Here’s a great article from one of our featured authors, Marianne Torrence.
Marianne is a clearing facilitator, personal development specialist and SuperTeaching trainer, providing in-depth and highly effective techniques and systems to “clear out your mental closets”; involving procedures which substantially reduce stress.
With 35 years of experience, Marianne delivers over 40 different programs covering a wide variety of issues people have such as unwanted limiting beliefs, removal of negative energy from traumatic incidents, relationship difficulties, communication ability enhancement, personal integrity makeover, attitude transformation, and bettering communication with their bodies.
You’ll want to read “The #1 Relationship Killing Mistake to Avoid” right now because it will help you avoid the single biggest mistake that you can ever make in any relationship.
The #1 Relationship Killing Mistake to Avoid
by Marianne Torrence
This mistake can destroy your relationships with children, friends, colleagues too.
One of the deadliest habits one can have is putting people down, devaluing them, making them wrong and all flavors of that activity. Everyone at one time or another has had experiences of feeling lessened or degraded by the attitude or comments of someone who was making them feel wrong or their communications of little value.
In a relationship or marriage, making your partner feel less, or creating an environment where people are afraid to speak because their communications are likely to be met by a putdown, is a sure recipe for disaster unless your partner is already disempowered or already accepting of the role of victim. Which hopefully isn’t the kind of partner you want or have got! But even if they are apparently accepting of this role, adding to it with putdowns will still backfire on the perpetrator.
In my many years of listening to people’s innermost thoughts and deepest hurts, I have observed that some of the deepest unhappiness and damage can be caused by people who continually emanate negative devaluing statements, creating an unsafe environment that kills the spirit along with any chance of a deepening and long-lasting closeness. And it is damaging to the person who does it too. Those around them may not express it, but the repressed hurt and resentment that accumulates will eventually rebound on the perpetrator.
The trouble is, a lot of the people who do this to others have no idea of the far-reaching effects it can have on the recipient. In my experience most aren’t confident enough or willing to ignore social niceties enough to just front up to the person doing it and just say “Knock it off – your put-down and make wrong communications are destructive and aren’t adding any value to the people you are delivering them to.”
The bottom line is… If a person has a tendency to put down their partner’s ideas, devalue their input, or have an attitude towards others that is derogatory, it is not likely that their relationships are going to develop and deepen. Nothing causes a person to build barriers around themselves faster than feeling put down and made wrong by the person they should feel closest to. And if they hold back their feelings about it instead of standing up to the person doing the make wrong, they will speed up the estrangement even more.
Well, so far all this probably sounds pretty negative, and you might be wondering if you can do anything about it anyway if you find yourself either doing this or experiencing it.
So what are some ways to prevent this habit from sabotaging relationships? Well, it’s simple, but not necessarily easy, and it does take practice.
One of the most effective things you can do is to focus on indicating that you have heard what someone said by acknowledging their communications. “I hear you”. “I understand that”, “OK”, “I got it”, “Good”, are all ways to show someone you understood what they said, without adding any judgment or negative attitude to it.
And when answering somebody’s communication focus on the positive, on appreciating other people’s points of view, and encouraging interchange rather than negating what has been communicated to you. “ I see your point of view”, “ I can understand how you feel that way”, “I appreciate your way of looking at that”, work much better to foster good relationships than “That’s silly”, “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, “You’re wrong”, “Shut up”, and various other negative replies.
A thing to remember about people who communicate this way is that it generally is a sign their own self-esteem and sense of self-worth is poor in that they feel they need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves. And additionally it means they don’t want anyone to be aware they feel this way.
So if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who has this making wrong habit and you aren’t having any success in getting them to quit the habit, you might try commenting on it in these terms.
“You know, Joe, it’s been my experience that when people feel insecure and unsure of themselves one of the ways they try to make up for their feelings of inadequacy is to try to make others feel lessened by putting them down or devaluing them. Of course people who do this don’t realize if they keep doing it they’re pretty much sending out a signal that says ‘I feel worthless or not as good as everyone else so I am trying to lessen their sense of self-worth so they don’t show up my own inadequacy’. But I don’t suppose that’s why you keep doing it, is it? But I thought I’d better ask, because it worries me – Joe, do YOU actually feel inadequate – I wouldn’t have thought so, but tell me if that’s why you keep making less of other people?”
Some version of the above communication should work to make a person with a make wrong habit think twice every time they go to reply to someone with a putdown.
Knowing this information, you can also choose to simply not hook up in a relationship with someone who does this, can’t be brought to see that there’s anything destructive or damaging to relationships in doing it, and can’t easily change it or just plain won’t.
Realize that it’s not necessarily deliberate, that a lot of time the person IS unconscious of the effects, and may just be communicating in a way they learned from parents, school, work or any environment where people simply don’t know any better way.
There are other mistakes one can make in relationships, but this is one of the worst. No one wants to be around someone whose communication is killing their fun, their joy in life and indeed the very essence of their being.