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No further.” The lack of belief in yourself feeds into an insidious self-perpetuating cycle.

It’s hard to stand up for yourself when you believe that you have very little of value to offer in the first place – something that is reinforced by the way that people walk over you and take advantage of you.

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I had been there for less than an hour before she showed up to quite literally drag me away (warning sign #3).

I forget what the excuse was, but it was some “togetherness” emergency – I had to go shopping with her for some trivial thing or other. In fact, that phrase – “I let her” – defined the majority of our relationship.

This can be intimidating, especially when you’re not the most secure person to begin with.

A major reason why I put up with being treated so badly in my relationships was because I was conflict averse; I didn’t have a strong foundation to work from and dreaded any fight for fear of causing more drama which would inevitably be my fault and lead to further fights down the line.

One of the most common signs of a predatory, abusive personality is the testing of boundaries: trying to push someone further and further out of their comfort zone, using a cycle of rewards and punishments in order to manipulate someone into being willing to knuckle under.

I’ve received many letters from women who had boyfriends who consistently tried to push the envelope of what they were comfortable with – demanding nude pictures, trying to bully them into sex they didn’t want to have (especially girls who were not ready to have sex yet) or into sexual practices they didn’t like.Of course, this is emotionally shredding and deeply damaging to the person who is letting this happen.At best, you have a codependent relationship – one partner needing constant control and validation while giving up any personal responsibility and the other trying to shoulder the entire burden of both parties as well as take blame for any faults as an exchange for having the relationship. well, you’re prey for users, manipulative assholes and emotional abusers.This was significant because my ex hated RPGs – she thought they were the stupidest things ever and couldn’t imagine anyone she dated wanting to play them.She also didn’t care for them because it meant I was spending time with my friends and not with her (warning sign #2) – but this time she relented and .I had few boundaries to speak of and even less self-esteem…

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