5 Subtle Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Relationships

Matt Lillywhite

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“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” — Bruce Lee.

Just about everyone wants to be happy. But unfortunately, many people unknowingly sabotage their relationships due to a failure to act, admit their flaws, and accept responsibility for their mistakes.

And so when the time comes to take ownership of their errors, people often delay admitting liability due to a belief that the problem will go away. But the obstacle stays. It lingers in their mind. They begin to overthink all the possible scenarios that could happen as a result of their miscalculation.

This innate imperfection of humanity is what inspired Marcus Aurelius’ famous quote:

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and accept them for what they are.”

We all make mistakes.

But accountability to our errors is a characteristic that very few people in this world have. We want to be seen as superhuman by our peers. We want the world to think of us in a positive light, and to be admired by our friends & family.

But how can this happen until we admit the habits that undermine our relationships which subconsciously destroy our lives?

Ask yourself:

How Easily Do You Get Offended?

“Live without pretending, Love without defending, Speak without offending.” — Drake.

We live in such a politically correct world that simply providing constructive criticism can be seen as hating on another person. If you adopt a similar mindset, it’s probable that your peers are not transparent due to a fear of you getting offended by their words.

Before you negatively react to someone’s opinion, try to deploy empathy to understand their point of view.

Do You Reguarly Make Excuses For Your Mistakes?

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” — Benjamin Franklin.

Excuses are simply justifications for inaction. They are a natural habit deployed to make ourselves feel better about not living up expectations.

  • You weren’t late for work because there was traffic. You were late because you didn’t leave in time to account for potential delays due to traffic.
  • Saying “I don’t have time” is not acceptable. Every single person on this planet has 24 hours in a day. Poor time management is merely a case of prioritizing the wrong things.
  • You may choose to procrastinate on a task because it seems overwhelming and so you want to wait until the right time. But the truth is that there is never a perfect opportunity to start. As the Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Instead of creating excuses for your behavior, produce reasons why you should take responsibility for each issue within your life.

Do You Expect Too Much From The People You Are Closest To?

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” — William Shakespeare.

Think about it. We often consider our friends & family as absolutely perfect. But if they said something shocking, how would you react?

Due to the emotional attachments that we establish with our loved ones, it’s easy to forget their flaws & imperfections. They may have issues in their personal life that they are too afraid to admit, problems at work, and days in which the whole world feels like it’s falling apart. We’ve all had those moments.

But by acknowledging & accepting people’s shortcomings, and having zero expectations of others, you will never be disappointed if somebody fails to do something.

Why Do You Judge Other People?

This quote from an anonymous person perfectly exemplifies my viewpoint on judging other people:

“Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love and live a little differently than you do. Stop judging, instead try to understand.”

We’re often caught up in subjects & arguments that don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. So instead of finding imperfections in other people, why not focus on improving yourself?

Do You View Opinions As Facts?

“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.” — Plato.

Will you pick your moral high-ground over intimate relationships for the sole purpose of being right? Or instead, will you be open to new ideas & data as it becomes available to make a better judgment?

One of the most respected essayists of the 18th century, Joseph Joubert, said that “Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love the truth.”

The choice is yours.

In Conclusion

Most people will subconsciously sabotage their relationships due to their actions and inability to empathize with the other person.

But if you are reading this story, you are not like most people.

You are willing to do whatever it takes to build, strengthen, and optimize every single relationship in your life.

We are imperfect human beings living in an imperfect world. Once you can reach the point in which you acknowledge your flaws and realize that humanity is full of shortcomings, you will start to find tremendous happiness.

I’m going to leave you with a final quote from Plato:

“Excellence is not a gift but a skill that takes practice. We do not act rightly because we are excellent; in fact, we achieve excellence by acting rightly”.

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