• Michelle Zunter

4 Ways You’re Ruining Your Relationships — And How to Fix it

1. Expectations

No matter how old you are, you have expectations. You may expect a swashbuckling knight in shining armor in romantic relationships because you read too many romance novels, or you may expect a friend who is loyal to the absolute death because that’s how you are.

These kinds of expectations are part of the preconceived ideas we all have and they’re usually based on our past experiences.

If you’re the type of person who is fiercely loyal or who gives everything they’ve got to a relationship, then most likely you’re going to expect the same from another person. That’s mainly because we’re all used to our own way of thinking and for some of us, it’s hard to relate to something different.

Many of us, when faced with a relationship where the other person doesn’t meet our standards or expectations, will immediately decide that the person in question simply isn’t good enough and couldn’t possibly meet our needs. We often dismiss them instantly. This is especially true of romantic relationships.

How do you suppose that makes the other person feel? They have their own set of expectations based on their experiences too.

This would be where communication, compassion, and compromise come into play.

Communicate your expectations to the people you want to have relationships with. Let them know about issues that are difficult for you to deal with.

Have compassion. Everyone is dealing with something and every person has their own take on how a relationship should work. Understand other people have feelings too — not just you.

And lastly — compromise. You can’t have compromise without compassion. Unless you’re able to get to another person’s level and see the world from their perspective, you won’t be able to compromise on anything. It doesn’t have to be a massive compromise but it can be something small like agreeing to be more organized, or saying you’ll call more often.

Assuming anyone can read your mind is not only lazy communication but another mode of relationship sabotage.

2. Pride

Pride in relationships is the silent killer. This is because it’s pride that causes people to never call back after that terrible fight, or to simply disappear on someone when they don’t act in a way that’s expected. Having too much pride in relationships causes a complete shutdown of the whole system.

Pride can be defined as: A feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people. A feeling that you are more important or better than other people

Of course, these are not the only definitions of pride but it’s these forms of pride that we use most to ruin our relationships.

When people say, “swallow your pride,” they mean it.

Pride is the thing that keeps you from speaking when you should, apologizing when you should, and from communicating your needs when you should.

Pride is definitely difficult to subdue but in order to continue having healthy relationships with the people around you, it’s got to go down.

There’s nothing wrong with having a sense of pride in your career, accomplishments, or in any other aspect of your life, but when it prevents you from loving people, communicating with people, or showing compassion, it has to be shut down.

If more people picked up the phone to apologize or even just admitted they were wrong once in a while, their ability to ruin relationships would be significantly diminished.

3. Insecurities

This is probably the most commonly known and talked about way in which people ruin their relationships. Whether it’s a relationship with your mother, father, siblings, friends, mate, or potential mate, insecurity is the quickest way to stunt further progress.

We are all (mostly) insecure beings. We worry about the way we look, the way we act, what we say, and so on. When we engage in relationships with others, we tend to be preoccupied with how they may see us and if they think we are worthy of their love.

This is a stark contradiction to how we judge others with our expectations and standards. Often times, intensely insecure people dismiss others quickly in order to protect themselves from potential rejection.

It makes little sense logically but most of us function on an emotional level in relationships that isn’t always rational.

Of course, jealousy is usually a frequent guest to the insecurity party. It’s not only romantic relationships that suffer jealousy. It can haunt relationships with siblings, parents, children, and friends.

With the invention of social media and everyone’s lives and best moments on display, there’s a lot more pressure on people to feel as though they should have perfect, harmonious relationships.

Even though many of us know the “perfect” relationship doesn’t exist, on sites like Facebook, it can be depressing to see other people having these supposedly wonderful lives with their loved ones or spouses if you’re not experiencing it yourself.

This kind of social media envy also adds fuel to the fire of irrationally high expectations that people have about what their relationships should look like.

4. Priorities

Having functioning relationships are important to a healthy lifestyle. Making time for those relationships is necessary for evolving them forward.

It’s true that really great friendships or family bonds can stand the test of distance for quite some time. But showing those you care about and who care about you that you’re willing to make time to talk to them is part of the give and take process.

Even if you’re unable to physically see the people in question, you can call, write, e-mail, text, or even do screen time with them online.

There’s a vast ocean of ways to communicate to people these days. In fact, it’s become very hard to stay off the grid with so much communication technology.

So, when it comes to friendships, romance, or family, keep in mind that all of those relationships need consideration. If you let them languish for too long because you feel you have better things to do, or that you don’t have time to listen to people’s problems, then you’re in a sense, ruining those relationships.

We all have things in our lives that keep us busy. But, at the end of the day, when those really important things you had to do come to an end — it’s a great feeling to have people in your life to talk to.

Checking in with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, parents, siblings, friends — even for a short amount of time — shows you value them. If you can’t make it to a social function, call them and let them know. Keeping the lines of communication going boost relationships more than people realize.

Do whatever it takes to keep the conversation flowing between you and the people you want to have relationships with. In turn, they should hopefully respond the same to you.

Ruining relationships is actually pretty easy. It’s nourishing and maintaining those relationships that takes the real effort.

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