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If You Think Your Relationship Is Holding You Back, Read This.

If You Think Your Relationship Is Holding You Back, Read This.

One of the worst feelings you can have in a relationship is the notion that your partner and the relationship itself is holding you back. You sit there thinking about what you could be doing if you were with someone else or single altogether. The grass always looks greener on the other side. Is it really, though? Let’s find out.

Why do you feel held back?

The most important thing to figure out is what exactly makes you feel held back. You may be surprised by the answer. My ex-girlfriend felt like I was holding her back because we didn’t go out as often as she wanted. We broke up, I moved out, and she still doesn’t go anywhere. It turns out it wasn’t my fault after all, it was her work schedule. There went a perfectly good relationship down the drain over something I had nothing to do with. Thus, it is important to look at what’s actually holding you down and not what you think is holding you down.

Have you been communicating your feelings?

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holding you back

    In a lot of instances your partner wants what’s best for you. They can’t possibly know what you need if you don’t tell them. Your goals, aspirations, needs, and wants are virtually unknown if you don’t tell your partner what they are. They may very well be willing and able to help you and fix these feelings that you have. By not telling them you’re essentially sabotaging your own relationship because you’re resenting them for something they don’t know they’re doing because they don’t know what you need. Think about that.

    How does your partner really make you feel?

    It’s very important to put what your significant other does for you into perspective. Maybe they’re doing more than you think they are. Maybe they’re doing less than you think they are. Regardless, you should see exactly what roll they play in your life. If it’s not a big enough roll, maybe it’s time you gave them a big enough roll. If you look at what they’ve done and it’s virtually nothing, maybe it’s time to cut them loose. In either case, if you’re feeling held back in a relationship chances are that there is something going on that you’re missing.

    Does your relationship define you?

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    holding you back

      This is probably the toughest question on this list that you need to answer. It’s tough to see how you define yourself. Have you changed for your relationship? Is it a change you like? Here’s the catch-22: Everyone has to change for their relationship at least a little bit. You can’t be the same person you were when you were single. On the other hand, if you change too much you could lose your identity. If everything you do is for the relationship and you don’t make time for yourself anymore, then you should talk to your partner about these feelings. Like we said earlier, he or she can’t fix a problem they don’t know you’re having.

      Does your partner appreciate and support you?

      It seems like a harmless and easy question but different people express themselves in different ways. What you think appreciation and support should look like may differ from what other people think appreciation and support looks like. Like we’ve mentioned a bunch of times already, communication is the key here. If you don’t feel appreciated, it’s time to talk to your partner about it. They’re either dropping the ball or maybe they’re appreciating and supporting you in a way that you’re not accustomed to. You should find out which it is.

      Do you actually feel held back?

      Is the feeling you have actually one of someone who is being held back? Depression can come in many forms. Feelings of inadequacy can as well. What you may be experiencing is a wholly different feeling altogether. Mistaking one feeling for another isn’t something to be embarrassed or ashamed about because it happens all the time. People may appear angry about something when they’re really upset about something else entirely. While we’re on this quest of self discovery, ask yourself if maybe the trapped feeling you have isn’t something different.

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      Objectively, would you really be happier without your partner?

      holding you back

        When you’re thinking about something that appears to be better than what you have now, it’s important to imagine what it would truly be like without someone. When we think of leaving someone, we only think of the good things. You’ll get rid of some bad feelings but you’ll also get rid of a lot of good feelings. It’s important to truly weigh what you’re losing with what you would gain if you ended your relationship.

        The bottom line is that you should make absolutely sure things are the way you think they are before you make any actions. There is always a chance you’re blowing things out of proportion (we’ve all done it) and that things simply aren’t that bad. They may very well be much worse! In either case, make sure you think long and hard about it because if you blow up your relationship, chances are you won’t be able to get it back.

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        Featured photo credit: Skyrim via cdn.vanillaforums.com

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        Joseph Hindy

        A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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