Do you know what self-sabotaging behavior is? It’s when someone deliberately does something to hurt themselves. It could be as simple as refusing to take care of themselves, or it could be more serious like purposefully sabotaging their own work. In this blog post, we will look at the different ways people sabotage themselves and some strategies for stopping those behaviors from happening!
- 1 What Is Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
- 2 Types of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
- 3 Signs of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
- 4 Causes of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
- 5 Self Sabotage In Relationships
- 6 Self-Sabotage And Self-Soothe
- 7 Self Sabotage And Self Care
- 8 How To Manage Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 A Word From MantraCare
What Is Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
Self-sabotaging behavior occurs when a person acts in ways that interfere with achieving their goals. It might sound like a simple concept. This can be quite complicated to understand and identify what is going on within ourselves. When you have been working hard towards something for so long, the last thing we want to do is let go of all those efforts just. This is because someone else has inspired you or received more attention than you as well as not feeling good enough about your successes at the moment.
Oftentimes, self-sabotaging behaviors are formed from childhood experiences. This is where they were unable to achieve success or feel love. This is despite being fully capable of doing so if given the chance during these formative years. Therefore by adulthood, this individual does not believe they deserve happiness or success. They will unconsciously work against themselves. This is in order to meet their own self-fulfilling prophecy.
Types of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
There are many types of self-sabotaging behavior and below are just a few:
This behavior involves analyzing every possible outcome of a situation and imagining the worst that could happen. People who do this typically worry about things beyond their control, which can lead to depression or anxiety if done too often
Being Overly Critical
Those who employ self-sabotaging behavior through being overly critical will typically be very hard on themselves and others as well. They may find it difficult to take compliments from other people because they believe those positive attributes are undeserved; therefore, downplay what someone has said even though it is meant with good intentions. This type of person tends not to trust other people either. This is because they don’t feel like anyone else truly understands them for who they really are inside. This makes them more likely to push everyone away emotionally. Therefore this makes it difficult to form any meaningful relationships.
This is a very common way of self-sabotaging behavior. It can take many different forms. This is such as putting off doing something until the last minute, or not starting at all. It is because you know you won’t be able to complete the task in the timeframe given. Oftentimes people who procrastinate do this as a way to avoid dealing with uncomfortable emotions. They may come up during the task like fear, anxiety, or sadness.
People who have a history of being hurt or feeling abandoned may employ self-sabotaging behavior. This is by avoiding anything that could possibly make them feel those same uncomfortable feelings again. This can be seen in someone with an avoidant attachment style. This is where they don’t like getting close to others. Also, they will do whatever it takes to keep their distance. It includes not talking about certain topics, minimizing intimacy, and never showing any kind of affection. It is even when the time is appropriate. This is because this would mean sharing your true emotions. This makes you vulnerable to another person.
Signs of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
There are a few common signs that someone may be engaging in self-sabotaging behavior. Some of these are:
- Feeling like you’re always in a state of chaos or that things are constantly out of your control
- Putting yourself down and being overly critical of yourself and others
- Difficulty taking compliments from other people
- Avoiding anything that could potentially make you feel uncomfortable or scared
- Staying in unhealthy or abusive relationships for far too long
- Engaging in reckless behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, and promiscuous sex
Causes of Self-Sabotaging Behavior
There are a variety of reasons why someone with codependent tendencies may engage in self-sabotaging behaviors. Some of the most common causes include:
- Being raised by parents who were emotionally unavailable, neglectful, or abusive and never having learned how to express themselves as children led them to carry those same issues into adulthood (many times this person has an avoidant attachment style)
- Growing up watching your mother or father be cheated on and feeling like it was somehow their fault so they decide not to pursue intimacy at all for fear that they will get hurt too (someone with this type of history is more likely to have an anxious attachment style)
- Having grown up in a family where there was constant turmoil and chaos because of addiction, affairs, financial problems, or violence which made it difficult for you to establish healthy boundaries as a child (this person is more likely to have a disorganized attachment style).
Self Sabotage In Relationships
It’s also possible for people with codependent tendencies as well as anxiety disorders. These are such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). They can engage in self-sabotaging behavior when it comes to relationships.
