Happy New Year!!! As we enter another year, I thought it would be helpful to share 7 relationship habits to avoid in the upcoming year. Relationships are hard…no doubt about it. Oftentimes, when our relationships become strained, we resort to unhealthy behavior patterns, which tend to only make things worse. A famous and influential psychiatrist, […]
Happy New Year!!!
As we enter another year, I thought it would be helpful to share 7 relationship habits to avoid in the upcoming year. Relationships are hard…no doubt about it. Oftentimes, when our relationships become strained, we resort to unhealthy behavior patterns, which tend to only make things worse.
A famous and influential psychiatrist, Dr. William Glasser believed that almost all mental and emotional distress was a result of either an unsatisfying relationship or the absence of a relationship. During his work with couples, Dr. Glasser identified 7 deadly habits that are guaranteed to put any relationship on the rocks faster than you can say “Happy New Year!”.
Relationship Sin #1: Criticizing
When we criticize our mate, we are implying that we are superior to them in some way. The root of criticism is control. It is important to know that we cannot change our mate by making them feel insecure or bad about themselves. Criticism does not make your partner want to change–it only makes him/her want to get away from the person doing the criticizing (you).
Relationship Sin #2: Blaming
When we place blame on our partners in a self-righteous manner, we are not engaging in loving communication. Of course, there will be times when are our partners are genuinely to blame for some unpleasant outcome. However, it is crucial that we express our displeasure in a way that will promote healing and resolution to the matter. It is important that each party take responsibility for the action, attitude, and/or behavior that contributed to the unwanted outcome.
Relationship Sin #3: Complaining
When we complain about something without taking action to change it, we are saying that we refuse to take responsibility for it. Complaining puts a distance between us and those we love. It is unfair for one person to be expected to “fix” all the problems in the relationship all the time. If you present a complaint to your partner, also be prepared to offer a solution. Remember…no one likes a complainer.
Relationship Sin #4: Nagging
We cannot control, coerce, or bully someone into doing what we want them to do. Your partner must choose to change on their own. Asking him/her to change 1,000 times a day in 1,000 different ways will only cause frustration and aggravation for all parties involved. Instead, try having an open and loving discussion with your mate about how compromise or negotiation can be helpful to the relationship.
Relationship Sin #5: Threatening
It is unwise to try to “scare” our partners into complying with our demands. Rest assured that this behavior will drive him/her away very quickly. When we threaten our mate (directly or indirectly), we become a source of fear and control instead of a source of love and support. Remember…no one likes a tyrant.
Relationship Sin #6: Punishing
When you yell at your partner each time he/she does something you don’t like, you are wreaking havoc on your relationship. When you punish your spouse (verbally, mentally, or physically), you become a source of fear, control, and general nastiness. Punishing your mate will not make him/her become the person you want them to be. Again, you are better off having an open, honest discussion about how change will be helpful to the relationship.
Relationship Sin #7: Bribing/Rewarding
Oftentimes, we “reward” our loved ones when they do things we want them to do. This sounds much nicer than threatening or punishing them, but it is still a form of control. You are still attempting to control their behavior. It is usually best to allow your partner to come to their own conclusions about what behaviors they would like to change. This type of change is much more likely to be a permanent, long-lasting change.
Next week, I will share 7 healthy relationship habits you can use to replace the unhealthy behaviors mentioned above. In the meantime, let’s make a commitment to avoid these 7 deadly relationship sins at all costs. Let’s resolve to promote healthy change in our relationships throughout the upcoming year!
Cheers to a New Year,