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Love can sometimes make us blind to behaviors that are damaging to our well-being. Yet, psychology tells us there are certain actions we should never tolerate, even from those we care about deeply.

Navigating relationships is tricky, especially when emotions are involved. We all have certain behaviors we’re willing to overlook for the people we love, but where do we draw the line?

In this article, I’m going to outline 10 behaviors that you should never put up with, according to psychological experts. These are the red flags that should prompt you to reconsider the nature of your relationship.

With this knowledge, you’ll be equipped to foster healthier, more respectful relationships. So buckle up and prepare for some hard truths.

1) Disrespect

We all know respect is a fundamental building block of any relationship. Yet, it’s surprising how often this basic principle can be violated.

Disrespect can take many forms – from belittling comments to disregarding your feelings or needs. It could be as blatant as name-calling or as subtle as constant interruptions when you’re speaking.


Psychologists agree that disrespect is a behavior that should not be tolerated. It erodes trust and breeds resentment, having a corrosive effect on any relationship.

You may love this person deeply, but tolerating disrespect is not a price worth paying. Don’t let your love for someone blind you to their disrespectful behavior.


So whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend or a family member, if disrespect becomes the norm rather than the exception, it may be time to reassess the relationship.

Remember, everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Don’t settle for anything less.


2) Gaslighting

Gaslighting is an insidious form of psychological manipulation where a person makes you question your own reality. It’s a term borrowed from the classic 1944 film “Gaslight”, where a husband manipulates his wife into believing she’s going insane.

I remember a friend of mine was in a relationship where her partner would often dismiss her feelings or concerns as ‘overthinking’ or being ‘too sensitive’. Over time, she started doubting her own instinct and judgement. She felt lost and confused about what was real and what wasn’t.

Psychology warns us about the harmful impact of gaslighting on our mental health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of self.

If you recognize this behavior in someone you love, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself. Seek support from trusted friends, family or a mental health professional. And remember, it’s okay to walk away from a relationship that harms your mental wellbeing.


3) Controlling behavior

We all appreciate a caring gesture from our loved ones. But there’s a significant difference between caring and controlling.

A partner may want to know your every move, or a friend may try to dictate your choices, from what you wear to who you hang out with. However, it’s important to recognize it as a clear sign of controlling behavior. They may justify it as concern for your well-being, but in reality, it’s about their need to exert power and dominance.


Such behavior can leave you feeling trapped and stifled, stripping away your independence. Psychology warns us that this can lead to increased stress, low self-esteem, and in severe cases, can even trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Regardless of the underlying cause, controlling behavior is not healthy and should not be tolerated in a relationship. It’s important to establish boundaries and maintain your independence.

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Remember, everyone has the right to make their own choices and live their life on their own terms. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

4) Constant criticism

Constructive criticism is one thing, but when someone constantly criticizes you – whether it’s about your appearance, your work, or your hobbies – it can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem.


No one is perfect, and it’s normal to have flaws. However, if someone in your life is incessantly pointing out your flaws or belittling your achievements, that’s not healthy behavior.

Psychologists agree that constant criticism can lead to feelings of inadequacy and can damage your self-worth. It’s crucial to surround yourself with people who uplift you and respect you for who you are, rather than those who constantly tear you down.


Remember, even if you love someone, it doesn’t mean you have to tolerate their unhealthy behaviors. Your mental wellbeing should always come first.

5) Violation of personal boundaries

Personal boundaries are the limits we set to protect our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. They reflect our needs, values, and comfort levels.

However, if you find that someone consistently disregards your boundaries, whether they be related to your personal space, time, or emotions, then that is a red flag. This behavior not only demonstrates a lack of respect for you as an individual but also indicates an imbalance of power in the relationship.

Research in psychology emphasizes the importance of maintaining personal boundaries for our overall well-being. Crossing these boundaries can lead to feelings of violation and discomfort.


If you find your loved one frequently overstepping your boundaries, it’s crucial to communicate clearly about your comfort zones. You have every right to protect your personal space and autonomy and demand respect for it.

6) Emotional unavailability

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Emotional unavailability is a tough one. It’s often harder to identify, but just as damaging as other harmful behaviors.

