Ten Easy Ways To Destroy Any Relationship
What is the Real Question?
The real question asked by so many people in relationships, is, "How do I get my partner to see things from my perspective?"
The answer is simple. You can't. You cannot change anyone's perspective but your own. You can't change anyone's mind, but your own. You can't control anyone, but yourself. That's it. So begin by changing your own mind. See if you can look at your relationship differently.
There seems to be a lack of reasonable communication in relationships, among other problems. The truth of the matter is, if you can't communicate then you will never be satisfied in your relationship.
Here are the ten most common mistakes people make in relationship, and the ten biggest barriers to real communication.
What Do I Do?
I receive many messages, regarding two of my most popular articles,
I received the following comments in an email recently, and rather than answer the writer directly, I thought it would be helpful to create a blog response to help others in this or similar situations.
Here is the question, as asked by Robert:
Soooo. My wife sent me your post about 10 ways to lose your wife. I told her I could write the same thing and flip it around for guys. Now she is crying and says I need to love her. I said I am trying. She says I don't need you to try. I need you to do. At that point I am just done. Not sure where to go with someone who wants to try to use High School Drama Movie Scenes to argue back. 66X-X22-2X2X is a number you can text me at. I never check my email.
10. Focus entirely on yourself. One of the easiest ways to destroy any relationship is to focus entirely on yourself. In recent times, it has become fashionable to talk about taking care of yourself first, of looking out for your own needs, and making sure you put your own priorities first.
This is a great idea, if you want to be alone. Successful relationships require some degree of self sacrifice. It is important to take care of yourself. But it is equally important to spend time taking care of your partner's needs. Focusing on only one or the other will surely result in an imbalance of energy.
When you focus solely on your needs, then your partner can feel alone, abandoned, and unimportant. Instead of giving yourself all of your time and attention, make sure you spend some time making your partner feel loved, important and cherished. In relationships, people want to feel safe and cared for. They don't want to feel abandoned and forgotten.
Focus on Faults
9. Point out everything they do wrong. Another way to quickly destroy a relationship is to look for all the things your partner does wrong. Once you find their faults, be sure to point them out. The more times you can bring their mistakes to their attention, the more likely you are to ruin your relationship, whether it is a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a business relationship.
Everyone makes mistakes. You are not perfect. If you are busy pointing out everyone else's flaws, you probably don't have time to notice your own mistakes. Instead of looking for what's wrong in a relationship, focus on what is working. In addition, take care of your own problems before you begin pointing out someone else's weaknesses.
If you are unhappy and your partner seems to be making you miserable, maybe you could shift your perspective. Focus on what they do right. Stop focusing on the wrongs. Give your partner and yourself a break, and work on yourself for a while.
Stop Talking and Listen
8. Don't pay attention. When your partner talks, do your eyes glaze over? When he opens his mouth to talk about work, do you begin fantasizing about the beach? When she starts a discussion of what happened to the kids at playgroup, does your mind wander to fantasy football?
Listening is the most important part of communication, and when you don't listen, you erode your relationship. Listen without judging. Listen without thinking about the perfect response. Give your partner your full attention, if even for only a few minutes. Look at them while they speak. Try to empathize with what they are saying, even if you don't understand what they are talking about. Even if you don't agree with what your partner is saying, try to listen openly. Don't begin preparing for an argument, instead, try to hear what they are really saying.
If you want to salvage what is left of your relationship, spend some time listening to your partner and finding out what is important in their world.
7. Don't share yourself. This is the opposite of the previous mistake, but it is equally destructive to keep silent, as much as it is to not listen. Listening and speaking your truth are both keys to effective communication.
When you speak your truth, not only do you honor yourself, but you honor the other person. Whether it is your boss, a coworker, a friend or a romantic partner, you have to learn to speak up. Hiding your feelings, not expressing your needs and ignoring hurts will not make you a better person.
When you don't speak up, you create resentment and frustration for yourself. In addition, you prevent your partner from addressing your grievances. How can he or she help you if they don't even know there is a problem? How can you expect things to be different if you don't speak up?
To effectively destroy a relationship, keep everything bottled up inside. Don't share your feelings, your opinions or your thoughts. If you really want to sabotage your relationship, then find someone else to confide in, and begin sharing yourself with them. This is the fastest way to destroy a relationship.
