Have you ever worried about whether you're sabotaging your relationships? After years of helping people with bad relationship patterns, here are suggestions just in time for Valentine's Day:
1. Stop People Pleasing.
You might think that people like you in the moment you are people pleasing. That’s not exactly true. They like getting what they want, but they lose respect for you. By people pleasing in ways that compromise your needs, you install yourself as the underdog in the relationship. You believe your worth is in catering to them, and they lose respect for you. What’s more, in the long run you can lose the person as their respect for you continues to diminish or they get frustrated with your lack of strength.
Instead, stand up for your values and ask for your needs to be met. This establishes you as an equal partner. Just remember – they also should not focus on people pleasing you! This is where compromise and mature adult decisions come into play.
2. Stop Nagging.
Does it drive you crazy when she leaves wet towels on the floor? Or when he squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube? Some people get caught up in wanting to fix the annoying details they find in their partner. While it is important to stand up for important things (see #1), recognizing what is truly important is a big step. When you nit-pick and micro-manage another person’s habits, you become difficult to live with.
Instead, consider what’s more important: having your way or having a loving relationship? In the end, this may be the choice that you make each time you mindlessly complain. Choose wisely when to complain and when to let go.
It is near impossible to live in close relationship with another person without hurting each other in one way or another. We have a past, baggage, buttons. Sometimes we make mistakes and really hurt the other. If the offense is not one to leave over, your choice is to stay in a damaged relationship or forgive. This means forgiving the little things (see #2) as well as the bigger hurts.
Be honest about whether you have resentment that you’re hiding from yourself. Share it with someone you trust (your spouse, if possible, or a professional if needed). Then do the work to heal. Forgiving your spouse’s little and big faults as well as your own is without doubt the secret to keeping the love alive long-term.