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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 October 22, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward to talk to strangers. What is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

Numerous studies have shown that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]

A very interesting by-product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Another reason is that humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources. When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

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Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

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To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the techniques to talk to strangers, moving forward, you’ll reap these many benefits of getting over the awkwardness:

  • Broadens Your Network – After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.
  • Improves Your Communication Skills – I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become. Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.
  • Continually Learning – So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment. Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.
  • Increases Self Confidence – Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves. Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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