When dealing with a bad guy, your requests, desires, and feelings have to play second to other things in his life. In the beginning, he will put his new gal in low priority as a test of her willingness to bend to his wishes, to see if she will cut herself out at her own expense and pain. Destructive men simply need their women to be a certain way, and in their search for the ones who are highly sentimental and highly empathetic-two of the biggie traits he needs you to have, he will absolutely test you to see if you have these traits, and to see how accessible they are.

If you allow yourself to be put second by his request, demand, or implication; if you respond with tolerance and empathy to a request that bumps you out of place or that you don’t agree with or like, your traits are automatically operating and he will see that you don’t know how to channel them to protect or save yourself. In this instance, he will see that you allow sentiment and empathy to rule your decisions, and he will continue his pursuit.

Men who value women and relationships make women and relationships a priority in their lives without being reminded to make them a priority, and without their partners battling for first place. Do not allow your traits of high sentimentality and high empathy to dictate your response to something that undermines yourself as a priority.

Instead, understand that these traits can alter your reactions and start to recognize when and why you want to give in to someone’s request at your expense. Quiet the voice in your head that tells you to comply, and reject the test-status of second place to see his response and correction, and watch what this does to the relationship momentum, his reactions, and the patterns. If he backs down, don’t assume he is the good guy just yet. The truth will be in how he reacts over a period of time, and in what change your stance brings about, if any. Pay attention to how long his compliance for your wishes lasts. You need to see if he values you for standing up for yourself outside of the moment that you do, or if it secretly annoys him and it creeps back in to conversation or behavior.

If, after you thought it was all resolved, he brings the subject up again, this says something. He may say you weren’t making much sense, or imply that you were over-reacting or misunderstanding, or he may say he didn’t understand what all that was about--these are all signs that you supporting yourself doesn’t gel with him, that you failed his bump-test, and he doesn’t like it.

In bringing up the issue after it is over and done with, he is testing you again for how you respond to his disapproval, rather than respecting the line you drew in the sand. The critical point here is that you spot this for what it is, another test, and react to it accordingly, by staying neutral and observing. Every interaction is giving him information on whether or not you are “worth” pursuing further for his gain. He wants to know if you are the type who is going to make it easy for him (react automatically from the trait) or not, and he is searching for what it takes to make you cave (your emotional trigger).

Your traits, your self-awareness, and your ability to be manipulated are under his microscope; focus on YOUR RESPONSE to what he says and does, and just let him do his thing. Stay focused on your awareness, perception, and approach to him, to keep him from building momentum. If he is a good guy, this won’t trouble him, he will value you for your backbone; if, however, you have a destructive guy on your hands, your stand will quietly bother him because he won’t be able to get any traction with you. He will soon disappear if he can’t break through your self-protective barrier. What a save.

Author's Bio: 

Teagin Maddox is a Certified Life and Relationship Coach empowering women to improve their lives after draining and destructive relationships. She reminds women to focus on their strengths and potential, and to see the opportunity in their relational adversities. She gets women to tap into their dormant power, creating remarkable transformations, and unshakable awareness. Her effect comes from what she makes women feel, not from what she reveals to them.

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