Why You Keep Pushing People Away When You Need Them Most (& How To Stop)

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Why You Keep Pushing People Away When You Need Them Most (& How To Stop)

The act of pushing people away can be subtle — acting in toxic ways to make someone uncomfortable enough to leave — or grandiose, such as ghosting.

Whichever route your take, it’s confusing to those we love, and if we’re being honest, it’s probably confusing to you as well.

Why do people feel the need to push others away, especially when you find you’re most in need of support? 

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There are times where it’s as simple as not feeling connected to the relationships we are harboring in our lives and not knowing how to cut ties in a peaceful way.

I find that this is rare for me, despite my blocked list without explanation is growing more as time passes. There are times my energy is too low to explain why I no longer want someone in my life. Even more, I feel some people aren’t privy to that information and it’s better for my mental health to go no contact.

However, I feel that I can find myself sabotaging relationships, slowly but surely, hoping to end contact but without harboring resentment for the other person. I slowly start to distance myself, constantly torn in the rhetoric of "I hate you, don’t leave me."

I have done this as long as I have had the capability of making friends and is a defining reason I don’t have relationships with people from my past today.

Although I don’t have regrets in most instances, I do notice I destroyed beautiful relationships with people I truly care about, from people who offered me a couch to crash on when I was homeless, to people who gave me an opportunity to be more than I felt I was worth that I ended up letting down. 

So why does this happen?

Why you keep pushing people away

You might find that you start pushing people away because you don't believe you are worthy of the energy they are pouring into you This is a reflection of how self-conscious you are. People who are hyper-aware of their flaws address these issues as the main core of their identity when they are feeling bad. It's the idea of, "if I don't like myself I can't see why anyone else would." When your value diminishes, your pride shrinks. 

You might even be afraid of people seeing you the way you see yourself.

This could be because you have been betrayed and disregarded by people in your past. Even more, you could be fearing you'll end up hurting someone else the way you have been hurt, so you push them away before that could happen.

Often, people who push others away feel like they are a burden. People feel better when they are able to help others, finding value in themselves in these moments. However, when it comes to the time that they need support they feel they are asking too much.

You could be afraid of putting your problems on anyone else, even if you just need someone to lend an ear. This is often when you find yourself projecting into someone else's thoughts without any fact basing your feelings and concerns. You'll even start believing you are better off alone. 

RELATED: To The One I Keep Pushing Away: Don't Give Up On Me

How to stop doing this

When you create a healthier dialogue internally, you have a better feeling about your place in the world.

Work on getting to the root of the problem. Is it possible that your own perception of yourself has been taught to you from society and people who you shouldn't have trusted all along? There’s pressure on all of us to be our best, but what happens when you push yourself to be perfect? Eventually, you lose sight that you are simply human, bound to make mistakes and mess up, but that is okay. 

Accept that you have flaws, because realistically everyone does, but understand that with this that they do not define you.  When your story has been how terrible you are it’s not easy to accept that there are good parts to you too. 

Creating a healthier relationship with yourself will benefit your life overall, but will also concrete the relationships in your life and provide you with the strength to talk to other people when problems arise. 

Finally, recognize that with some people you are pushing them away because they aren't worthy of your trust or energy. It’s important to examine these relationships in-depth instead of hurting someone else, or ultimately yourself. If someone constantly makes you feel uneasy and is feeding int your negative self-image, you have the right to draw a boundary or end the relationship.

Our emotions are not our enemy and we need to learn what we listen to and what we heal.

Pushing people away is one of the most heartbreaking symptoms of depression, anxiety, and negative self-esteem but is not a life sentence. Find the people you trust and create the dialogue of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and ask them to work with you to stop this self-injurious behavior.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Why We Push True Love Away (Plus: What To Do Instead)

Tea Jones is a writer who covers spirituality, horoscopes, mental health, and interpersonal relationships.