Self-Sabotaging Relationships

Are You Self-Sabotaging Relationships? 

People long for connection. Its the way we are wired. To laugh, to love, make lasting memories with the people we love. Relationships are like the threads that stitch up the crazy quilt of our lives. They’re the buddies we share the good stuff and the tough stuff with, and basically everything in between. 

If you think about it, relationships are like the real deal when it comes to our craving for connection and finding where we belong. God created mankind with a need and desire for connection and meaningful relationships. They’re kind of like the glue that holds our human experience together.

It’s kind of ironic, how we all crave those awesome connections with people – the ones that light up our lives and give us a sense of belonging. But somehow, we can also end up in this weird spot where we’re either missing out on those relationships or unintentionally messing up the ones we’ve got.

In today’s society, it’s becoming increasingly common to see people quick to point fingers when things go south. It’s easy to fall into the habit of blaming others for our problems, especially when the going gets tough. But perhaps it’s time to confront a difficult truth: What if, more often than not, we are not just a part of the problem, but possibly even a major contributor?

Relationships can be a bit like navigating a maze sometimes. You’re cruising along, and suddenly, you wonder if maybe you’re tripping up on your own shoelaces. By honestly answering some questions, maybe we can gain insight into our actions and tendencies that might be undermining our relationships. We must be proactive in looking for Signs of self-sabotaging behavior. Self-awareness is the first step toward fostering healthier connections.

Here are 7 questions to ask to discover if you may be Self-Sabotaging Relationships. 

1. Am I Fearful of Vulnerability?

Do you often find yourself keeping your thoughts and emotions tucked away because the thought of being rejected or judged terrifies you? As difficult as it may be to open up, that transparency is what gains trust and confidence in relationships. By not opening up, you might be preventing trust and intimacy from growing.

Fear of being vulnerable may also stem from a lack of trust in God’s unconditional love and acceptance. Embracing vulnerability can mirror Christ’s humility and openness, fostering deeper connections rooted in God’s love.

No one is perfect, and we all have our share of insecurities. Yet, when we choose to keep everything bottled up and maintain surface-level interactions, it can greatly undermine the health and vitality of our relationships.

2. Do I Tend to Criticize Constantly?

Constant criticism creates a heavy atmosphere and chips away at the foundation of your bond. Maybe you have been around someone who is constantly honing in our your flaws and seems to be evaluating with a magnifying glass. I’ve know people in my past who who “jokingly” point out my flaws or poke fun constantly. People have difficult enough time as it is int he day to day job or workplace, they don’t want to cultivate relationships where they are going to endure more negativity. 

Now in fairness, its doesn’t mean that you never point out flaws. Constructive criticism can be incredible helpful and beneficial. But, if that appears to be your main focus and roll in a relationship, may be time for a lens change. Ask yourself if your habit of being overly critical is pushing people away rather than bringing them closer.

3. Do I Overthink and Make Assumptions?

Far to often I have seen relationships damaged and friendships destroyed over misunderstandings and overthought. 

Have you ever seen a text message, and your brain starts cooking up all these assumptions about what it “really means.” Have you ever found yourself twisting innocent situations into complex dramas? I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for text emoji’s. They have saved me some potentially awkward situations by helping my reader to understand my tone and mood. However, overthinking and assuming the worst intentions can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts that didn’t need to happen.

Think about whether you tend to overanalyze situations and assume the worst intentions of others. Consider how this habit might lead to sabotaging the relationships you are in.

4. Am I Avoiding Conflict at All Costs?

This is a difficult one for me because I want to run as far away as possible can away from conflict. Some people love conflict and are looking for a fight, others – Like me – want to just run or ignite it. However, some conflict is necessary and even valuable to meaningful relationships.

Conflict avoidance might seem like a peaceful approach, but in reality, it’s like planting seeds of tension that can sprout into bigger problems. Healthy relationships need healthy conflict resolution. Think about how addressing issues head-on might actually lead to better understanding and growth.

5. Do I Isolate Myself Frequently?

Isolation is a dangerous trap. I really enjoy having some alone time – I think it’s important for everyone. But here’s the thing: if that “me time” turns from a chance to recharge to straight-up avoiding things and hiding, it can be detrimental to both individuals involved in the relationship. 

Isolation can erode the support system that relationships are meant to provide. Instead of facing challenges alone, consider if opening up and seeking connection during tough times could lead to more meaningful bonds.

A final thought to consider with isolation is whether you tend to isolate yourself during challenges instead of seeking comfort and guidance from God. When isolation becomes a regular routine, it can lead us to dodge more than just our everyday connections here on Earth and that is a dangerous place to be. 

6. Am I Struggling with Setting Boundaries?

If you’re constantly saying “yes” to everything, even when it’s at the expense of your own well-being, your well-being will be short lived. Boundaries are like the guardrails that keep relationships healthy. If you’re struggling to establish and communicate them, you might find yourself feeling drained and taken advantage of. Reflect on how setting clear boundaries could actually lead to more balanced and respectful connections.

Contemplate whether your struggle with boundaries reflects a misunderstanding of your worth as a child of God. Some times I think we find our self trying to be “all things to all men” as the saying goes. Setting boundaries aligned with biblical values helps honor God’s creation and maintain healthy relationships.

7. Am I Repeating Past Mistakes?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got” 

– Unknown

If you’ve been in a cycle where you keep making the same relationship mistakes over and over again and It’s become like déjà vu, but not in a good way, its time to reassess. It drives me crazy when people will make the same mistake over and over again expecting different results. I’m not sure is this statement is original or not but I often say to people caught in a rut “if you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got” 

Here’s the deal – if you’re not learning from past experiences, you’re missing out on the chance to grow and improve. Take a moment to reflect on how embracing the lessons from the past could lead to more positive and fulfilling relationships in the future.

Learning from past experiences and seeking God’s guidance can break cycles of dysfunction and lead to redemption.


By digging into these points, we’re giving ourselves the tools to evaluate our behaviors and tendencies. It’s like holding up a mirror to see if there’s anything we might be doing that’s holding us back from the enriching, meaningful connections we all yearn for.

By taking a serious, introspective look at ourselves, we can foster personal accountability, create healthier dynamics, and play a role in crafting solutions. After all, acknowledging our part in the problem is the first step toward becoming part of the solution.

Author | Matt Connors

Matt is a dedicated and dynamic youth leader with almost 15 years of ministry experience. Passionate about young adults, leadership, and Jesus Christ, he connects with youth, fosters their spiritual growth, and empowers them to become leaders in their communities. Through engaging sermons, mentorship, and innovative outreach, Pastor Matt impacts lives and shapes the future of the next generation.

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