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Why Do I Push People Away? The Real Reasons Why You Always Do This

Do you often sit and wonder ‘why do I push people away?’ It’s normal sometimes, but when it’s regular, you need to face your issues. 

why do i push people away

We’re all surrounded by constant noise, demands, and pressures. It’s no wonder that occasionally you want to retreat into your shell and hide away from the world. It’s quite normal to feel this way. However, if you feel it on a regular basis, there might be a deeper reason. If you often sit and wonder ‘why do I push people away?’ it’s time to delve into the question for clear answers and helpful tools.

For instance, many people often feel overwhelmed when they’ve spent time in crowds. They go home drained and want to hide away for the rest of the evening and recharge their batteries with a little Netflix. This is probably something many people understand. [Read: Signs of anxiety – How to read the signs ASAP and handle them better]

However, it is different if you feel like you want to hide yourself away all the time. If that’s the case, you could be suffering from depression or a general low mood.

Sometimes we push people away because we want the other person to run after us and lavish attention upon us – it rarely works. Usually, we end up pushing them away, only for them to take the hint and actually leave us alone.

Talk about backfiring!

Why regularly pushing people away is problematic

While it’s fine to want to retreat into your own space for a short while and not want to socialize, it’s a problem when you do it regularly. We’re not supposed to live this life alone. Humans are sociable beings and we need others around us to support us and pick us up when we’re down. Of course, in turn, we do this for other people too.

If you’re constantly isolating yourself away from others and all you want to do is hide away, ask yourself why you do this – why do I push people away? What reason can you think of?

We’re going to delve into some potential reasons shortly but do a little pre-soul searching and see if anything obvious pops up.

When you go through hard times, you need people around you. You might think you can handle everything alone but you shouldn’t have to.

Life is far more enjoyable with a support system around you and if you’re always pushing people away, you’re not giving yourself the chance to understand that point. [Read: Asocial vs antisocial – The similarities end with the name]

Why do I push people away? The common reasons why

Your reason for pushing people away is personal to you, but there are a few common reasons too. By asking yourself “why do I push people away,” you can identify what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

This isn’t a healthy habit to have, despite the fact that we all do it from time to time. Perhaps by doing a little deep thinking, you can identify a healthier way to handle situations that arise. [Read: 15 signs you’re the one pushing people away and what you can do about it]

1. You’ve had past negative experience

It’s normal to try and protect yourself if you’ve had negative experiences in the past. For example, in a romantic situation, you might push someone away from you despite the fact you really like them.

Someone getting close to you triggers the fear of being hurt again, especially if in the past you were badly taken advantage of or cheated on by a partner.

The only way to deal with this problem is slowly and carefully. Take your time, let the person in your life know that you’re dealing with past baggage if needed, and give yourself credit for attempting to get back out there.

It might feel like a risk, and you probably want to run away and hide, but not everyone is the same as those you met in your past. [Read: How to trust again and give someone your heart when you’re scared]

2. You feel like you’re becoming a burden

You might wonder why this is on the list, but you’d be surprised how often it actually crops up. If you have particularly low self-esteem, you’re likely to feel like you’re not worthy of the time and attention of other people. In this case, you withdraw from situations or push people away, because you don’t want to burden them.

You are not a burden. You are more than worth the time and attention of everyone in your life. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be around you!

If you’re asking yourself ‘why do I push people away’ and this is your identified reason why, focus on your self-confidence and self-worth as a first port of call. [Read: 18 tips to start building self-esteem and winning in life]

3. You want someone’s attention

Many people can hold their hands up for this one – we’ve all done it! Sometimes, we push people away because we want them to prove to us that they want to be in our lives. It’s a dangerous game because it often backfires. Nobody is a mindreader.

In this case, focus on being more open and honest with your feelings and communicating them to the person in your life. By doing this, you won’t have to play games and risk them walking out of your life for good. [Read: People always leave you? Stop self-sabotaging your relationships]

4. You lack energy

If you’ve been through a particularly tough time, it’s normal to feel emotionally drained. In that case, you might push people away from you because you just can’t be bothered to deal with them or the associated drama they might bring.

In this case, give yourself time to handle whatever is causing you to feel that way. Rest up a little. Once you’re feeling better, you’ll notice your tolerance and energy levels increase. [Read: Am I a bad friend? The bad friendship skills that push people away]

5. You don’t want these people in your life

It could be that you’re deliberately pushing people away from you because you just don’t want them in your life.

There are better ways to handle this situation, perhaps a clean break or a better level of communication is needed. Simply pushing people away from you can cause confusion and emotional upset on their part. Regardless of why you don’t want them in your life, nobody really deserves to feel that way.

6. You’re particularly stressed out

Apart from lack of energy, sometimes we push people away from us because we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. We have no clue how to deal with the situation.

As a result, we hide in our own shells to ride out the storm. However, it’s probably far better to seek help from other people. They might actually be able to support you through a difficult time. [Read: Really quick stress busters to help clear your mind]

7. You’re suffering from possible depression

If ‘why do I push people away’ is something you often wonder and you can honestly say that you’re feeling low and unsure of why, there is a possibility that you might be suffering from depression.

If you believe this to be the case, go for a chat with your doctor. You do not need to feel this way. There is a lot of help and support out there. This is not something you should deal with alone and certainly not something you should simply live with. [Read: Why we need to breakdown the stigma of mental illness]

Start welcoming people into your life, not pushing them away

In many cases, we push people away from us because we want to see if they care enough to come back. It’s certainly something many people have done and then wished they hadn’t.

This type of reverse psychology rarely goes the way we expect it to. Nobody else thinks in the same way as you. We’re all unique, and we all interpret actions and words slightly differently.

Be honest and stop pushing well-meaning people away from you. Life is about relationships and connections!

[Read: How to get closer to someone – 15 traits that bring people closer to you]

Wondering ‘why do I push people away’, is quite common. But understanding the reasons why can be quite complex. It’s time to do a little soul searching.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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