One of the most common limiting belief systems that human beings carry is, “I do not deserve love.” When we believe this and a significant other or friend offers us more love than we feel like we deserve, we tend to unconsciously push them away. Sometimes pushing people away is as subtle as not accepting help from a friend when they extend love to us. Other times it may present as finding things that are wrong with the person we are in a relationship with. Right about the time we start to feeling more love and closeness than we are used to is when our mind typically begins to find
some rather convincing reasons the relationship will not work out.
This tendency to push people away needs to be differentiated from having valid reasons for leaving a relationship. In fact, I recommend discerning between these two things whenever we are considering leaving a relationship.
The problem with pushing people away is that deep down part of us knows that we really liked the person, and yet we pushed them away. After we get some distance, we begin to see what we did. This inevitably creates regret and loss that is difficult to resolve.
I can still clearly remember pushing away this awesome woman when I was 20 years old at Penn State. I told myself that I could not date her because she was on a date with my roommate when I met her. Months later after we hit it off with each other at several parties, she tried to convince me that really liked me, and the single date with my roommate did not even go well. But I stubbornly held my ground. About a year later, I realized that I pushed her away for no good reason other than being scared of being close to her. I experienced great regret and sadness as I could not deny the connection that we had.
Relationships naturally build love and intimacy if we do not obstruct them. So we can build closeness by ceasing to push people away and allowing the relationship to naturally develop. Granted our self-worth and ability to receive love will have to expand as we do this. Whenever we sense that we are feeling more love than we are accustomed to, it is good to notice what our thoughts and ideas are telling us.
So next time you get this brilliant idea that your loving relationship or friendship is not working out, make sure you are not pushing them away before you act on it.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.