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Protest Behaviors ‒ Unhealthy Ways We Try To Win Back Love & Attention

Written by: Dr. Sydney Ceruto, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Protest behaviors are often employed by individuals as an attempt to regain love and attention from their partners. These behaviors can arise from feelings of insecurity, abandonment, and a lack of self-worth. The main goal of protest behaviors is to seek validation from the partner by engaging in negative or unhealthy behaviors.

Some examples of these behaviors include:

  • Criticizing or blaming your partner for your own unhappiness

  • Withdrawing emotionally or physically from the relationship

  • Threatening to end the relationship

  • Acting distant or cold towards your partner

  • Engaging in excessive jealousy or possessiveness

While protest behaviors may initially provide temporary relief or validation, they can have negative impacts on relationships and mental health in the long run.

Why Are Protest Behaviors Unhealthy?

Protest behaviors create a cycle of insecurity and resentment in the relationship, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust. These behaviors can result in partners feeling hurt, resentful, or angry towards each other, and ultimately, cause the relationship to deteriorate. Engaging in protest behaviors can also lead to negative impacts on mental health. These negative emotions can cause anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which can lead to physical health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

How to Move Towards Healthy Relationships

Breaking the cycle of protest behaviors is essential for building healthy and fulfilling relationships.

Here are some strategies that can help you move towards a healthier relationship:

Identify the Root Cause

It is essential to identify the underlying cause of your protest behaviors. Are you feeling insecure, neglected, or unloved? Understanding the root cause can help you find healthier ways of dealing with your emotions.

Practice Self-Care

Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Self-care can include exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing hobbies that you enjoy.

Communicate Openly

Open and honest communication is essential for building a healthy relationship. Express your feelings and needs in a constructive and non-blaming way. Listen to your partner's concerns and work together to find solutions.

Seek Professional Help

Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor can be beneficial in identifying and addressing underlying issues contributing to your protest behaviors.

Set Boundaries: Setting boundaries is essential for building healthy relationships. It is essential to establish clear expectations for the relationship and to set limits on unhealthy behaviors.


Protest behaviors are unhealthy ways of trying to regain love and attention from partners. While these behaviors may provide temporary relief, they ultimately lead to negative impacts on relationships and mental health.

It is essential to break the cycle of protest behaviors by identifying the root cause, practicing self-care, open communication, seeking professional help, and setting boundaries. By adopting these strategies, individuals can move towards healthy and fulfilling relationships.

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Dr. Sydney Ceruto, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Sydney Ceruto has completed her doctoral education in the field of Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience & is a leading specialist in using your brains natural ability to change neuroplasticity to ensure you reach your desired goals. Her specialty is in helping clients recognize their faulty thinking patterns, change undesirable behaviors, developmental & emotional resiliency, & gain mental clarity.

When Dr. Ceruto was a teenager, she tragically lost both parents. As an only child, the loss of family completely broke her. She became profoundly depressed & began suffering from chronic anxiety. Sydney felt lost, & any form of happiness, confidence, or clarity seemed a long way off. Soon after, she began to pursue her education in medicine at Yale & obtained three masters in psychology & two Ph.D.’s in both cognitive & behavioral neuroscience at NYU. Studying the mind-brain connection was indeed the paradigm for her healing & growth. Dr. Sydney Ceruto created MindLAB Neuroscience over two decades ago. She pioneered an integrative approach based on hard science that has genuinely changed the way people make positive &, more importantly, permanent changes in all areas of their lives. Her program is highly venerated & has debunked all the myths regarding the efficacy of “traditional therapy” & the sad misnomer that you need to be on a counselor’s couch for years or even decades. Several publications have Dr. Sydney Ceruto on staff as a senior writer. She is a proud member of the Forbes Executive Council, Positive Performance Alliance, Wharton Executive Education Program, and Executive Writer for Alternatives Watch and Brainz Magazine. She has an avid intellect, a keen understanding of human nature, & an uncanny ability to connect deeply with clients. Dr. Ceruto is hands-on, accessible, highly intuitive, compassionate & is told … pretty funny!

One of her passions is traveling, which she has done extensively. Dr. Ceruto is an avid sports enthusiast and watches everything from football to Formula 1 racing. She plays golf whenever she can and enjoys exploring other cultures. Dr. Ceruto has one son who graduated from Princeton University and is studying to become a corporate attorney. She also has an affinity for animals and is an adoring mom to her 1.5-pound Micro Cuban Chihuahua, Lolita.


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