The Ego’s Code – How to stop sabotaging your relationships
Why do relationships have problems, breakdown or fail? It seems like the question can’t possibly have an answer, or at the very least must have hundreds.
The reasons are many but the route causes are common; we are not being true to ourselves and sharing what we need, our behaviour doesn’t line up with what we value, we pretend to be someone we are not to please others and as a result our reactions to the negativity experienced are often excessive or even destructive.
ALL of your negativity and the stories you tell yourself e.g., you will be hurt, he or she cant be trusted, they will eventually leave, are an insight to what your heart truly desires. You may choose not to make the effort to save a relationship that’s worth saving, or choose to actively push people away because on some level you don’t feel worthy of the relationship. As a result you tell yourself ‘its better to be alone’, whereas what you truly want is the complete opposite.
Its takes great courage to share true intimacy with someone and I’m not talk about sex! I’m talking about being vulnerable, sharing you, your heart, your soul, your feelings, your hopes, your fears, your dreams because when you share who you are at this level, you are also sharing all that is needed to hurt you. Its no wonder we hold ourselves back.
To stop sabotaging relationships must start with your relationship with yourself and your own understanding of who you are and what you need. Your relationship with you will influence all other relationships. The qualities you bring to and enjoy from a relationship (e.g. care, kindness, affection, appreciation) should also be strong aspects of your relationship with yourself. Being true to yourself requires that you appreciate your own value; that you are kind to yourself; that you pay attention to you and show yourself the same respect you expect from others.
In all relationships there are causes of negativity. This arises because the needs of one or both parties are not being met. It’s easy to see negativity as being negative, but it’s merely an expression of feelings that we have held inside and not shared. The truth is that our automatic, unconsidered reactions to negative experiences are ultimately what harm us and our partners, transforming irritations into problems; arguments into breakups.
So often relationships dissolve due to a lack of effort to preserve them. Most of the time, this doesn’t come from feelings of apathy but of impotence: If you feel like you don’t have the power to resolve your problems – or worse, that you aren’t worth the effort it will take to safeguard your happiness – your relationship is likely to fail. Equally, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to protect ‘yourself’ rather than enjoy your happiness. Fear of vulnerability, often causes people to avoid sharing what matters most. By ignoring or suppressing negativity rather than using it as fuel for change, we allow the causes of negativity to continue, ultimately harming ourselves and those we love.
Sometimes the lack of confidence causes us to do nothing or be silent because we fear being alone. This can come across like we don’t care, when in fact we do. Generally the way we sabotage relationships is by letting our behaviour work against our own values. Being silent or getting angry is the most common ways of doing this, but arguments aren’t a bad thing when they solve problems; they are merely an expression of how someone is feeling.
If we really care about a relationship, we should be prepared to allow our negative feelings to rise to the surface and motivate us to resolve problems, rather than e.g., maintaining the status quo.
Here are three steps to stop sabotaging your relationships:
- Acknowledge your thoughts and your feelings. Then, share what you are thinking and how you feel.
- Share your needs. Then, listen to the needs and feelings of the other person in the relationship.
- Focus on resolving the situation or problem; together, agree what is going to change, going forward.
There are patterns to your negativity. It has meaning! That is why the same thing keeps happening. There is something fundamental that you need to learn that will help you in your life. You can choose to notice it, learn from it and act upon it, or ignore it, stuff it down until it shows up again. The combination of your negative self-talk, thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours, highlight patterns that will help you understand and decipher their meaning. This is The Ego’s Code.
In my book, The Ego’s Code you will discover fresh insights and simple yet powerful exercises to stop sabotaging your success so that you can live your dream life.