Most of us have problems getting along with someone in our lives. Often times it is with someone that we really want to be close to. There are a number of very common relationship problems. According to William Glasser M.D., almost all relationship problems are the result of a controlling, punishing, “I know what’s right for you” mindset. Glasser calls this mindset external control psychology and believes it is one of the primary reasons that people are unhappy and have failing relationships.
Most of the time we look for what we can do to improve our relationships. Just as important is, what to avoid doing for healthy fulfilling relationships.
7 Common Relationship Problems
Whether you’re in a relationship with your spouse, parent, boss, child or friend there are 7 ways to almost guarantee separation, withdrawal, resentment, jealousy and endless fighting.
- Any “I know what you need, what’s right for you, or what you should or shouldn’t be doing” behaviors
Now you might be experiencing a sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that you have used almost all of these behaviors. It’s okay…We all have used them! These types of behaviors are what feel right in the moment, they are common sense, it’s what everybody else does, and it’s what is modeled to us from the day we are born.
There have been times when I thought I knew what was right for my wife, what she should or shouldn’t do, and let her know this (without considering her opinion of course). At the time it felt right to me. I knew I was 100% right so it must be true!
In the end, did it even matter if I was right or not? I can’t even seem to remember what I was so right about now.
Did my behaviors help us to become closer? Not unless pissing off your wife and sleeping on the couch brings a couple closer.
So what do you do instead?
7 Crucial Habits for Healthy Relationships
According to Glasser, there are 7 crucial behaviors that lead to healthy, fulfilling relationships with anyone:
These connecting behaviors most likely go against everything you’ve tried or thought to do in your relationships. They are completely different than what everybody else does. Most other people will criticize, blame, complain, nag, threaten, punish and absolutely believe they know what’s right for you or what you should be doing.
Now before you say “Ya but…”:
- “they wouldn’t work for me”
- “they wouldn’t work in my situation”
- “they wouldn’t work with my boss/husband/wife/teenager/mother in-law”
- “(whatever excuse you feeling like using here)”
These are behaviors that anyone can use in their relationships. Are they easy to do? Will you be able to do them all the time right away? Will all your relationship problems disappear overnight? Not at all!
But… it can be done! There will be times when you will have to behave in ways that feel uncomfortable or totally wrong. You’ll want to lash out at the other person, but instead you’ll choose to listen and negotiate with them. It will feel weird for quite awhile, but it’s important to keep at it until your relationships start to change for the better.
No matter what anyone else says or does to you, the most important thing is what you choose to say or do next. Nobody can make you say or do anything. Yes, you might act unconsciously or without thinking at times, but you can choose to focus more on your behavior. You can choose to use the connecting behaviors no matter what anyone else says or does.
Start doing so and you’ll be able to move past even the most common relationship problems. You’ll be way ahead of most people and well on your way to healthy fulfilling relationships.