4 Steps to Filter Out Bad Relationships

“She wanted attention, all the time.” my neighbor Leo says.
“That’s typical.” I go.
“And she likes to wake me up early in the morning. But I like to sleep in.” Leo continues.
“That’s normal.” I go.
“One morning, it was 5am, she tries to wake me up. I’m sleeping so I ignore her. So then, she got mad at me, and then she … peed on my face!”
“Typical. She’s just trying to get attention.” I go.
“So I threw her out of the room.” Leo says as he makes the motion of throwing his cat out of the room. “And then I had to clean my sheets, which she soiled with her pee.”
“She’s a narcissist,” my inner judge is speaking now.
“Yes. I was in an abusive relationship. With my cat.” Leo sighs.
“It happens to be best of us.”

Feeling like you’re trapped in an unhealthy relationship? It’s easy to slip into, even with a cat. Over the years, I’ve had countless conversations with friends who are successful academically and professionally, but failing romantically.

It’s easy to get into an unhealthy relationship, especially for sensitive people. Because when you’re sensitive to other people, you tend to adapt yourself to the other person. But your willingness to adapt can lead you to do things you didn’t want to do, and you end up feeling stifled and resentful. You find yourself having wasted time and energy on a relationship that went nowhere.

So how do you prevent this from happening to you? The first step is to filter out the relationships that goes nowhere. Here are four things you could use to filter out unhealthy relationship early on:

  1. Evaluate your energy—You won’t live long if you’re with someone who drains you. You feel drained if you feel judged by them, or if you can’t be yourself around them, or if they’d doing or saying things outside of your comfort zone. But whatever the reason, it’d be tough to fix. So if they’re draining you, even if you don’t exactly know why…filter out.
  2. Notice how you relate to their communication style — The quality of your communication is a key factor in your quality of life. If their tone of voice, pace, or simply the way they speak annoys you…filter out.
  3. Feel their vibe — By being in their presence, when you’re both silent, do you feel uplifted or do you feel tension? If being in their presence gives you stress…filter out.
  4. Measure progress — suppose you and your partner are stuck on a major block in your relationship, and it’s a deal-breaker for the relationship. What do you do? Measure progress and set a deadline. If by the deadline there has been no progress…filter out.