham, Ph.D., for Psychology Today. What’s more, extroverts are also more likely to have more sexual partners, offspring, and general “mating success.” Never underestimate the power of an open heart and a friendly smile.

Confidence

Topping nearly every list of attractive qualities to look for in a partner, confidence has a way of putting others at ease while elevating your social status. In fact, both men and women rate confidence as a very attractive personality trait in a potential partner, according to a 2002 study out of Arizona State University. Considering that confident people come off as more authentic, self-assured, and socially magnetic, we can’t say we’re surprised.

Which universally attractive traits would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below!

By Kelsey Clark

Original source: MyDomaine

And you thought vampires only exist in Twilight? You are gravely mistaken, my friend.

They exist in our society, as well. I’m not saying you should go to Transylvania looking for Count Dracula. I’m suggesting something far more real.

Real life vampires don’t walk in capes or drink human blood for dessert. They are hiding among the faces that you meet everyday, sucking out your life energy and leaving you with a numb feeling.

Our characters are defined by the kind of energy they foster. In the end, everything comes down to energy, and not in a strictly spiritual sense. Do you know someone who gets on people’s nerves and requires a lot of attention? Do you ever get tired or exhausted only by talking to someone? That’s more like a vampire, actually.

10 signs which can warn you about your energy going to the wrong places

1. Have you experienced being talked at rather than talked to? There are people who would consider you merely to be a vessel, a listener at whom they can throw their ideas and views. Don’t spend much time with them, or else they can drain every bit of your energy within a couple of hours.

2. Do you try to pretend to be someone just to fit in a crowd? They don’t give a damn about you and your sincerest efforts and will not fail to drain your energy. And you know what? You are better off alone.

3. If staying with them evokes in you a sense of guilt and they complain a lot about you being not the person they want.

4. Some people will try to manipulate you, use you and discard you when they’ve got what they wanted. Just don’t be a doormat, okay?

5. You are not really comfortable (let alone be pleased) with the sexual intimacy you have with this person. Sex feels like a chore, or worse, a favor, and there’s definitely something wrong in that.

6. You would be relieved to come out of this relationship, but you’re not able to. Energy vampires are really good at manipulating their victims to be stuck with them. This is the sad reality of many of the abusive relationships. If you’re in one, opt out ASAP.

7. You get tangled up in their everyday dramas whether you want to or not. This could put a huge pressure on your energy index.

Related: Control Dramas – Roles we Play Unconsciously

8. Narcissistic personalities depend heavily on other people’s energies in order to lead their own lives. They are (in)famous energy drainers – they abuse, belittle, confuse and turn your life into a living hell.

9. Keep yourself away from the cult of celebrities. Celebrities often look more charismatic than they are, and you’ll eventually end up spending your energy in return of… nothing.

10. Someone close to you saying things like they can’t live without you, they’d die if you go away and of course, the one that begins with ‘If you would’ve loved me, you’d do…’

Original source: Conscious Reminder

Photo source: Power of Positivity