As any relationship expert can attest, no coupling is perfect, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a pairing that doesn’t have room to grow. However, if your partner consistently exhibits certain personality traits, rethinking the relationship may be in your best interest. Although some people are able to learn from their mistakes and become people as a result, others simply become more extreme versions of their worst qualities. So, if your partner embodies any of the following traits, giving the relationship a second look stands to save you a tremendous amount of time, energy and stress.

Consistent Belittlement 

Some people are so accustomed to belittling others that they don’t even realize when they’re doing it. In many cases, this stems from an upbringing that was rife with belittlement and downcutting. Regardless of the root cause, no one relishes being in a relationship with someone who belittles them at every opportunity. Belittlement can occur in response to personal accomplishments or shortcomings – or seemingly for no discernible reason. 

Many people who engage in this kind of behavior attempt to pass off belittlement as a joke. (Of course, at the same time, they’re not very amenable to people belittling them.) However, whether belittling remarks are intended as a joke is ultimately irrelevant. No one enjoys being belittled, and if a friend or partner engages in such behavior, make a point of letting them know how much it bothers you – because, again, some chronic belittlers are unaware of the effects their comments and observations have on others. If they make no effort to change after being made aware of your feelings, it’s likely in your best interest to rethink the relationship – at least until such time as they’re able to acknowledge their behavior and make genuine strides towards correcting it.  

Inability to Honor Plans 

We’ve all had to cancel plans at one point or another. More often than not, this is done as a result of circumstances that are completely out of control. However, some people seemingly possess an innate inability to honor plans. While this is sometimes the result of busy work schedules or pressing family obligations, certain individuals opt to cancel established plans because something better came along. 

In addition to being extremely considerate, such behavior is incredibly hurtful to the person being canceled on. Even if no offense is intended, this illustrates a clear lack of respect and suggests that you’re not particularly important to this individual. Again, everyone has been canceled on – or has had to cancel on someone – at some point. Still, if a close friend or partner regularly cancels on you for unclear or outright ridiculous reasons, it’s probably a good idea to have a long talk with them and/or reevaluate the relationship.     

A good therapist is likely to advise against entering relationships with people who have no respect for your time or feelings. Golden State residents in the market for relationship advice should start exploring options for online therapy California

The World Revolves Around Them 

Relationships, be they friendships or romantic partnerships, are a two-way street. Just as you’re expected to provide emotional support and various forms of assistance to friends and partners, they should be expected to reciprocate. Unfortunately, this can prove difficult when dealing with individuals who lack empathy for anyone but themselves. 

No human being is perfect, and all of us are guilty of acting in a self-centered manner at some point. However, when someone consistently proves themselves incapable of empathy despite expecting you to support them in their times of need, this is a clear indication of a one-sided relationship. No relationship can flourish when one party is the center of everything, and if you have any friends or partners who act in this fashion, take care to have a talk with them. As is the case with persistent belittlement, people who have trouble looking outside of themselves often don’t realize they’re engaging in selfish behavior.   

For many of us, relationships with others are what make life worth living. Forming lasting connections with other people can make people feel loved, accepted and deeply fulfilled. Of course, this isn’t to say that all relationships are equally beneficial. While some relationships can dramatically enrich one’s life, others can weigh heavily on mental health and pave the way for a host of problems. As such, it’s important to be wary of people who exhibit certain characteristics and personality traits. Doing so can help foster long-term mental health and help steer you towards healthier individuals – and relationships.