The hardest thing to do when you have been betrayed is to take the focus off of the other person. We ask ourselves how could they do this to me? Then we move to what did I do wrong questions? The first step to healing is to realize that sometimes people are really good at doing what works for them. Self Centered people will get what they want regardless of who it hurts. Often targeting people who are kind, loving and trust to easily. It is this deadly trio that makes a person a target. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being kind or loving. Keep those and don’t let a bad experience shut that down. It is the too trusting part that usually is the key to weeding out people who are not good for you.
TRUST and RESPECT are not to be freely given. Both need to be earned. The bigger your heart is, the more effort needs to be required to earn your respect and your trust. Only you can be the guardian of all that is wonderful about you!
What can you do to see these love predators coming at you?
1. Listen to your inner voice. Most people retrospect on something early on in the relationship that gave them cause to question the other person but shrugged it off. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is not what you need to do when giving someone access to your heart. Investigate! Call them out and ask them what that one thing was all about and do it early not later.
2. Believe people when they tell you who they are! Men and women call me and ask me if their significant other is going to commit or do I think they are cheating on them. Each time they admit the person told them they didn’t see themselves committing to a relationship or staying with one person. They were being TRUTHFUL so believe them.
3. Watch and listen to your dates. Watch how they treat the staff that serves them. If they see servers as people or just part of the background noise. No one deserves to be dismissed or minimized, NO ONE!
How do they talk about others. Someone who talks trash about others is an insecure person with not much going on in their own life. They are dissatisfied with themselves. No one takes energy and pleasure out of other people’s flaws and shortcomings unless they are so focused on other people they are paying little attention to their own spiritual growth. You will find a trail of disaster in their past relationships always!
4. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to how YOU feel when you are with this person. Do not monitor how they feel about you. It doesn’t matter. If you pay close attention to how you feel about them in a moment to moment basis. Notice if you often feel confused or conflicted by what they say to you. Your brain takes in non-verbal communication and processes it unconsciously and your hears and your heart hears what is being said. Verbal and non-verbal communication need to match up authentically. People with good hearts get distracted by their own internal dialogue over riding their instinct to survive. It works like this- he or she says something that feels really uncomfortable to you. Your inner guidance system says, “Wow! Where did that come from. What is happening here?” Your Heart responds with, “Well they didn’t mean that, I know they are not that person.” Or “Well that’s too bad but everyone has a moment or two. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. We all have off days.” See those remarks are excusing some one else bad behavior. Let them own their behavior. That benefit of the doubt is what gets us all into trouble. NO BENEFIT of the DOUBT when you are allowing someone into your heart! Follow up like a detective and get to the bottom of it. Become your own investigator and get answers until every fiber in your being says I am now okay. Remember PAY ATTENTION to how you feel when you are with someone. Not about how they feel, their feelings are their business. Travel in your own lane and most likely you will be on to someone quickly when they do not have good intentions.
5. Express yourself genuinely in a relationship. When you are honest with another person about when you feel angry, when your boundaries feel violated, when you are uncomfortable you are being real. When you are real this is like a vaccination for heart predators. They want what they can get without much ado! People who do not have your best interest at heart don’t stick when there is some work in the relationship. They are gone at the first sign of rough waters! Be happy that this happens! No one who ever left during a storm was someone who deserved you during the calm!
6. Know when to fold them! Do not hold onto someone for one more minute when you see the signs. There is not getting better. It doesn’t get better. It will either die a slow excruciating and often humiliating death or your friends will eventually back away because you have become a hopeless cause. WALK AWAY! Rescue yourself. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Do not try and save someone who doesn’t want to be saved not matter how much you sense they are their own worst enemy in a relationship. Be your own best friend.
7. Lastly, BE KINDER to yourself. We all have moments of corrective learning opportunities. Love yourself more not less. Self centered is not the same as being selfish. Be selfish and LOVE yourself first. Truly loving another is about the inner love flowing out and over onto another person no what we can get from them. Forgive yourself for not being vigilant with your own well being.
Give yourself credit for surviving and thriving! Sometimes people are just really good at what they do and it was never about you. Like a plane crash just be awesomely grateful you survived and walked away! Get on with life and leave it all behind you. Life is to short to choose anything other than Love and Joy!
Dr. Mary Kay Keller