Remind yourself that your triggers are valid and worth respecting. If people constantly trigger you — especially intentionally or neglectfully — feel free to spend less time with them or use “I statements” to have a conversation about your concerns and needs.,Having someone protect us can feel romantic, especially after so many movies have portrayed similar situations that way. While self-defense or defending someone else may require strong emotional or physical acts, it shouldn’t require more than is necessary to get away to emotional or physical safety. The purpose and intended result should be your safety, not someone else’s harm.,Not everyone was born to be a therapist, and we shouldn’t expect therapy from people who aren’t our therapists. However, you do deserve someone who genuinely cares about you and wants to support you. People may make excuses about why they can’t help you, but ultimately, you should be fulfilled. In my opinion, people need to do what they can to love you well, and their authentic attempt to affirm and care for you should be clear and encouraging.,Not everyone will like you or people you’re in a relationship with. We can’t like everyone, and everyone can’t like us. However, sometimes our loved ones can see unhealthy signs in relationships that we can’t because we’re (understandably) wearing rose-colored glasses.,Note when you feel like someone is using you or stringing you along while showing no genuine compassion. Know you deserve consistency in relationships and people who treat you well. Don’t feel you have to keep up the relationship or that you’re responsible for its fall.,People reaching out when they feel like they’re losing you can seem fair, but it can also be a sign of “breadcrumbing,” as mentioned above. You deserve love and attention consistently, not only when you realize you want better. Love and attention shouldn’t be used to confuse you, but to affirm you.,When you have a goal, you stick to your plan. You don’t let external factors and instant gratifications sway you. You take your time to get to know your romantic prospects, and you assess them holistically and thoughtfully before making the next steps.,Remember that you aren’t needy for having needs and that people should respect that. Focus on relationships that fulfill you and make you feel good, and try to not worry or feel guilty about others.,Listen to your loved ones’ concerns and try to not shoot them down too quickly. Do your best to be honest with yourself, even when you have to come to hard realizations. If you or a loved one has a gut feeling that you need to let the relationship go, you may want to do so.,Try to focus your emotional energy on people who can replenish it, not people who strip it away. While not every relationship is perfect, your relationships should fill you up at least most of the time and feel equal. People tend to show us what they can give, so we want to be careful to not self-betray by not listening to those signs.,When people want to be with us all the time and show lots of interest, it can feel encouraging and esteem-boosting. New relationships especially are exciting and can make us want to spend extra time with people. However, people should also respect your boundaries, hobbies and other relationships. They should allow you to be an independent person and not limit you or force you to do anything you don’t want to do.,Having more than one interest or relationship in your life is okay and even important. Don’t feel guilty about that. If people can’t respect that, it’s more than okay to let go. Be aware of what’s not love, but enmeshment. Further, be especially careful if you’re experiencing this sign because it can be a hallmark sign of abuse. For more information and resources, see here.,We all make mistakes and have slips, and triggers can sometimes be more random or less common than others. However, I believe that people should make a legitimate effort to avoid triggering you and to keep your triggers in the back of their minds. They should apologize when they slip up and ask how they can support you after. They should never guilt you for having triggers or for feeling triggered.,We all have different needs in relationships, and they’re all worth respecting. While someone who can’t meet those needs or doesn’t at least try to may not be doing so maliciously, focusing too much on that relationship can be a waste of time. You will find people who can meet your needs.,Check in with yourself and listen to yellow flags. Do they come across as violent and angry? Did you feel more or less safe when they helped protect you? If you ever feel unsafe, please use these resources or similar ones.