What are 6 common ways that you could sabotage the relationships around you through your behaviours and actions?

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Managing the relationships around you is not always an easy thing to do, but it is a necessary one if you are going to succeed in day-to-day life.

We hear a piece of advice, read something online, apply something we’ve read in a book, or try something new we’ve thought of, layering technique on top of technique, until we end up with a fruit salad of really bad communication habits.

So what common mistakes do people make that sabotage their relationships?

1. Thinking For Your Partner

This could also probably be labeled, ‘having the fight in your own head.’

You know what I mean, right? You’re upset with your partner and you start ‘venting’ or ‘practicing’ what it is you plan to say to him or her, and you end up having, and resolving, the fight inside your head — without any partner participation at all.

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Yes, you do feel better, but your partner has missed out on the benefit of the process, and you’ve substituted what you wanted to hear, your ideal responses, for what your partner would have actually said. Over time this leads to a lot of disappointment, because you’re remembering promises and agreements that were never actually reached in the relationship, only in your head.

2. Speaking For Your Partner

In the same vein as thinking for your partner, we have a tendency to compensate and speak for the other party, too.

You know how that goes: it starts with a thought like, “Okay, so he battles to ask for help and he sounds down and like he needs love. Let me stop what I’m doing and go and give him love so that he feels better.” Yes you’re fulfilling your purpose and being a good person, but you’re also teaching the other party that they don’t have to communicate their needs because you’ll always be able to see inside their heads.

Over time you will also become resentful that you always have to stop everything to look after this person’s needs, fostering anger and irritation in that relationship, even though it is you that is the catalyst: you’ve created your own obligation to stop what you’re doing and meet this person’s immediate emotional needs.

3. Looking After Your Needs

At the same time that you’re talking and thinking for your partner, you tend to carry the load for meeting your own needs within the relationship.

So instead of going to your partner or friend for help, you keep on carrying them emotionally, and you carry yourself — not allowing the other party to look after you at all.

You don’t ask for advice or assistance or let people know when you’re down or low because of two reasons: first you have created a habit of only relying on yourself, and second you expect people to be able to see and interpret for themselves that you are low. It’s what you do, after all.

4. Compromising Your Needs

Once the emotional load of the relationship, the other person, and your own stuff becomes too much, you compromise on the easiest place to compromise – yourself.

In order to save time you only focus on the relationship and your partner or friend, neglecting your needs and ignoring your system. Over time you forget all these small compromises and you just feel the heaviness of the burden. This usually vents in an explosion of, “Nobody cares about me or my needs.”

The sad truth is that it’s us who always compromise our own needs.

5. Not Expressing Yourself

A long-term effect of compromising your needs is that you stop expressing your needs altogether.

It’s like manifestation; in order to get what you want from the Universe, you have tell the Universe what it is that you want and focus on it intently. So many of us feel that our needs aren’t met in relationships, and yet equally as many of us are guilty of not telling people what we want, or what is going on with us.

6. Breaking Your Boundaries

The last unhealthy behaviour that people commonly exhibit in relationships has to do with boundaries.

When we’re pressed to do something that bothers us, our DIY programming kicks in and we have the fight in our own head – most often choosing to cross the boundary internally on our own. Do this enough times and you’ll feel like you’ve walked miles for the other party’s benefit, while they have absolutely no inkling of the level of sacrifice you’ve made for them.

Finally, boundary breaking leads to anger: anger at myself because I’ve crossed my own internal boundaries, or anger at another that has crossed my boundaries. Each time you allow your boundaries to be crossed, another little bit of unexpressed anger builds up. Over time this accumulates exponentially and you end up feeling furious with the person and hating them for walking all over you.


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