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The Most Common Mistakes That Make Great Relationships Turn into Bad Ones

The Most Common Mistakes That Make Great Relationships Turn into Bad Ones

It happened again. For some reason, something as simple as choosing dinner just turned into an argument. You don’t understand it. The two of you have always been a great couple, yet lately, something just isn’t right. What’s going on?

Time and time again, perfectly happy and in love couples make common mistakes that ruin their relationships. It’s difficult to identify the problem because there is no one-size-fits-all relationship advice out there.

Can’t wait turning things around?

But, there is a long list of the most common mistakes that ruin romantic relationships. If you’re hoping to save what the two of you have, it’s worth taking a look at the following relationship advice and figuring out what exactly applies to you and your partner.

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The most common and fatal relationship mistakes

So, without further ado, here are the most common mistakes that can ruin great relationships:

Expecting your significant other to be telepathic

As much as you may want them to be, your significant other is not telepathic. They cannot read your mind. And it is not fair of you to expect them to magically know what you need if you haven’t clearly told them. If your partner doesn’t know what you need, it is not a sign that they don’t love you enough. It is a sign of a lack of communication.

What can you do? Learn to effectively communicate your wants and needs. Be truthful, open, honest, sincere, and patient.[1] Without these traits, no relationship can grow and develop . Help your partner learn more about you by being clear with them. Give them the chance to be a successful partner.

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Withholding information

We’re not talking about keeping their birthday gift a surprise until the big day, we’re talking about honesty. If you keep a secret and your significant other find out about it, guess what? You’ve just broken the trust between you two. And trust is nearly impossible to rebuild. Why bother rebuilding trust when you can just be honest and open in the first place?

Just to be clear, keeping a secret is equivalent to lying. It is not “withholding information”. It is lying and it is dishonest. One of the best pieces of relationship advice that I’ve ever heard is to keep trust between the two of you, not secrets.

Trying to fix their problems

Ever have a bad day at work and just need to vent, complain, and whine about the situation and the people involved? Did you want somebody to tell you what you did wrong, what you should have done, and what to do to fix the problem later? No, right? What you wanted was somebody to listen to you. That’s it. You just needed to get it all off your chest.

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Guess what? It’s exactly the same with your significant other. If they have a problem and they choose to confide in you, it is not your responsibility to provide a solution.[2] Unless your partner specifically says something along the lines of, “What would you do?”, “What should I do?”, or “Please help me fix this problem.” – just listen. Pretty simple relationship advice, right?

Expecting them to make you happy

Yes, your partner should care about your happiness. No, your partner should not actively seek to destroy your happiness. But, it is not your partner’s job to make sure all of your needs are met. Being in a relationship does not mean that you stop being an independent individual.

What’s the point of the relationship then? Well, to grow and develop together, while maintaining independent identities. Healthy relationships are all about providing support, sharing dreams, and being happy for the other person’s emotional and intellectual growth. It’s about being considerate and giving, not about making the other person happy all the time.

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Communicating with negative nonverbal signs

Both of you are probably guilty of this one. Your partner says something that just sounds ridiculous so what do you do? Roll your eyes? Shake your head? Mutter something unintelligibly or otherwise indicate your disapproval without words?

My relationship advice? This isn’t necessary. In fact, it’s sort of rude. Don’t treat your significant other this way. It’s almost as if you’re asking for an argument. Show some respect to the person you are choosing to be with. Change your nonverbal cues for something more positive. A smile, a light touch, a hug, eye contact. These actions will benefit both of you much more than negative nonverbal communication.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, heed the relationship advice. Don’t go down any of these common paths unless you’re hoping for your relationship to end. Remember, relationships are all about caring, loving, showing consideration, and growing together. They take commitment and effort to be healthy, fulfilling, and successful.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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