Updated: Nov 23
Do you recognise this fish? Pretty, isn't it? Just like many people who are dangerous to be in relationship with... alluring, attractive, sparkly, impressive, magnetic... and ultimately terrible for our wellbeing.
This is a betta fish, and if you put it with another betta fish, they will usually fight to the death.
You see, this fish was not built for connection. It was built to only care about being "top dog" and to be the only thing that can "win".
But it looks so lovely, hey?
Wouldn't it be pretty to fill up a tank with all the different colour betta fish? If you google the betta fish, there's some truly truly beautiful colours in existence.
That's the trap... we get fooled by the surface level of this betta fish, and, if you act on this surface level attraction and try to create connection with them, it will end with death.
Which is what it is like getting into relationship with a personality that has zero interest in reciprocal team work or being an equal with you.
Some people want to "win", "dominate", and be "top dog" at all costs.
They are not wired to want mutual connection with you...
and they're not going to change, because they get their favourite feelings out of feeling better and more powerful than you.
The tricky thing is, that because this archetype of person doesn't really care about connecting with you (and they see you simply as a tool to meet their needs of feeling superior, powerful, dominant),
their resulting non-needy energy can be sooooo magnetic... particularly to those with an anxious attachment style that need lots of reassurance and connections.
Trying to be in a relationship with this archetype of person will totally kick up your anxiety, have you questioning your self worth, have you feeling like you will never be enough for them, and have you feeling like it's their way or the highway.
In contrast, healthy love soothes your nervous system, makes you love yourself even more, and feels like a comfortable home where you can relax... it ultimately feels like the place you feel a sensation of relief and can "let go" and just be yourself.
So... if you come across the "magnetic" betta fish.. and abandon yourself, and try to meet all their needs, while they are indifferent to your needs getting met,
you're on a fast-track to depleting in self-worth and to feeling increasingly powerless, helpless & worthless.
That's why I am writing this blog... so that someone tells you this important life lesson:
not everyone was built for long-term, satisfying, reciprocal, secure connection.
This is such an important concept to accept in life, so that you don't waste too much of your time and energy trying to get blood out of a stone.
We can love these people, while realising that they are never going to be able to give us the connection, security, trust, emotional safety, reliability, peace or reassurance that we need for secure attachment.
So, if we want secure attachment, it's very important to move on, to let go of the need to try to win the love of people who don't have the capacity to provide you with secure attachment...
and to keep on swimming along to other fishies in the sea that are also seeking to create reciprocal, secure connection.
If you stick with a betta fish archetype of person, you will never transcend the "power struggle" stage of a relationship... because they don't want to transcend the power struggle... they get energy from the power struggle, it is enjoyable for them to be in a power struggle, they purposely create it...
because it allows them to feel a sense of control, power, domination and/or superiority over you.
This dance, this chasing of your tail in pursuit of mutual connection and mutual respect from someone who has no interest in creating that with you, will have your nervous system and health in tatters.
So, the key is to look for signs very early on (and ongoing) that the person you're interacting with, is interested in getting to know what you need, in meeting your needs, and in having a mutual exchange with you.
The red flags will show up fairly early with betta fish types... they will have a huge sense of entitlement, will get easily bored if they're not the centre of attention, will have a hard time listening to you or showing much interest in you, will be highly critical of you or other people around them, will be rude to people they perceive to be of lower status (i.e. staff, waiters etc), will say things that are offensive or insensitive to your feelings then fail to take accountability or validate your feelings if you try to raise it with them, they won't respect or value your time... they will have silent (very high or specific) expectations of you and others (invisible goal posts), and will generally have an air about them that they feel they are better, more special, superior or more important than you.
Sometimes we try to ignore these early warning signs because they are charming or fun or interesting or different etc... but it's worth remembering that trust is earned, and you ought to be on the lookout for green flags that secure attachment will be possible with someone i.e. reciprocation, an interest in you, responsive consistent communication, words matching actions, how they speak about other people in their lives, reliable, can communicate in an emotionally intelligent way that is respectful of you, honest, warm, caring etc.
Interdependence is the key to satisfying connection, and that requires two people willing to co-create mutually satisfying connection as equals and as a team... where both people in the relationship feel like they matter and are important.
If you're currently entangled in a dynamic where you feel hooked into an attraction with someone who ramps up your anxiety and who appears to think that their needs are more important than yours... you might like to book a free 1on1 strategy call with me to discuss the power of 1on1 coaching to help detox your life of these energy depleting relationships, and to support you in getting onto the path of true, real, satisfying love.
Relationships are about meeting your needs for connection and belonging, via an interdependent dance that also meets the other persons connection and belonging needs too.
It doesn't matter how shiny or pretty or impressive the "betta fish" person is... remember, it's deadly if it's not a team player.
With love & belief in you,
p.s. are you a betta fish?
If you know deep down in your heart that you actually just want to feel top of the hierarchy and superior to others... it might be worth letting go of the thought that you must have long term relationships in your life... they're likely to only be very damaging to other people. A "betta fish" archetype of person is best suited to brief casual flings with people, where there is clear, honest, up front communication that this is all that is on offer from you. We aren't all built for long term connections, and that's okay. The key is to know thyself, accept thyself, communicate transparently and honestly with those who interact with you to manage expectations... and to live a life that truly reflects who you are and what you value.
P.S. Time to finally get the love you want? Here are a few ways I can help you:
1. Follow me on instagram - it's the place I hang out the most online, let you know when new podcast episodes (for the "Love, with Elise Peck" podcast) have been published, and provide tips to get you real results in your love life (and we have some fun and laughs too!). Click here to follow my instagram account.
2. Tune into the "Love, with Elise Podcast" - enjoy listening along as I interview people with the love they want, to find out how they got that result. I weave in relationship insights, wisdom, practical tips and frameworks on how to get the love you want, as I interview relationship masters... so that you're learning while being immersed in listening to a love story... think of it as an "infotaining" way to learn how to get the love you want. I also interview other love experts and we gain their love tips too. Click here to listen to the podcast.
3. Join "The Love Elixir" - if you're ready to totally up-level your love life, to build a strong connection with yourself, to release and alchemise your inner love blocks, to figure out what has been blocking the love you want, to up-level your inner and outer love game, and to ignite your authentic attractive energy so that you become a magnet and match for the love you want... the The Love Elixir is for you. It's a consume-at-your-own-pace online video course, organised across 4 modules that address the 4 keys to getting the love (and marriage) you want (whether you're single or already coupled up), and includes personalised advice in a Q&A section where you can submit your personal questions and receive a personal response straight from me (Elise Peck). If you're ready to radically up level your love life, click here to get "The Love Elixir" now.