Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

3 Things to Avoid if You Want Healthy Relationships

Are you feeling disconnected from your husband? Boyfriend? Family member? Do you avoid talking to them or have as little interaction  as possible?  Do minor disagreements turn into major battles?

Chances are you have disconnected emotionally from your loved one. But first, let's talk about what exactly is an emotional connection and how you achieve it. An emotional connection means we are able to maintain a certain degree of closeness, sharing, and intimacy with another person. This is not, I repeat NOT, a sexual type of intimacy. Sex has to do with the physical connection we feel. I am talking about the type of closeness that comes from open and honest verbal communication, the sharing of deep feelings, and the genuine care and concern for the other person's well-being.

If you're not feeling as close as you'd like, here are 3 possible reasons why and what to do about them.

1. Playing the blame game 
One clue that this is happening is if you hear yourself saying "You always ....". Sure your partner may have done something to irritate you, but accusing and blaming is not going to fix the problem. When something goes wrong in a relationship, both parties typically have some responsibility. Rarely is the problem one-sided.

Start by accepting your part of the problem. Blaming is a a result of refusing to take personal responsibility for one's part. We all make mistakes but that is not an indicator of our self-worth. There should be no shame associated with the  admission of mistakes. When we admit our mistakes, we pave the way for improvement and change.  Here is a good article from Psychology Today on how to stop playing the blame game.

 A better way to phrase your displeasure are by using "I" statements instead of "You" statements.  Here are a few examples:
   "I feel so alone when you work late every night."
   " I feel disrespected when I am talking to you and you are reading the paper, playing video games, watching tv."
   " I feel like you're not committed to this relationship when you threaten to leave."

The key is to share from your heart and connect to the other person's heart. If the other person truly cares about you and preserving the relationship, he or she will care about your feelings.

2. Assigning negative labels or name-calling
When we label someone in a pejorative way, we cause emotional disconnection. No one likes to be called names or labelled. I remember my mother always used to tell me I was "too sensitive" and I grew up ignoring my feelings. Some examples of name-calling and labeling are:
    "You're so clumsy"
    "You're so stupid"
    "You'll never amount to anything"
    "You're lazy"
Most people have their own set of insecurities and when we lash out at others using unkind labels and name-calling, we enforce these insecurities and contribute to the other person's low self-esteem.

A better approach is to hold our tongue or walk away from the situation if we feel we can't control ourselves. Hurtful words do much damage and the emotional scars take a long time to heal. The other person may never say anything to you but if you notice an emotional distancing you know they have been hurt.

3. Judging
Judging means forming an opinion about someone typically assigning "right" or "wrong" to their behavior. We never know what is going on with someone inside. Only God knows a person's heart and what hurt they are carrying. Although it is hard not to judge when someone hurts us or acts badly, we are not to return evil for evil. Click here to read "10 Reasons to Stop Judging People".

These are three of the ways we can disconnect from our loved ones. We may not even realize we are doing it so I hope this post has brought some awareness to the problems we may, in fact, be causing ourselves.

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Until next time, keep looking up!