12 brutal signs your partner is holding you back from being your best self, according to psychologists

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Living our lives to the fullest is something we should all strive for. That’s why it’s especially concerning if your partner, your rock, is preventing you from reaching your full potential and living a fulfilling life.

In a healthy relationship, both partners should support each other’s growth and encourage one another to reach their fullest potential.

So, let’s see brutal signs that your partner is holding you back from being your best self, according to psychologists.

1) Controlling you

Partners who try to control what you do, who you see, and where you go prevent you from exploring new opportunities and experiences. To say the least, right?

I mean, controlling you has other far-reaching consequences, too. It’s not just about missing out on new experiences. It goes way deeper than that. 

They can make you doubt yourself and your abilities because you’re constantly second-guessing whether what you want is “right” or “allowed.” And let’s not forget about the emotional toll it takes.

Constantly feeling like you’re walking on eggshells or living under a microscope is undoubtedly exhausting and stressful. 

You’re not living your own life. You’re living by someone else’s rules. And that’s no way to thrive or ever be truly happy.

2) Jealousy

Some people are exceptionally jealous of their partner, the things they do, and who they do it with. 

It’s needless to say, their jealousy and insecurity in a relationship can limit your freedom and stifle the pursuit of your passions and fulfillment in life. 

They, again, want to control what, where, and who you do things with. Psychologists say that these actions can create a toxic environment where trust is eroded, and both partners feel suffocated.

They also emphasize the importance of addressing jealousy and insecurity in a relationship through open communication and building trust.

It’s crucial for both partners to work together to understand the root causes of jealousy and find healthy ways to manage it.

3) Constant criticism

If your partner always points out your flaws and shortcomings instead of supporting your growth, it could be a sign that they’re holding you back.

Instead of feeling motivated to improve and reach your goals, you end up feeling like you’re never good enough. 

They’re basically putting a spotlight on your weaknesses instead of helping you shine. And that’s not cool. 

In a healthy relationship, your partner should lift you up, not tear you down. They should be your biggest supporter, celebrating your successes and helping you overcome your challenges. 

When they’re not doing that, it’s definitely a red flag that they might be holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself.

4) Lack of encouragement and support

As I just said, your partner should be your biggest advocate, not someone who dismisses your goals and dreams.

I know my wife is for me and has always encouraged me to pursue my passions no matter how much out there they were. And I believe I do the same for her. 

So, if your partner doesn’t do that, that’s a major problem. You feel alone in your ambitions like you’re facing the world with no backup. 

And that’s not how it should be. Your partner should be by your side, cheering you on through thick and thin. 

Whether you want to start a new business, learn a new skill, or chase a wild dream, they should be there, holding your hand and saying, “Go for it!” 

But there’s something even worse. 

5) Isolating you

Cutting you off from friends and family makes it that much harder for you to grow and develop as an individual. 

They’re building a wall around you, trapping you in their world. Because of this, you miss out on the diverse perspectives, advice, and love that those relationships bring. 

Psychologists highlight that when one partner deliberately cuts off the other from their support network, it creates a sense of dependency and control that’s unhealthy for both parties.

In other words, isolation is yet another red flag indicating deeper issues that you need to address ASAP.

6) Ignoring your needs or input

If your partner consistently puts their own needs above yours and doesn’t prioritize your happiness, or they aren’t listening to you, it’s a big sign that something’s not right. 

You deserve to be with someone who values what you have to say and cares about what you need.

If they don’t do that, you’ll end up with feelings of neglect, resentment, and frustration. 

And over time, this can create a dynamic where you feel unheard and unimportant, which can have long-term consequences for your self-esteem and happiness.

But some partners go even further. 

7) Undermining your confidence

Yes, if your partner is belittling your achievements or constantly comparing you to others, it can erode your self-esteem and hold you back from pursuing your goals.

For example, they frequently compare you unfavorably to others, like saying, “Why can’t you be more like [friend’s name]? They’re so much more successful than you.”

Or, whenever you suggest something new or innovative, your partner shoots it down immediately, saying things like, “That’ll never work,” or “You’re just wasting your time.”

These are just a few examples, but each one can have a significant impact on your confidence and self-esteem. 

If you’re experiencing any of these behaviors in your relationship, you need to address them and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist.

8) Feeling resentful

If you find yourself resenting your partner for holding you back or stifling your ambitions, it’s a clear sign that something isn’t right in the relationship. Your needs for growth, autonomy, and support are obviously not being met.

But it’s a natural response to feeling constrained or limited in your personal development and can lead to frustration, anger, and dissatisfaction.

9) Feeling stuck

If you constantly feel like you’re in a rut and unable to progress in your personal or professional life, your partner’s influence could be a factor as well.

This is especially true when you combine it with other behaviors on this list. If you notice three, four, or ten such behaviors, it’s an educated guess that they’re at fault, not you.

Your partner plays a significant role in your life, and if their influence is holding you back from progressing personally or professionally, that’s awful, right?

If they’re not willing to support you in reaching your full potential, it may be time to reassess whether the relationship is truly serving your best interests. 

After all, you deserve to be with someone who encourages and uplifts you, not someone who holds you back.

10) Making excuses

Partners who make excuses for why you can’t pursue your dreams or reach your goals are obviously not supportive of your aspirations.

In fact, it seems like some of them are throwing up roadblocks instead of clearing the path for you to succeed.

It feels incredibly discouraging and demotivating, especially when you’re passionate about something and ready to go after it with all your energy.

Excuses like “It’s not the right time” or “We can’t afford it” might sound reasonable on the surface, but if they use them repeatedly to shoot down your aspirations, it’s a clear sign that your partner isn’t supportive of your dreams.

Instead of finding solutions or offering encouragement, they’re finding reasons why you should give up before you even start.

11) Feeling drained

If spending time with your partner always leaves you emotionally drained or exhausted, it’s a big sign that something’s up in the relationship.

When your partner makes you feel like that, it’s like they’re sucking all the energy out of you instead of lifting you up.

A healthy relationship should leave you feeling energized, supported, and emotionally fulfilled. 

You really need to take a step back and evaluate the dynamics of your relationship.

12) Settling for less

Finally, if you find yourself settling for less than you deserve or giving up on your dreams because of your partner’s influence, they’re obviously holding you back from being your best self.

Your dreams and aspirations are a crucial part of who you are, and anyone who truly cares about you should support and encourage you to pursue them.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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