Here are 10 ways you are unconsciously sabotaging your relationships:
You take everything personally
The people who love you most will give you the most critical and honest opinions and advice. When you take constructive criticism or playful teasing to heart, or your feelings are easily hurt, any further communication comes to a complete stop.
When you ask for the sincere opinion from someone who loves you, be open to what they have to say, even if it is not what you want to hear. Their words could be the most helpful advice you need at that moment.
You are defensive
Are you always right? You may think you are, but in reality, every person is wrong at some point in their life. When you are harshly defensive about being wrong and you immediately try to place the blame on another's shoulders, it begins to drive the other person away from you. No one is perfect, and no one has ever died from being wrong about something. Do not be so proud that you cannot admit your mistakes or accept them.
You are pessimistic
The phrase "no one likes a downer" comes into play here. We all have hard times or times when we are not feeling like our usual happy selves. But, when your pessimism is so prominent and vocalized that you can't seem to focus on anything else but the wrong, it can begin to rub off on the people around you. Take a moment to focus on the positives in your life, including the wonderful people who are a part of it.
You put everything else before them
Most interpersonal relationships become strengthened through spending quality time together. If you constantly put everything else on your to-do list before the ones who are important to you, they will begin to think their presence in your life doesn't matter to you. Quality time does not have to take up a large sum of time; it can be a quick visit, a phone call or even a text message just to let your loved ones know they are on your mind.
It's true- the more people you love, the more vulnerable you are. Love hurts. If you are afraid of getting too close to the people in your life because of fear of abandonment or whatever reason, those people will not stick around for long. Friends are meant to lift each other up during times of trial. Although it is hard to watch loved ones face heartbreak and pain, being willing to lend a listening ear can truly do more for another person than trying to avoid their situation all together. Be a true friend through fair weather and fowl.
You cannot accept change
Change can be exciting for some and absolutely terrifying for others. But either way, change is inevitable. The world is constantly revolving and every day brings to pass new circumstances. Your loved ones may take different routes than you do in your life and instead of growing apart and criticizing their decisions, you can respect their decisions and applaud them. So many relationships diminish because of different viewpoints or changing personalities. Every person on the earth grows from each experience they face. You are a different a person than you were yesterday, and so are your loved ones. Embrace the changes in your life and in the lives of those around you. Support them and love them for who they are.
You are too controlling
Are you the one who decides where you are going, what you are going to do there, and who is allowed to go with you? Everyone has a right to their own decisions and freedom to choose. You are all adults. You do not always have to be the babysitter. Let others feel free to share their own honest opinions without your criticism. The ability to compromise with others is one of the greatest traits a person can have.
You don't treat them with respect
Constant bickering and belittling is toxic in any relationship. Everyone should be open to expressing their true self without any judgment or negative comments. Let them be authentic and real, and don't criticize them for who they are. The world has enough people who lack respect for everyone around them, don't be one of those people. Accept your loved ones and do not make them earn your respect, because I'm certain you didn't have to earn theirs.
You aren't trustworthy
Not being true to your word or spreading secrets you promised to keep are surefire ways to damage your relationships. No matter how much you want to tell someone about your friend Becky's cheating boyfriend, is it really your place to spread the word? Keep your promises and don't back out of plans at the last minute. Show up where and when you are supposed to. Trust is the foundation of every relationship you will ever have, and without it, everything else crumbles.
There are over seven billion people on the face of the earth, which means there are seven billion others who have their own lives to live. Unfortunately, if you didn't know, you are only one of those seven billion, and their lives do not revolve around yours. Selflessness is vital in a relationship. Being able to sacrifice for another's behalf, being able to compromise, and being able to show compassion is what makes a relationship strong and lasting. A relationship connects two people. Not just one. There is no room for selfishness in a positive and healthy relationship.
No person or relationship is perfect, but as long as you are doing your best to see through your loved ones eyes, and you aim for respect and positivity, an exhausted relationship can become whole and healthy again.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.