Codependents tend to put other people’s needs before their own and are often afraid of being alone or abandoned so they will stay in unhealthy or even abusive relationships for far too long. This can be seen as a form of self-sabotage because the codependent is not taking care of themselves emotionally or physically which only leads to more pain and suffering in the long run.
People with BPD may have an intense fear of abandonment that causes them to lash out at their partner, engage in reckless behaviors, or break up with their significant other for no real reason. This type of person may also exhibit manipulative behaviors like guilt-tripping or playing the victim role in order to get their partner to stay.
People with OCD may have intrusive thoughts about their partner being unfaithful or having an affair and will do whatever it takes to dispel those thoughts even if it means spying on them, checking their phone records, or going through their emails. This is also a form of self-sabotage because the person with OCD is not trusting their partner which only leads to more doubt and anxiety.
Self-Sabotage And Self-Soothe
It’s also important to know the difference between self-sabotaging behavior and something called “self soothe”. This is where someone engages in behaviors that are positive. These might seem destructive on the outside such as:
- Having an affair even though they’re married because their partner has been neglecting them sexually
- Getting drunk at a party after feeling anxious about going out and meeting new people
- Taking drugs when they feel stressed out about work or school is how they cope with their problems
- Spending all of their money on a shopping spree because they feel depressed or down in the dumps and need to boost their self-esteem
Self Sabotage And Self Care
It’s also important to know that self-sabotage is not always something negative, but can be used as a way for someone to take better care of themselves such as:
• Leaving an abusive relationship when you’re finally ready after putting up with it long enough
• Quitting your job even though you might worry about paying rent if this situation doesn’t improve and causes too much stress for you (while it may seem like self-harm since quitting could mean financial ruin) it’s actually taking steps toward finding yourself again which will ultimately lead to better self-care in the future.
How To Manage Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
There are many ways people with codependent tendencies can manage self-sabotaging behaviors to ensure they don’t end up hurting themselves in the long run. Some of these include:
Try to set small goals for yourself each day that is manageable so you can stay on track. If you have an issue with self-sabotage when it comes to work, try setting a goal of only working for one hour or getting through just 30 minutes before taking a break and then coming back later in the afternoon.
Know Your Triggers
Try to identify what your personal triggers are for sabotaging behaviors since this will help you avoid them in the future by knowing how to recognize them early on. For example, if someone knows they tend to get angry when their partner isn’t paying enough attention toward them during intimacy they might be more inclined to sabotage sex beforehand in order not feel rejected again at the moment which could lead down a spiral of self-sabotage.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Oftentimes people with codependent tendencies can be too hard on themselves and feel guilty or shameful for engaging in self-destructive behavior which only makes it more difficult to cope with the situation since they’re already predisposed toward feeling bad about themselves as it is. Instead, try to forgive yourself when these things happen so you don’t end up beating yourself up over them and making the problem worse than before since this will lead to anxiety which could trigger another episode of sabotaging behaviors down the line.
Be Accountable To Someone Else
If you find it difficult to manage your self-sabotaging behaviors on your own, try telling someone else about what’s going on so they can help keep you accountable. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone who you feel comfortable talking to and know how to handle these types of situations. Having someone there to support you will make it easier for you not only to stay accountable but also to get through any tough moments that may arise along the way.
In conclusion, self-sabotaging behaviors can be used to cope with pain and stress in a multitude of different ways. This might seem helpful at first but ultimately ends up being more harmful than healing in the long run. While it’s important not to feel bad about yourself. This is when these things happen. It is because this will only lead you down a spiral of self-destruction. Try to keep them under control by setting goals for yourself. This is so you don’t end up doing something drastic that could have lasting consequences on your life.
In addition, remember that while some situations may require serious intervention from others. These are such as family members or friends who are close enough to help support you through low moments without judgment there is nothing wrong with asking for their assistance when necessary. It is because they want to see you succeed just as much as you do. Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help if managing your self-sabotaging behaviors proves to be too difficult or overwhelming for you. It is this is what they’re trained to do and can offer a wealth of resources and support. This will make the entire process easier on you in the long run.
A Word From MantraCare
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.