6 Reasons Why You Push People Away and How to Stop Doing It

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Do you have the habit of pushing the people you love away even when you need them? Many people do this either knowingly or unknowingly to their partners in relationships, and sometimes to their family and friends as well.

This behavior can cause a lot of pain, insecurities, and misunderstandings for the person on the other end because they might blame themselves, thinking that the reasons why you are pushing them away have something to do with them. In most cases, they haven’t done anything that could be making you do it and it is all on you.

There are many reasons why someone could push others away even when they need them, including wanting to assert their independence or show their ability to handle their own problems.

If you usually do it but don’t know why you push away the people you love, you need to understand yourself first so that you can find ways to stop doing that.

In this post, we are discussing some of the reasons why you push people away even when you need them, and how to stop pushing people away.

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Why You Push People Away Even When You Need Them

  1. Past traumatic experiences

One of the main reasons why you push people away even when you need them could be related to things that happened in your past. It could be that you have lost people in the past that were very important to you, and you are pushing the people you love away as a way to detach yourself, so you don’t feel the same pain if they were to die or leave too.

Once bitten twice shy. Past abusive relationships could also make you wary of trusting others and opening up to them because this resulted in pain in the past.

You might push your partner away when you get into a new relationship as an act of self-preservation because you don’t want to endure the pain again.

READ ALSO: 10 Signs You Are Stuck in The Past, Why It Happens, and How to Let Go

  1. Fear of intimacy

Many people push others away because they fear intimacy or getting too close to another person and having to open up to them.

For instance, you might push someone away when a relationship starts to get serious because you know you are about to reach a point where you have to be open and vulnerable with each other.

It could be that you have secrets you would rather not share with anyone or you don’t want them to know the real you, so you shut down and keep your walls up.

READ ALSO: Why You Should Keep Your Personal Life Private (and How to Do It)

  1. Fear of rejection

Push them away before they push you away. Fear of rejection could be another reason why you push people away as a defense mechanism or even consciously.

If you ever opened up to someone before and your feelings were invalidated or dismissed, it could make you think twice about being open now for fear of rejection.

The end of a relationship can also make you insecure and feel rejected, especially if you were not the one who initiated the past breakup.

This fear of rejection can carry on into your new relationships affecting how you relate to your current partner because you are scared of getting hurt again.

You might push the people you love away by keeping your guard up during the entire relationship and not fully committing.

Most people won’t stay in a relationship where the effort or energy they use to maintain it is not reciprocated.

  1. Low sense of self-worth 

Why do I push people away even though I want to become close with them? If you ever asked yourself this question, a low sense of self-worth could be the reason.

Self-worth involves knowing your value and understanding that you are good enough and deserve good things in life, such as love, respect, and success.

Unfortunately, our sense of self-worth can be damaged by many things, including our upbringing, society, and past traumatic experiences. 

Having a low sense of self-worth can be the reason you push people away, especially in relationships, because you believe you don’t deserve their time or to be loved by them. Due to your insecurities, you might end up sabotaging these relationships.

Furthermore, if your sense of self-worth was ruined because of traumatic experiences such as sexual abuse, you may not have fully healed or moved on from that experience.

You could push people away because you feel ‘dirty’ or ‘damaged’, and thus you don’t feel worthy of their affection.

  1. You are too independent or controlling

It’s not bad to be independent. However, if it gets in the way of your relationships and family, your independence could be the reason you are pushing people away.

When you have been living alone for a long time or if you were raised to be independent, you can get so used to being by yourself and doing things for yourself that relying on another person becomes difficult.

You may push the people you love away unintentionally or intentionally because you don’t know how to depend on others or ask for help, or you just don’t want to because you are used to doing everything for yourself.

Being too independent can make you seem inconsiderate and self-centered, especially if you are always making decisions that could affect others without consulting them, or if you insist on things being done your way because you think you know best.

No one wants to be in a relationship or friendship where they feel like they are not valued and have no say on things; thus being too independent or controlling could be pushing the people you love away.

READ ALSO: How to Keep More Good Friends in Your Life

  1. Mental health issues

Mental health issues, such as depression and stress, can also be the reasons why you push people away even when you need them.

Some people may push the ones they love away when stressed or sad because they either don’t want to burden them or they want to deal with their problems in private.

If this happens when in a relationship or you are pushing away your family instead of asking for help, it can be detrimental to you and could lead to bigger problems if you keep bottling up your emotions.

It could also be the opposite. If you are stressed and taking it out on your loved ones by being irritable or violent, it might push them away, and make them leave or feel afraid to help you.

People suffering from depression tend to push their loved ones away and withdraw from social interactions, preferring solitude too. You could do it without consciously trying to, and you might not even know why you push people away when depressed.

It could start with you just not having the energy to engage with others, and without realizing it, you subconsciously pushed people away and isolated yourself. It could also be because you believe that other people don’t want you around when you are depressed and think you are bad company.

READ ALSO: Is It Depression or Just Laziness? How to Know the Difference

How to Stop Pushing People Away

  1. Stop ghosting others and keep the lines of communication with your loved ones open
  2. Learn to trust others and open up about your feelings
  3. Accept help when you are struggling
  4. Take time for self-reflection to understand your issues
  5. Learn how to boost your self-esteem and know your worth
  6. Face your fears of intimacy and rejection and fully commit to relationships
  7. Be authentic and let people know the real you
  8. Seek professional help if stressed or depressed

Are you pushing people away?

No man is an island, and we all need each other in this life. Since you now know some of the reasons why you push people away, you can use the above tips to stop doing it.

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  1. Right, no human is an island and needs company for all round growth. We all know it but still push people away for our reasons as covered by you. Fear of rejections and our past experiences often come in the way of our relationship development.
    Very well articulated.
    Stay blessed always

  2. Pushing people away is common and easily done. We often do this to avoid pain in the future although the outcome may be positive. We just need to be more confident in ourselves.

    1. At least you are aware that you do it and why, so you can work on changing that. Some people don’t usually realize it. Thank you so much for reading, Fadima!❤

  3. This was a really interesting read as I think we all do some form of this at some point in our lives or have been on the receiving end of being pushed away; with some people having this as a marked trait of how they deal with relationships (for reasons as you outlined so well in this post). It’s made me think of a few people I know who do this and got me reflecting on how I could have been more understanding at the time. Thank you for sharing — this is very valuable.

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