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Ten Don'ts for Great Relationships
Sometimes people are doing a lot of things right but are still unhappy in their relationships. Following are ten things that I recommend you DON’T do:
- Make Assumptions – Just because you want something doesn’t mean that the other person has the same thoughts or wishes. Buying a chainsaw for your wife’s birthday might not be a good idea!
- Tell lies – Trust is difficult to earn and once you have broken it, even more difficult to regain. The truth may get you in trouble, but it is better to get it over with, ask forgiveness and keep your reputation for honesty than build up a problem that might not be forgivable by the other person.
- Minimize problems – Binge drinking “only” once a year is still a problem. Financial stress doesn’t go away on its own. Admit it when you have problems and then you will be able to deal with them in a healthy manner.
- Withdraw from communications – You are not an ostrich and hiding your head in the sand or withdrawing from your relationship will not make it better. Talking is a good choice.
- Have secrets – When you are not open about your activities, you build a wall and then, when the other person finds out about them, the wall and your relationship both come tumbling down.
- Use “put downs” – Using names or insults may pull the other person down to your level but it also lowers the level you were at in the first place. Name calling and comments that devalue the other person are forms of abuse. (And they really don’t help you, the other person or the relationship).
- Make threats – So often I hear people say that they will call the police, end the relationship or make life difficult for the other person. A threat never helps anyone. If you want the other person to change, using fear and intimidation is not the best choice.
- Have unrealistic expectations – Other people cannot read your mind and if you think that they should just know what you want or need you are not being realistic. A wise lady once told me “You are never disappointed unless you have expectations”. Make sure that you have enough dreams to stretch you balanced with enough realism to ground you.
- Try to “buy” the other person – Most people want to receive a gift based on thoughtfulness rather than manipulation. Material items will not make up for genuine caring and investing quality time into the relationship.
- Ignore your own needs – The flight attendants on airlines remind us “If there is an emergency, a mask will fall from the ceiling. Put it on yourself first and then help the person beside you”. Healthy relationships require healthy individuals. Make sure you take care of yourself and you will have more of yourself to give to others.