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Relationship Killers-Eliminating Habits That Kill Relationships

Updated on April 27, 2014

Ways we kill others on the inside

We all want those amazing relationships that we dream of, but often can be guilty of killing those relationships by pushing the other person away or doing things that kill them on the inside and cause them to pull away and become distant. following are ways that we kill others on the inside thus ultimately killing the relationship:

Constant Negativity

I put this one first because it's the one that most people complain about. When we are constantly, or at least regularly, putting down the other person, exposing their faults or in some way being a dark cloud then we can expect them to feel unloved. It is not loving to put another person down. It is not loving to constantly be on someone's case about their faults. When we do things like this it causes the other person to feel hurt, resentful, empty and frustrated. They feel worthless. And when someone feels worthless, then they begin to react in ways that are not normal for them. They may not talk to you as much, not laugh as much as they used to, or simply start avoiding you. Often we then begin to blame them and become even more negative towards them when all they are doing is reacting to our constant negativity. So, we must look at ourselves as the one creating the hostile situation.

No air to breathe

Have you ever been around someone who made you feel smothered. It's like you can't ever have time to yourself and get a chance to catch your breath. If we do this to others, then it becomes a relationship killer. We all need down time and alone time to refresh and renew our minds. But if we have someone who can't let us have that then we become resentful and more determined to push that person away because we are aware of the need for down time. Don't allow someone you love to have alone time and you are sure to kill the relationship.

One way road

Another relationship killer is when the relationship is a one way road. That is, everything has to always go one persons way. If it doesn't then they throw fits or in some other way make you pay the price for wanting to do something that you want. What happens when we have a one way road in a relationship is that the other person looks for the road out.


To have a healthy relationship we have to have balance. What I'm thinking of specifically is the balance between seriousness and fun. There is a time to be serious and a time to have fun. Some are either serious all the time or just want fun all the time. Neither is a reality in life. You must have moments of seriousness, such as when a loved one dies or when you need to work or do something important. But you also need fun times of just acting like a kid and being silly and crazy for a few minutes. There is nothing wrong with either. But many people are all one way or the other. This will kill a relationship. Any type of unbalance like this will kill a relationship. If it is serious all the time then darkness sets in. If it is fun all the time, then nothing important gets talked about or accomplished.


There are so many things that grab our attention and side track us. It is so easy to not listen or to simply ignore the other person. This makes the other person feel unimportant and drives a wedge in the relationship. Clearing our mind of racing thoughts is a difficult task, but we must do it to let the other person know that they matter.

Creating a Living Relationship

So, we have seen how to kill a relationship. Now let's look at ways to create a relationship that is alive:

Positive Reinforcement

Psychologists tell us that it takes ten positive words of affirmation to overcome one word of negativity. It is important to build the other person up. Our words should inspire the other person. When we speak to them, it should be a breath of fresh air. This world has enough darkness and negativity. It is refreshing to be around a person that builds you up and breathes life into you. Make it a habit to expose other people's strengths. Let them know that you are proud of them. Build them up. Cheer them on.

I want to caution you that there is a time to show someone their faults if it is destroying them. Sometimes we all need called out in a gentle way for our sins. But we need to choose our battles. We all have weaknesses, but those weaknesses don't always have to be exposed. In reality people know their own weaknesses and don't need to be reminded of them.

So, positive reinforcement will breathe life in the other person and new life will be breathed into the relationship.

Be a Safe Place

The people we run to when we need someone are the people we feel safe with. We know that those people will not judge us or put us down in some way. We feel safe with them. We feel free to be ourselves, to share our desires- good or bad, and to vent if we need to. They are a sanctuary and we always walk away feeling refreshed because of them. Are you that safe place? Are you someone people can trust to not judge them, but rather to help them gently keep going?

Be Fun

Don't be afraid to let go and have fun and be a fun person to be around. Let down your guard. Don't be a rain on everyone's parade. Act like a kid. Don't be afraid what others think about your silliness. What you will find is that people will be drawn to you. People enjoy being around a person who makes them laugh and reminds them to enjoy life for a moment.

Be engaged

This is becoming more difficult to do in our crazy world, but learn to stop and engage with the person in front of you. Native Americans can teach us much on this. A Native friend of mind tells me that the most important person is the one in front of you. Listen to them. Clear your mind. Let them know that they are important. Engage with them.


We all enjoy being in relationships that are full of life. We dream about it and spend our time with the ones we have. We focus on the people who bring life to us. I encourage you as you read this to think of ways that you can bring life to others. Think about the ideas listed. I encourage you to think of other relationship killers that weren't mentioned and see if you are guilty of any of them so that you can weed them out. Take time each day to think of ways you can breath life into others and make their day better because you were part of it.


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