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10 Devastating Behaviors That Can Destroy Your Relationship

10 Devastating Behaviors That Can Destroy Your Relationship

While many of us commit ourselves fully to the relationships that we enter into, these good intentions do not always guarantee success. In fact, our devotion to a loved one can blind us to the relationship mistakes that we all make from time to time, which in turn have the potential to irreparably damage even the most secure of unions.

Many of us make these mistakes unknowingly, while also ignoring the potentially damaging behaviour of our partners. Given this and the impact of these mistakes, it is crucial that we make an effort to understand the issues and tackle them before they begin to take root within a relationship.

10 Relationship Mistakes that Can Have Devastating Impacts

With this in mind, here are some universal mistakes that can undermine your relationship and errode the trust that exists betwen two people: –

1. Being Financially Irresponsible

The topic of money can make or break relationship, especially if your issues stem from a reckless attitude to spending or an unwillingness to save. Problems can also arise if only assume financial responsibility for your self, as this creates a divide within the relationship and shows a lack of consideration. To avoid this, adopt a financially responsible attitude that reassures your partner that you have a future together, while also planning your expenditure to account for the needs of a loved one.

2. Having no other Interests outside of your relationship

At the other end of the behavioural spectrum, it is just as debilitating to be completely and utterly consumed by your love for somebody else. This can cause you to adopt a rigid, single-minded focus on your partner, which in turn prevents you from having any other interests outside of the relationship. Such an attitude can prevent you from developing as a person, while also bringing out negative emotions such as fear, anxiety and paranoia.

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According to Dr. Seth Myers, the best way to negate this is to make a list of how and when you used to spend your free time when you were single. This provides a handy reminder of your interests, while it also offers some inspiration outside of the relationship and will allow your partner to breathe.

3. Creating a Co-dependent Relationship

This leads us neatly onto the topic of co-dependency, which can often evolve in relationships where one or both individuals have few outside interests. This type of relationship is defined by a pattern of behaviour in which you become dependent on your partner for your confidence and self-worth, meaning that you spend the majority of your time seeking validation.

Of course, interdependences can have an incredibly positive impact in fields such as art, sport and business, while the entire concept of a relationship is built on the idea of two lives joining as one. It is crucial that you maintain a sense of self-worth and your own unique identity, however, this prevents you from becoming too reliant on your partner to fulfil your emotional needs.

4. Acting like you are single

While we have touched on the dangers of co-dependency, it is important to remember that a loving relationship is defined by two people who love, support and interact positively with one another. Balance is therefore key, as while you should avoid the pitfalls of a co-dependent relationship you must also remember not to behave as though you are single.

When you act like you are single without the consent of your partner, you behave in a way that marginalises them and disrespects your feelings. Always keep in mind that you are part of a loving union and be willing to compromise on your single lifestyle, using the attributes that attracted you to your partner in the first place as inspiration.

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5. Acting in an Insecure and Overly Sensitive Way

We all have periods during which we feel sad, unworthy or depressed, and this can have a negative impact on our outlooks and behaviours. Such feelings can also wreak havoc within a relationship, as they negatively affect your partner and trigger emotions such as insecurity and jealously. No matter how much your partner loves you, they cannot be expected to constantly deal with your own insecurities or lack of self-worth, particularly if their conduct does not warrant such emotions.

Feeling of this type are likely to be rooted in past relationship failures, but it is crucial that you recognise this and strive to break past patterns. By realising that the problem lies with you and evaluating your relationship objectively, you can begin to live in the present rather than being haunted by the ghosts of the past.

6. Showing a Lack of Affection

Not all people are created equal, and while some of us are extremely affectionate others struggle to display their feelings through physical intimacy or touch. While most relationships can tolerate this difference to some degree, there needs to be some compromise and you must make an effort to show affection in any way that you can. Without this your relationship can become stale and drift into friendship, while your partner can begin to feel unloved or undervalued.

Hand-holding, cuddling and hugging are simple ways to showcase affection without compromising your physical boundaries. Even if you do not like public displays of affection, you can at least make the effort to do these things in private and behind closed doors.

7. Excessive Criticism and Nagging

Excessive nagging or criticism of a partner can drag any relationship down, no matter how long two people have known or cared for one another. There are many reasons for this, but the primary issue is that it drives negative reinforcement and focuses on what an individual is not doing rather than their positive contributions to a relationship. It can also trigger feelings of resentment, both in adult relationships and those between parents and children.

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Over time, this can also create a breakdown in communication where one person constantly makes requests and the other simply ignores them. It is therefore important to tackle this dynamic before it takes hold of the relationship and becomes ingrained, so try to address this by using positive enforcement when asking for things to be done (or done better). It is also important to show empathy and allow your partner time to respond.

8. Display a lack of Attention or Communication skills

Before, we mentioned that a sustained lack of affection can hinder your relationship. The same principle applies in instances where one partner does not pay attention to the other, or at least fail to communicate their interest in their thoughts, words or achievements. Our obsession with technology has made this a more prominent issue in the modern age, as couple spend a great deal of their time immersed in social and digital media rather than conversing with one another.

Fortunately, recognising this issue is the main step towards resolving it. From here, you can make a concerted effort to spend time together without technology or distractions, as you instead talk to one another and commit fully to the conversation. Technology should be discarded at meal times, as this provides a great opportunity for loved ones to talk and connect with one another.

9. Being Dishonest

It is suggested that we all lie at one point in time or another, either to create a false belief or hide the evidence of a wrong-doing. In most instances these are small, insignificant fabrications, but it is important to remember that lying is a compulsive behaviour that can quickly escalate out of control and cause huge damage to a relationship. Whether this manifests itself in infidelity or a series of small, related lies that gradually begin to take hold, this behaviour creates mistrust and destroys the fabric of any relationship.

The only answer to this is to be honest, and trust in the bond that you have with your partner. A loved one is far more likely to forgive transgressions if you are courageous and honest with them, so this is always the preferred course of action if you are serious about enjoying a long and fruitful relationship. If you are incapable of this, you are not ready to be in a relationship or prioritise the needs of others ahead of your own.

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10. Following Impulses and Compulsions

Unfortunately, lying is just one of the many compulsive behaviours that can ruin your relationship. These can offer occur as a result of unhappiness or resentment within a relationship, as we indulge in a particular action to find comfort and solace. This can manifest itself in numerous ways, from shopping and gambling to over-eating.

These behaviours also show scant regard for your partner and your relationship, particularly as it suggests that you are unable to share the innermost feelings that are causing such conduct. You must therefore become open to being vulnerable and communicate your emotions to your loved one, as you work together to resolve the underlying issues and become stronger as a couple.

Only then, and by heeding the other warnings here, can you avoid these relationship mistakes and look forward to a long and happy union!

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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