Why do we always view relationships as complicated and difficult! Because we are hugely influenced by society around us and most of these bad habits have become a part of our culture. None of us, or at least very few of us were ever given any advice on having and maintaining healthy relationships. In addition to this, we read romance novels, take advice from columns in women’s magazines, watch far too many soap operas on TV, we worship romantic love as well as taking advice from others i.e. friends and family who are equally ill informed.
There are many really bad habits we have learned and no one ever tells us that these actions will almost certainly result in a failed relationship/s:
Keeping score of past mistakes and revisiting them during each and every argument does not achieve anything, except create animosity, resentment and possible breakups. We all mess up sometimes, so let it go and move on.
If your friend or partner got drunk and behaved badly at an event 10 years ago and has not done anything like it since, why the need to ever mention it again? it probably has nothing to do with the current issue at hand anyway. If however your friend or partner has made a habit of this on an ongoing basis then perhaps you need to reexamine your relationship and make alternative choices.
Our relationships are not a contest about who has made the most or least mistakes or about who is right or wrong, it’s about loving each other unconditionally, and helping each other to grow. Learn to live in the present and appreciate your friend or partner for who they are at this moment instead of constantly trying to tear them down and reminding them of all their shortcomings.
Communicate clearly and honestly with your friend or partner, they are not mind readers, and all those ever so subtle hints you may throw their way will probably end up with you being annoyed because “they just don’t get it” and then an argument ensues. This is a learned behavioural pattern we have picked up by observing our piers, and it’s a habit we would do well to “unlearn” as quickly as possible.
Why is it that we expect our partners to make us happy? The answer is simple, because that is what we have been taught! We have been taught to expect things of others, and this is probably the worst advice we have ever gotten. We get married having certain expectations of our partners because we have learnt this from our parents.
Dont expect anything from anyone and you will never be disappointed! Instead, rather learn to depend on yourself and be appreciative for all the kind and loving gestures others extend to you.
When you are having a bad day and your partner is not there to make “you feel happy” suddenly this becomes their fault! wrong! When you set a precedent that your friend or partner is responsible for how you feel (and vice-versa), you will develop codependent tendencies and this is unhealthy on more than one level.
We all have to take full responsibility for our own happiness. Believe it or not, it is a choice we make. We can choose at any given moment how to respond or react to any and all circumstance or situation. We can choose to respond with anger and aggression, which certainly does not serve us personally, or we can choose to respond with kindness which means we get to keep our dignity and don’t get roped into someone else’s drama.
Jealousy too is a very destructive behaviour. When we have close friends or a partner in our lives we need to understand that we do not own them. We have to allow them space and freedom to grow and to evolve into the best they can be. If we constantly try to control and manipulate their actions and behaviour, it will eventually lead to resentment and a possible breakup of the relationship.
Don’t try to cover up real relationship issues by showering your partner with constant gifts, hoping that this will “right” the “wrongs”. It wont, it just makes the situation worse because the underlying issues are not being resolved, and eventually the result will be the same. A good idea may be to communicate honestly and openly, yes actually tell each other face to face, not via sms or whatsapp, what and how you feel about the situation.
Cultivate a daily sense of gratitude for your partner and the thousands of little blessings he or she has brought into your life. At opportune moments tell your friends or partner how grateful you are to them for what they have contributed towards your life, and what you admire the most about them.
Talk often. Tell your loved ones about all your dreams, fears, achievements and mistakes. It goes a long way towards better mutual understanding.
Learn to be selfish and look after yourself and your needs and happiness first. I know, I know you were told being selfish is wrong! But think about it logically for a moment. If you do not look after yourself first in order to be happy and radiating love and kindness, how can you possibly be of any help to anyone else. You can’t!
So to sum it all up we have to learn to love ourselves, be happy, have no expectations of others and live in a state of gratitude. Life flows so much easier that way and relationships will blossom!
Being happy is not something you pursue, it is something you choose to be!
Until next time, bye for now.