Why Do I Keep Picking the Wrong People?

Brian M Murray, IMH


When meeting a person for the first time everything is exciting and brand new. It can seem like the feeling of true love is in the air. It is as if “Ah, finally, I have met the one true person in my life and this is it, the one who will make all the difference.” Let the counting begin how many times this has happened time and time again. Interesting, there appears to be a pattern developing.

The new person is exciting to be around, lots of fun and gives us something to look forward to. In the story Bambi I believe the word was “Twitter-pated.” Human beings are social creatures and we enjoy spending time with others especially when it is romantic and new. But what happens when that love feeling in the beginning begins to turn into a scene like the Bad News Bears? The players take the field in nice uniforms and suddenly the scene changes to one of disruption, deception and dirty tricks. The person appears to fit all of the qualities we look for in a person, or do they?

When entering a new relationship people often put their best foot forward in the beginning; however over time the truth of what they really are becomes exposed and begins to erode the relationship. The character and integrity of who they are begins to leak out and they expose their true nature, in other words, they stop putting their best foot forward and start being themselves.

Then it becomes apparent, again, I have picked not only a person who is "toxic" to relationships, but now I realize I keep picking this same type of "toxic" person over and over again. Unfortunately, the reality of noticing this pattern of behavior appears only after a person is becoming angry and resentful after many past relationships that end up in pain. Maybe it’s time to get a relationship detox and understand why I keep picking what turns out to be the wrong people.

What often attribute to this are unresolved issues from the past that makes a certain "toxic" type of person attractive. There are many places to look and often childhood can be a good place to begin. Look at the relationships you had with your parents, do you see a similarity? Sometimes we seek resolution to pain from our childhood in the way we pick our mates. There may be certain themes such as caretaking or feeling responsible for the other person emotionally or financially. Do you find yourself apologizing constantly over what you say or do? Does the relationship provide a needed void in life such as not feeling happy unless I can fix, rescue or save someone from themselves? Does it make me feel better when I take care of someone else because I get love in return? Often the way out of a toxic situation is to change some habits about who we are.

If you find yourself in this type of behavior pattern there are some steps to take that can help. Detaching yourself from past thoughts and behaviors helps tremendously. Sometimes we become attached to certain “comfortable” patterns in life not fully realizing what is happening, we just see and feel the undesired results. It’s time to live outside the box of your personal comfort zone. Cultivate yourself by changing the way you live your life. Take a break from relationships and spend some time with yourself to explore things that help create and mold you as an individual. God has given us a beautiful Earth to live out our lives and enjoy. Find activities that you feel would be completely different from what you would normally do such as going to a museum instead of the movies. Go to a symphony concert instead of a rock concert or join a small group through church. Adopt a pet, take up canvas painting, join a kayaking club or go on a hike instead of the mall. Travel, see the world and find something that sparks an interest in an area that has never been explored. Go to the mountains instead of the beach or volunteer to help the less fortunate. There are countless ways to cultivate who you are as a person.

What this does is it changes who we are by adding value to our lives. It changes the focus of putting too much value on others and places more value on accepting ourselves. Over time this builds self confidence and begins to define who we are as a person and strengthens the ability to be comfortable in a relationship. So the next time you are at a dinner engagement with someone of interest and they ask “so, what do you like to do,” what will your answer be?


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