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10 Devastating Behaviors That Can Destroy Your Relationship

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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 November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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