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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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