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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 August 16, 2018

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

What is a narcissistic personality?

Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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Traits of a narcissist:

  • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
  • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
  • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
  • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
  • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

How are narcissists different from others?

Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

Why do people become narcissists?

1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

How to deal with a narcissist?

1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

8. Learn when to walk away.

When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

Reference

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