How well do you communicate?
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Martyr, Pout and Whine
6. Put yourself last, and complain loudly about how no one takes care of you. There is nothing worse for a relationship than whining, complaining, pouting and acting like a martyr. If you want to do something nice, then do it. But don't complain about it later. The complaining and whining negates every nice thing you do.
Trying to make those around you feel bad or guilty for the nice things you do won't strengthen your relationship. Your pouting and complaining only embitters your partner. If you want to do something for your friend or your partner, then do it. Do it without any expectation of their reaction. Do it for you. If you put conditions on your kindness, then perhaps you should rethink your own motives.
It all comes back to effective communication. If you want to do something, then do it, without expectation of the other person's response or reaction. If you don't want to do something, then speak up. Don't do it. Martyr's find themselves doing things they don't want to do, and then complaining bitterly about it. Just be honest about what you actually want.
It Is Not Always About You
5. Quit Taking It Personally. Taking things personally leads to destruction in a relationship. Not everything is about you. What your partner says and does is about them. It is not about you. When you make everything about yourself, you give your power away. You choose to be a victim, and the other person, whether they want it or not, gains control.
Stop it! Let it go. It is not about you. You do you. Let him do him. Let her do her. What other people say and do is a reflection of who they are. It has nothing to do with who you are. This is a difficult lesson, to be sure, but it is important to remember. It is not about you.
What Did My Mom Say?
4. Put everyone else ahead of your partner. When you are in a relationship, it is important to value the input of your partner. You don't have to agree with everything they say, but you do have to value their opinion and trust them.
When you put the opinion of your parents, your friends, or anyone else before your partner, you are setting your relationship up for disaster. You run around seeking everyone's opinion, without listening to what your partner needs; when you do this, your partner feels unneeded, unnecessary, and unvalued.
People want to feel valuable, respected, and understood. If you disagree with your partner, then go to your mom to get approval for your side of the argument, then you are undermining your relationship. It's okay to get other opinions. It's okay to talk to other people. What causes damage is taking those opinions and presenting them as more important that what your partner wants.
You can respectfully disagree with your partner. But throwing things in his or her face like, "Well, my mom said you're an idiot and I never should have married you," is damaging. Even if your mom did say that, you don't need to throw it into the mix. It will only cause problems and make everyone uncomfortable.
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
3. Don't tell the truth. You might think you are sparing someone's feelings. You might think the truth is hard to hear. You might think a lie will keep you out of trouble. Whatever you're thinking when you lie, you are wrong.
You owe it to yourself and to your partner to tell the truth. If you can't tell the truth, then perhaps you should be doing something else. If you can't be honest with yourself and your partner, then what is the point of being in a relationship?
Sure, people tell little white lies, to spare other's feelings. "No honey, those pants look great on you." Or, "I didn't spend any money shopping." The truth is better than trying to remember which lies you told.
Lying in any relationship serves no purpose. If you can't tell the truth, then get out of the relationship. No one wants to be lied to.
2. Bring drama into every situation. No one likes drama. Sure, sometimes life is hard, but you can deal with what comes along, without playing games and adding a bunch of dramatic nonsense.
Maybe you don't know what drama looks like. Here's the basics: Crying, screaming, name calling, throwing things, breaking things, calling your friends, her friends, his friends, or family members and talking badly about your partner, seeking attention by throwing a fit, or just plain acting badly. It's all drama. News Flash! No one likes it. And to honest, if you are a drama queen, you probably don't like it either. Sure, you get some attention, but are the negative repercussions really worth the commotion?
Don't Show Up
1. Don't bring your best self into the relationship. The biggest thing you can do to destroy a relationship is nothing at all. Don't show up. Don't do your best. Don't care.
If you really want to be in a relationship, whether you are working, loving, or playing, then act like it. Show up with your "A" Game. Do what needs to be done. You know what it takes to do your best, so just do it.
Stop making excuses. Stop denying your truth. Stop playing the game half-way. Show up and do your best. Everyone gets tired. Everyone gets bored. Everyone wants something new. Show up and bring the excitement, the fun, the challenge with you.
Do the things you know need to be done. Be kind. Be helpful. Be loving. These are simple ways to show up to your life. Do the things that make your heart sing, and bring joy to your relationship.
Show up. Just do it.