Behaviors to Avoid;  NEVER -Control others, Refuse to talk, Need to win, Keep score, Focus on changing partner, Practice verbal abuse, Refuse to take blame, Ask for feelings then get angry about them!

These are relationship behaviors we often see displayed, unfortunately they ruin relationships. Do not allow actions like these to be part of how you interact with others. These relationship behaviors are harmful, they cause relational injury and alienate the partner. You can’t control others, it is your responsibility to control yourself. If you win, the other person is automatically wrong. When we feel wrong, we want to escape from the presence of the person who caused us to feel that way. You can only change yourself, not the other person. Verbal abuse is highly dysfunctional, mean-spirited and a sign of insecurity. These are relationship behaviors to avoid.

Behaviors to avoid include Controlling other people is a behavior that pushes them away; the act of trying to manipulate or dominate the situation or person through various strategies. These strategies can be anything from interrupting or talking over the other person, demands, threats, ultimatums, and trying to control the conversation. People resort to control mechanisms when they feel desperate, powerless, and scared. Many times people are not aware that they are attempting to control. They are essentially grasping at their partner to alleviate their own fear and anxiety.

It can be very scary to feel distance and disconnection with your partner. It may even feel as though you are losing your partner because you feel the loss of the emotional bond and connection in the moment. While this disconnection may feel threatening, the more you seek to control your partner, the further your partner will push you away. The important thing to remember here is that your partner is pushing your attempt to control them away (not you).

If you can deal with the fear and risk of temporary disconnect and upset, and try to understand your partner’s feelings and experience (how ever scary it may seem), then it is more likely that they will lean into connection with you.

The need to be right RUINS EMOTIONAL INTIMACY; it is common for one or both partners to switch from a position of “trying to resolve an issue” to “trying to be right.” In other words, couples will enter into a conversation with the intention to talk about a concern constructively only to get derailed and start arguing about whose reality is correct. Couples will feel pitted against each other, both feeling like they have to defend their position and with the goal to win or be beaten. This describes a power structure of one up and one down, where only one person can win or be right.

If the goal is to win, then the goal is no longer to have resolution, understanding, and a mutually, beneficial solution. When partners lose sight of their goals, it becomes very difficult to maintain a respectful and considerate stance with one another.

If your partner is expressing a different view-point, try to see the value in their being honest, open, and authentic. Their opposing view is not a personal attack or a dismissal of your view-point.

Most of us choose to use our free will and do not want the will of someone else being imposed upon us. Respecting individuality actually increases closeness. The silent treatment increases distance between people, causing the partner to feel rejected and sometimes angry. If you need time to be alone or to process, say so. And give yourself a time limit to bring your thoughts and feelings back to your partner for closure. Our society gives us the message that it is crucial to win. This is not true in relationships. The truth is..if you prove yourself to be right, the other person is shown to be wrong. When we feel wrong we retreat or feel alienated. Proving your partner wrong causes YOU to lose.

None of us can change someone else. It is each of our responsibility to change our self and to grow personally. The best chance of your partner changing is for you to change in a constructive way first. Verbal abuse is a relationship killer, any type of relationship. Any thought or feeling can be expressed with respect, it takes self-control and self-discipline. It is human nature to blame, and it is a great downfall. Blaming takes the attention away from our own responsibility. We are responsible for our self, not the other person.

Accept the feelings of the other person, whether or not you understand/agree with the feelings. If you do not accept feelings, your partner will not tell you the truth when you ask him/her what is going on.


Image2014Behaviors to avoid; The health of your relationship depends on your ability to refrain using these destructive behaviors and to increase the use of constructive behaviors during a conflict.

Conflict is healthy and normal part of a lasting long-term relationship. The goal is not to fight it or avoid it, but deal with it and deal with it skillfully and constructively. If you find that you and your partner are caught in negative patterns, then I recommend learning some new tools and getting some guidance in how to deal with conflict, fear, hurt, anger more constructively.


Learn more about behaviors to avoid, call Marta now; 949-697-4332