From my experience,it is very difficult to identify a damaged person especially when you are in a relationship with one.
This is because we always have rose-colored glasses on when we are in love with a person. Their good sides are always magnified and you are very reluctant to acknowledge their terrible sides.
A person might just not be into you for reasons best known to her/him, but in your love blindness, you may keep trying and trying, thinking the more you care, the more you persevere, this person will see how wonderful you are and finally come to love you.
This is you, thinking you have a damaged person you want to fix, when it’s really a person who does not care about you.
However, there are really people who can not love and can’t receive love because they have been severely damaged either as a child growing up in an abusive home, or in past relationships.
The symptoms of a damaged person are clear ,once you look, you can easily identify them:
a) The very first symptom is TRUST ISSUES:
A damaged person will always have trust issues. He/She will be unable to trust no matter how you try to prove your love or fidelity, this person will always feel you are cheating with the next guy, the next woman, the neighbor, your colleague at work, your cousin etc. This person will never trust you with anyone.
b)LOW SELF ESTEEM: A damaged person will always question their self-worth. “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not thin enough…” They are shy and withdrawn in public places and feel the next person you talk to is THE competition. You have to keep assuring them that you see them.
You know the type of girl who will keep malice with you for a whole evening because you complimented a female friend? Yes!
Also, public approval is so important to them. They always ask themselves “what will people think” about their car, their girlfriend, their clothes etc.
C)ANGER ISSUES: Damaged people are most times quick to anger and when angry they do not care the outcome or how they hurt you in that moment. They could damage your property, or beat you up or kick you out of their house at an odd hour for really flimsy reasons, and then later come back apologizing
D) COMMITMENT ISSUES: This person is scared to commit, or refuses to commit and would rather play mind games due to the inability to trust his/her partner. They rather stay on the edge, at the sidelines, ready to take off and run at any sign that there’s need for sacrifice or commitment.
E) ABANDONMENT ISSUES: This person always feels insecure and left. No matter what you do and how hard you try to carry him/her along, it’s one accusation of abandonment after the other “you just left me there for hours to talk with your friends,” “you haven’t held my hand throughout this evening,” “you didn’t introduce me to your boss at the party,” etc.
Remember it’s proper to assure your partner of your love and when you do this the best you can and there’s still always, a bitter nagging of how you always leave, then this person has abandonment issues.
E) ALWAYS DEFENSIVE: This person is very defensive and hardly accepts their wrongs. Always looking for a way to heap the blame on you even when it’s clear that they are at fault. This person will never apologize and would rather give you the silent treatment, to punish you for pointing out that they are wrong – instead of apologizing and amending their ways.
F) QUICK TO SAY “ITS OVER”: This person is always quick to say “it’s over,” “this is not working,” “maybe you are better of without me.”
This is all just mind games, this person is trying to rattle you, make you think you are the problem, it’s a defensive mechanism to avoid in-depth discussion of issues so that he/she will get away with wrongdoings once again.
G) SELFISH: This person is always thinking about herself/himself. When you realize that your S.O is hardly ever-present on your big days e.g graduation, birthdays, etc, they just manage to disappear during the times that count. They would always give excuses that seem like they were attending to something huge. They’d then turn it around to seem like you are the selfish one for hoping they could be there for you. Just realize you most likely have a damaged person on your hands.
H) DEMAND STANDARDS THEY CAN’T MEET. This person demands a high standard which are way higher than they can offer. E.g they are broke, but would attack you for being unable to provide for them. They want you to never go out or attend parties, but they are party hoppers. They accuse you of infidelity but they put the ‘H’ in Hoe. This person is just toxic!
I) HAPPILY MARRIED EXES: This person has a chain of Exes who are in good long-term relationships, either happily married or in long-term relationships. Not to mention that he/she keeps complaining that those Exes were the reason the relationship didn’t work. This is a clear sign that the problem was not with these Exes.
Some of these signs might appear in people who are just not into you, e.g selfishness and commitment issues. But someone who isn’t that into you would mainly just ignore and avoid you till you read the writing on the wall. A damaged person nonetheless, will keep you around because he/she is twisted and sick on the insides. She/he can’t give or receive love, yet will want you around and make you suffer.
When you see that the love you are giving is getting too painful, and this person seems totally oblivious to the hurt they are causing, it’s best to let go for your own sanity.
If you keep holding on, you will be emotionally damaged in the long run.
The author, Agbala Nwanyi, is a Law Student from the Baze University, Abuja, Nigeria.
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