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18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

18 Deadly Sins That Ruin A Relationship

You’ve probably heard of the seven deadly sins (greed, lust, wrath, etc.) With relationships, however, that number is a steady 18, in no small part due to the fragile nature of our romantic entanglements.

Most of the sins listed below have a specific cause and effect, and we exercise at least a portion of these deadly errors. As a result, it can be nearly impossible for us to avoid committing these sins once in a while. Still, you can make a substantial effort toward recognizing these sins and preventing them from becoming a lifestyle that will undoubtedly ruin your relationship.

1. Negativity

Think about it. Do you like being around a negative person? Maybe you’re the one who is sick of the other person constantly being cynical and unenthusiastic about things that make you happy. No matter who is on the receiving end, negativity that has gone unchecked will ultimately sour the romance.

2. Indecision

99.99% of girls claim they like a guy with confidence, and for a good reason. Guys are also far more comfortable being with someone who is able to show assertiveness when the situation calls for it. Though you don’t have to have an over-inflated ego, it’s essential that you’re able to make decisions and stick with them, especially when it counts the most.

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3. Insecurity

Related to indecision, insecurity is a sin that can lead to major relationship problems, such as jealousy and envy. If you’re constantly filled with self-doubt, then your partner may start to have doubt in you as well. Sometimes, our insecurities can be brought on our exasperated by our partner, so in these cases, the best fix is for you to communicate openly about your insecurities with the person you’re dating.

4. Belittlement

Constantly berating and bad mouthing your boyfriend or girlfriend is a huge relationship transgression, especially if you’re doing it behind their back. It’s normal for couples to playfully banter, but this can lead to a dynamic that is built on unhealthy habits, like competition and intimidation. Worse, this can lead to serious issues, such as verbal or physical abuse. If you’re openly and harshly criticizing your boyfriend or girlfriend on a regular basis, then you need to make some serious changes or call it quits before it gets worse.

5. Clinginess

Not being able to give someone space is one of the most common relationship sins, mostly because it’s rooted in external problems like dependence and (sometimes) immaturity. It can be difficult to recognize when you’re committing this sin, as it tends to happen when you have genuine intentions, but you have to read the signs. If your partner is complaining or avoiding you because they can’t seem to find time for themselves, then your relationship is headed for trouble. Additionally, if this is a persistent problem for you, then it may be better for you to take a break from dating.

6. Being Disagreeable

Have you ever talked to someone who disagreed with you by default? We like to do this with our parents or individuals we’re initially skeptical of, but it really doesn’t settle well when we do this in our relationships because…well, it’s really annoying. You don’t have to agree with your partner 100% of the time, but you need to make it clear that you’re supportive of them. Before you agree or disagree, hear them out and be empathetic toward what they’re experiencing. Otherwise, they’ll be tempted to go to someone else.

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7. Neglect

This can be a very bad sign for a relationship because it typically means that one person (or both) is not interested or inclined to be involved with the other. It should be obvious that ignoring or being indifferent to your partner is going to lead to conflict and/or will make them want to end the relationship, so if that’s not what you want, take a look at why you’re being neglectful in the first place and fix it.

8. Not Listening

Maybe you’re not neglecting them completely, but you do have a hard time listening to what they’re saying. It’s easy to be a good listener during the first stage of a relationship because the information is new, and you’re infatuated with this person. Eventually, it gets harder, but that doesn’t mean good listening skills aren’t expected of you. Men tend to be the usual suspects for bad listening skills, but women can be just as bad. No matter what the reason is for your difficulty in this area (mine is that I have a deaf ear), find a way to start correcting this sin before it leads to bigger ones, like neglect.

9. Bossiness

Being too controlling in a relationship is a dangerous problem because it usually starts out innocently. The more domineering person will step up and make the decisions because that is the nature of their personality, and the other person may be more than fine with this. Down the road, however, this level of bossiness can become too much for the other person to bear once they realize they don’t make enough of their own decisions.

10. Resentment

It’s easier to forgive than forget. When we make a sacrifice for someone, or if we are wronged, resentment starts to grow, especially if we don’t feel validated and affirmed by our partner. The major problem with resentment is that it leads to a lack of empathy, which can lead to cheating and insecurity. Also, resentment can be difficult to overcome if it has been bottling up for a long time, so if you want your relationship to last, you need to be open about how you’re feeling toward the other person before it overwhelms you.

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11. Pedestal Building

Most people get pretty excited when they find someone to love, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations. If you put someone on a high pedestal, it’s that much more painful when they make a mistake and fall. The root of the problem is trying to fully know someone before you have all of the facts. Pace yourself, and your expectations, so that you don’t make your partner feel like they can’t live up to who you see them as.

12. Ingratitude

This is a simple one, but it’s a cinch to commit. Over time, it gets challenging to show our appreciation and gratitude for our significant others, and this can ruin a healthy relationship. Sure, you can verbally thank someone for what they’ve done, but the best (and lasting) types of gratitude are done through actions. Doing this may actually prevent many of the other sins on this list because they typically start with simple appreciation.

13. Stubbornness

Not only are you disagreeable, but you’re stubborn to the point where you never make compromises. If you’re the person who is a statue, keep in mind that faltering doesn’t show weakness or make your relationship flimsy. Instead, it shows that you’re willing to trust the other person and meet them halfway. What’s really stubborn is how detrimental this habit is to your dating life.

14. Narcissism

Being self-obsessed is another “root” sin that leads to the other sins on this list, especially neglect and not listening. Symptoms of narcissism are that you force yourself to the be the center of attention (or the conversation), you quickly bail if you’re bored and you are consistently looking for praise and affirmation. To be honest, most people under 30 are pretty narcissistic, including me, but we can make great lengths toward curbing our self-obsession with genuine care and compassion for the people we love.

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15. Manipulation

A great way to lose someone’s trust is to manipulate them. Obviously, outright deception and dishonesty for our own gain is a common method of manipulation, and you probably know this already. But manipulation can start in your other relationships as well, making it a tricky habit to stop. Acknowledge how you treat the other women/men in your life (like your parents). If you tend to mislead them for your own needs, then chances are that you’ll do the same thing in your dating life. Eventually, you’ll probably get caught, and your relationship will suffer.

16. Duplicity

The opposite of integrity is duplicity. This means that you’re one way with a group of people and another way with everyone else. When dating, we do this during the “impress me” stage. When we first meet someone, we want them to like us, so we put on a mask to accommodate them. The problem is that our true colors come out eventually, and our duplicity can lead to a souring of the relationship. It’s okay to make yourself seem more flattering when you first meet someone, but avoid being fake and dishonest about your values and personality. It’s more beneficial in the long run.

17. Monotony

There are plenty of ways for your relationship to fall into a rut. Routines make our daily lives manageable, but the side effect is monotony, which can make both you and your partner bored with each other. The good news is that it isn’t hard to get out of the rut. Inject spontaneity into your relationship whenever possible, and be the person who makes an effort to try new things when you have free time. If you wait for the other person to do this, you might be disappointed.

18. Infidelity

I saved this for last because it’s one of the biggest sins you can commit in a relationship, and it comes about from some or a combination of the sins above. Understand that infidelity isn’t usually something that happens on a whim or out of nowhere. It happens when the other person is neglectful, manipulating, disingenuous or unwilling to compromise. That’s why one of the best ways to prevent cheating or being cheated on is to avoid these deadly sins at all costs.

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 You may also want to read: 7 Ways To Let Go Of Insecurity In Your Relationship.

More by this author

Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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