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5 Toxic Beliefs That Can End Any Relationship

5 Toxic Beliefs That Can End Any Relationship

Want to maximize the chances that your relationship will last? If you do, take an inventory of your relationship belief system. If you have a habit of carrying negative thought patterns into your romance, you could be sabotaging your prospects at everlasting love.

Here are the top five toxic beliefs that can end any relationship:

1. Believing your happiness is the responsibility of the of the other person.

When your partner does something hurtful, it is natural to want to blame them for your feelings of shock, anger and disappointment. Expressing and working through these emotions is the one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your relationship. However, if days, months, and years go on with you continuing to be miserable because you just can’t “let go” of what the other person did, your relationship is at serious risk.

While someone may have acted unkindly, disrespectfully or even abusively, ultimately, there is only one person responsible for your happiness. That person is you. There is power in taking responsibility for your own life’s happiness.

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Don’t give that power away to someone else, even your lover!

2. Believing your relationship should always be struggle and drama-free.

As a human, you are here to learn and grow so you can become fulfilled in your life. Growth, however, just isn’t possible without the occasional struggle. Your partner is one of the best people to help you work through your personal and relationship limits to realize the fullness of who you really are.

Why? Because that person loves you!

When things feel hopeless because of the relationship conflict you are experiencing, before you throw in the towel, consider these possibilities: (a) YOU could be wrong; (b) if you are right, the principle of the matter isn’t worth hanging onto for the sake of peace; (c) your partner’s behavior is a reflection of the way in which you have been treating them; and (d) just like you, your partner wants validation, security and love.

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By reframing your relationship growing pains, you will see conflict as the gift that it truly is.

3. Believing that once your trust has been broken, all hope is lost for your relationship.

At some point in your relationship, your partner will break their word to you. Whether you want to admit it or not, you will break your word to your partner, as well. These things do not make either of you “bad” people. They do not make you poor relationship material.

They simply make you human.

You will undoubtedly feel devastated when your life’s partner has broken your trust. While you should allow yourself to experience the range of emotions that you will, if you love the other person and want to save the relationship, you will do one thing for certain: have a conversation to try to comprehend what lead your partner to do what they did.

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There will be some situations where your partner doesn’t understand their own actions. In most cases, however, with honest communication, it is possible to comprehend the reasons “why” (although you may not agree with the behavior itself). Once you grasp the cause for your partner’s conduct, ask yourself how or whether you contributed to those actions.

If your own behavior was a contributing factor, consider whether the relationship is important enough to you (and it would be healthy for you) to consider changing your behavior…for the sake of love.

4. Believing that keeping secrets from your partner is lying or breaking their trust.

Do you hate being around your in-laws? If so, in the name of relationship integrity, do you need to share that fact with your partner every time you think about it? Absolutely not!

Sometimes saving your relationship actually depends on you not telling your lover about every thought that crosses your mind; not having a filter could subject your partner to thoughts which are fleeting and insignificant. However, in many cases, when constantly spoken, these unimportant thoughts permanently poison the soil from which contentment and trust bloom.

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When you are inclined to share something that could be hurtful to your partner, ask yourself whether the disclosure is necessary to preserve the continued well-being of the relationship. If it isn’t, consider keeping the secret to yourself.

5. Believing that work, children and friends are all more important than time spent on your relationship.

Once the hormone-infused “honeymoon” is over, for individuals in a relationship, they get back to the business of life. For you, that could mean immersing yourself in your work, your children, your hobbies and your friends. It is all too easy to allow your partner to sink to the lowest priority in trying to juggle these competing interests. The sustained lack of focus on a relationship causes many people to wake up one day (after the kids are gone, for example) and realize they are in a committed relationship with a stranger.

Don’t let this happen to you. Just like you do with your job supervisor, schedule a regular time to sit and explore how each of you are feeling, whether your respective needs are being met, and what can be done to improve the areas in which a need isn’t being met. Aside from this regular relationship evaluation, spend time with your partner, away from everyone else, enjoying their company, learning new things and creating a vision for your shared future.

With regular and consistent communication, you and your partner will give each other the chance to discover and end these toxic beliefs that could threaten to end any relationship – even yours.

Featured photo credit: Bigstock via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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