Relationships. Whether they’re romantic partnerships, friendships,
or family ties, we often end up sabotaging these relationships in a variety of
This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t want to
have these relationships. In fact, in most cases we want them to succeed very
much. But there’s something about getting involved in the nitty-gritty of deep,
meaningful relationships that can sometimes bring out the sabotage monster in all of
Here are 5 ways you may be sabotaging your relationships:
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
experience, or on how we ourselves behave.
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 people you want to
have relationships with. Let them know about issues that are difficult for you
to deal with.
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
And lastly, is 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
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
“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.”
Of course, these are not the only definitions
of pride, but it’s these forms of pride that we use most to sabotage
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 sabotage
relationships would be significantly diminished.
“If more people picked up the phone to apologize or even
just admitted they were wrong once in a while, their ability to sabotage
relationships would be significantly diminished.”
This is probably the most commonly known and
talked about way in which people sabotage 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
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 friendships.
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 in
Even though many of us know the
“perfect” relationship doesn’t exist, sometimes on sites like
Facebook, it can be depressing to see other people having these supposedly
wonderful lives with their loved ones or spouse if you’re not experiencing it
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.
“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
A person’s narrative regarding relationships
really makes all the difference. None of the above factors can be dealt with
properly unless a person has the appropriate attitude about maintaining
If your constant narrative is negative when
discussing others or events that happen in your relationships then it’s
unlikely your relationships are very healthy.
In romantic relationships especially, a
person’s narrative can make it or break it. If you’ve been single for a while,
dabbling in the dating scene, and continually say over and over that you’re
never going to find someone, or that your relationships never last, then they
How you continually describe your life,
thoughts, and what you think is going to happen to you means a lot more than
It has a palpable psychological toll. Sometimes people who are
afraid to commit in relationships will have all kinds of excuses as to why they
can’t make it work.
If you’re constantly talking about how
horrible your sister is, how you can’t find a loyal partner, or complaining
about that friend who always lets you down, that’s just a running negative
narrative that keeps you spinning in a vicious cycle. The vicious cycle may be
familiar and safe, especially if you’ve been participating in it for some
length of time.
The important thing to remember is how vital
your thoughts and words are in relationships. Simply thinking positive isn’t
going to solve any real issues or make someone else feel valued, but it’s a
good start. It takes practice.
Turning your thoughts around when they start to go down a dark
hill is the first step in transforming your narrative. In this way, your
thoughts can meet your words, and then your words can meet your actions in your
“How you continually describe your life, thoughts, and what
you think is going to happen to you means a lot more than people realize. It
has a palpable psychological toll.”
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, sabotaging 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
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.
Sabotaging relationships is generally pretty easy. It’s
nourishing and maintaining those relationships that takes real effort.