Checklist of Unhealthy Relationship Skills



1. Ways I try to control my partner

Yell Argue Use sarcasm
Criticize Lecture Raise my eyebrows
Say “Tsk Tsk” Explain Whine
Shake my head Become self-righteous Shrug my shoulders
Roll my eyes Blame Throw things
Get irritated Complain Tell my feelings
Accuse back Justify Withdraw angrily
Pout Judge Be a know-it-all
Become ill Flatter Interpret
Be sneaky, deceptive Interrogate Teach
Lie, withhold truth Deny Analyze
Therapize Talk them out of their feelings Nag
Be a nice guy/gal Push partner into therapy Give advice
Give gifts with strings attached Ask leading questions Change the subject
Take responsibility for others Scowl Interrupt
Moralize Bribery Get angry
Be short, curt Hit
Point things out without being asked Be indispensable

I use:

The silent treatment Blaming tears Disapproving looks
Temper tantrums Disapproving sighs “Poor me” tears
Put downs A superior attitude Abandonment

I use threats of:

Financial withdrawal Emotional withdrawal Exposure to others
Sexual withdrawal Illness Violence
Suicide Abandonment

2. Ways I use to shut down, withdraw or ignore my partner:

Work Pornography Reading
Drugs/Alcohol TV Sports
Hobbies Children Friends
Illness Food Sleep
Meditation Storytelling Fantasizing
Spending Money Worrying Daydreaming

3. Ways I comply when others try to control me:

I don’t ask for what I want. I don’t say anything.
I say it’s OK, when it’s not. I don’t express my opinion.
I agree with whatever others say I give up my own dreams and goals.
I go along with whatever people want me to do I give up what I want to do.
I don’t stand up for myself. I give away my power.
I postpone talking about problems I do things to please others and get confused about what I want.
I take the easy way out. I censor my wants and feelings.
I rescue others while ignoring my own needs. I second guess or anticipate what others want.
I downplay my needs. I give in for now, thinking I won’t have to next time.
I tell myself what I want isn’t important. I tell myself that giving in is no big deal.
I tell myself that what I want is wrong. I tell myself that it’s not worth the battle.
I tell myself that I don’t deserve it. I tell myself that it’s worth it to get them to shut up.
I tell myself that it’s better to give in than hurt their feelings.

4. Ways I rebel when someone tries to control me:

I say I’ll do what he/she wants and then I don’t do it. I do the opposite of what he/she wants.
I explain, defend or get mad. I say I’ll do it, then fail to show up.
I get make the other person wrong for asking. I procrastinate.
I act helpless or incompetent. I get sick.
I get apathetic. I give to pets or friends what the person asked of me
I am unable to understand. I bail at the last minute.
I do it, but only half-way. I do it wrong on purpose.
I find some way to sabotage. I pretend not to hear.
I’m not open to learning. I’m disinterested.
I won’t make a commitment.