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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.

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

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Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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