8 Deep Questions To Ask Yourself If You Keep Falling In Love With Manipulative Men

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Inner injuries stemming from circumstances and experiences of your early childhood, such as toxic family dynamics or bullying, affect your physical, emotional, and mental health as an adult, shaping the way you experience life. These unconscious layers of trauma may lead you to seek out unhealthy, abusive people, who are in turn seeking vulnerable people (like you) to prey upon in order to meet their selfish need to feel significance, power, and control in relationships.

Here are eight deep questions to ask yourself to find out if you have unhealed trauma that could be unknowingly attracting such men.

1. Do you believe someone else will heal your wounds?

Perhaps you continually look for a partner to cling to and depend on to heal those painful wounds. You’ve been searching your whole life for someone to heal your wounds and the toxic guys you've been dating have been searching their whole lives for someone who needs precisely that. They fed your insecurities with all of that false charm and fake love, while you believed they could bandage your sores.

What you need to understand, though, is that other people cannot heal your pain. Other people do not have the resources to fix another human being. The only person who can heal you is you.

RELATED: Why So Many Incredible Women Give Their Hearts To Unkind Men

2. Do you believe you can change someone, and that they, in turn, can change you?

The more you try to force people to become what you want them to be, the more control you hand over to them. You lose your own power. You give them responsibility for your wellness. And in return, you lose your dignity, self-respect and mental health.

If you think you can help the toxic guys you've dated understand their difficulties, you are only continuing this emotionally dependent cycle. You are trying to force them to take responsibility.



These guys are individuals, responsible for their own lives, and the desire for long-term change must come from within them.

3. Do you feel responsible for other people’s feelings?

Do you find yourself having difficulty setting limits with people or saying no? Do you have a hard time standing up for yourself?

Perhaps you take responsibility for others rather than letting them learn to take responsibility for themselves. You may believe it is your job to rescue or shield people from their own painful emotions or from the consequences of their own actions. You might try to placate them, tell them it’s not their fault. Or you might try to shoulder the pain for them.

If you put other people’s needs before your own and see this as a righteous strength in your personality, it could cause you to overlook toxic behavior in a partner.



By doing so, you are once again not allowing that person to take responsibility for their own lives, their own behavior, and the resulting consequences, good or bad.

RELATED: 6 Things That Make You Feel Deeply Loved But Are Actually Red Flags

4. Do you neglect your own needs to avoid feeling “selfish” or “lazy”?

Do you feel guilty for taking care of yourself or doing things for yourself? Do you feel uncomfortable when you have “me” time? Do you only have a sense of worth if you are being productive or doing thing?

It could be that you have been trained from an early age, probably by parents, caregivers, or educators, that taking care of yourself or having leisure time and allowing yourself to rest is lazy, self-centered, and must be absolutely 100 percent avoided at all cost.

"Acts of service and contributing to others and involving yourself and causes and supporting people you love is deeply fulfilling and satisfying," licensed therapist and life coach Nicole Johnson, who owns Oak and Ivy Therapy Services, said in a TikTok.



However, she notes that it should never come at your own expense.

5. Are you a people pleaser?

Does it bother you when other people think poorly of you? Some people believe that it is a requirement to have people like them and they are willing to do almost anything to gain approval from others. Some people are overly concerned about offending or hurting people’s feelings and as a result, become “people pleasers” who overlook their own needs in favor of someone else’s.



When you are a people-pleaser, you're more likely to put up with inappropriate, hurtful and toxic behavior from a partner. You don’t want your special guy to feel too guilty about his bad behavior toward you, so you say, “It’s okay. I’m fine. Don’t worry. We’re fine.”

6. Have you experienced rejection, abandonment, shame, betrayal and/or unfairness?

Have you been a victim of some form of abuse in your past? Did you feel invalidated by a parent, like you weren’t entitled to your feelings, or your feelings were wrong or selfish? Some caregivers raise children with an incredible dose of shame as a way to control their behavior.

They may use guilt trips to make you feel guilty for having feelings because they were hurt that you expressed them. Perhaps you were criticized as a child and felt as though you couldn’t do anything right? Maybe they gave you the message that you could never achieve their approval and that their love and acceptance was conditional on being a “good girl.”

When a parent uses shame or guilt, it’s actually a form of manipulation. Since this is what you are raised with, it will lead you to be susceptible to being manipulated as an adult, especially in an intimate relationship.

RELATED: 12 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Parent

7. Do you feel worthless and fear being alone?

Do you beat yourself up and criticize yourself for your failures? Do you fear being single? Do you berate your weaknesses and hate yourself for them? Perhaps you feel as though you are unlovable, unworthy, and flawed, and don’t feel worthy of love?

It’s perfectly normal for you to want security in your life, but some people’s internal shame and sense of unworthiness leads them to a willingness to do everything in their power to ensure their own security. Even if it means they have to make excuses for others, fix their errors or protect them.

If you are afraid of being alone, it is far more likely you will willingly overlook a problem in order to maintain security and protect yourself from being lonely.

8. Are you goal-oriented and persevering, no matter what?

Do you set goals and know you will always achieve them? Do you feel your value in life is based on what goals you achieve? Do you feel unworthy if you fail to meet your goals?

Some people are so committed to their “never give up or give in,” attitude that they end up overlooking terrible behavior by a partner, with the misguided idea that they can’t give up on the relationship because it will be seen as a failure.



Sometimes people are so perseverant that they end up over-functioning and doing everything for everyone, resulting in them getting completely walked on. You might even hate relying on other people for help and choose to do everything yourself. If you do, it’s time to reconsider the consequences of being so focused on avoiding failure.

You can go through this experience of taking responsibility for your healing.

It is going to be difficult and take time but that you will emerge on the other side so strong and healthy you will absolutely exude empowerment.

You will never again accept substandard behavior. You will repel toxic, abusive and parasitic men and only attract high-quality individuals into your life.

Trust me, and trust yourself. You can unquestionably do this and live the life of truth, respect and dignity you deserve.

RELATED: 5 Positive Personality Traits That Attract Narcissists & Abusers

Joanne Brothwell, BSW, MSW, RSW, ACC, is a licensed therapist and social worker with more than 20 years of clinical experience providing counseling to individuals, couples, and families.