An emotionally unavailable person is not open or forthcoming with their feelings. They may avoid deep conversations, show indifference when you’re upset, or seem disconnected from your relationship.

Being with someone who is emotionally unavailable can leave you feeling alone, unheard and unloved. It’s like being in a relationship with a wall, and it can be incredibly draining.

We all deserve to be with people who are willing to share themselves with us, who can provide emotional support and reciprocate our feelings. Love isn’t just about being physically present. It’s also about being emotionally invested.

If you’re dealing with someone who is emotionally unavailable, remember that you can’t force them to open up. What you can do is express your needs and see if they’re willing to meet them. If not, it might be time to consider whether this relationship is truly serving you.

7) Lack of support

One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is mutual support. Whether it’s celebrating each other’s achievements or providing a shoulder to lean on during tough times, being there for each other is crucial.

There was a time in my life when I was going through a career change. It was a challenging period, filled with uncertainty and self-doubt. What made it even more difficult was the lack of support from someone I deeply cared about.

Instead of encouraging me, they often pointed out the risks and predicted failure. Their negativity only added to my stress and made me question my decisions.

Psychology tells us that support from loved ones significantly impacts our ability to deal with stress and face life’s challenges. If someone you love frequently undermines your goals or doesn’t show up when you need them, it may be time to reassess the relationship.

Remember, you deserve to be surrounded by people who believe in you, uplift you, and stand by your side – especially during tough times.

8) Breach of trust

Trust is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. And, when someone consistently lies or hides the truth, it chips away at that foundation. Once trust is broken, it’s incredibly hard to rebuild.

A breach of trust can happen in many ways – from outright lying and betrayal to major deceptions, breaking promises or sharing confidential information. Regardless of the scale, a breach of trust can eventually lead to the breakdown of relationships.

When someone you love breaches your trust, it can leave you feeling hurt, betrayed, and unsure about the future of your relationship.

Psychologists agree that a breach of trust can lead to a host of negative feelings and can severely damage a relationship. It’s essential for both parties in a relationship to understand the importance of trust and to work towards preserving it.

Remember, you deserve to be in relationships where your trust is valued and respected. If someone has repeatedly breached your trust, it might be time to reevaluate whether this relationship is good for you.

9) Inconsistency in words and actions

Consistency is the backbone of trust in any relationship. When someone’s words consistently match their actions, it builds a strong foundation of reliability and confidence.

However, if you find that your partner often says one thing but does another, this inconsistency can be disorienting and damaging. It not only creates confusion but also undermines trust, making you question their authenticity and commitment.

Psychologists assert that consistency between words and actions is crucial for a healthy relationship. If you’re constantly dealing with disparities between what your partner says and does, it’s essential to address this issue and seek clarity.

10) Abuse

This is the most critical point and it needs to be said unequivocally – any form of abuse, be it physical, emotional, or mental, should never be tolerated, no matter how much you love the person.

Abuse is not just about visible wounds. It can also be about hurtful words, manipulation, threats, or constant belittlement. It leaves deep scars that can take years to heal.

The harm inflicted by abuse is profound and long-lasting. Psychology tells us that the impact of abuse goes far beyond the immediate harm. It can lead to long-term issues like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Remember, you are deserving of respect and kindness. No amount of love should ever justify enduring any form of abuse. If you find yourself in such a situation, seek help immediately. You are not alone, and there are resources available to support you.

Final reflection: The power of self-love

Navigating relationships can be a complex journey, but it’s crucial to remember that you hold the compass.

One profound quote by psychologist and author, Dr. Wayne Dyer, resonates deeply with this topic, “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.”

Your emotional well-being should never be compromised for the sake of maintaining a relationship, no matter how much you love the other person.

Understanding that certain behaviors should never be tolerated is not about vilifying the other person, but rather about honoring your own worth.

So as you reflect on these behaviors and possibly recognize some in your own relationships, remember this: You are deserving of love, respect, and kindness. You have the right to set boundaries and to expect them to be respected.

Your relationships should uplift you, not tear you down. And ultimately, the first and most enduring love should be the one you have for yourself.

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