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Why we sabotage romantic relationships - and what we can do about it

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https://ideas.ted.com/why-we-sabotage-romantic-relationships-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/

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Why we sabotage romantic relationships - and what we can do about it
This post is part of TED's "How to Be a Better Human" series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community; browse through all the posts here. Before she met the love of her life, psychology researcher Raquel Peel says that she was a "romantic self-saboteur."

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Stop entering relationships

... that you know are doomed.  We should not be pursuing every relationship that comes our way, but only those relationships that have the potential to work.

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Get curious about how you act

... when you’re in a relationship. Think about those four horsemen of the relationships apocalypse: criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling and how often d...

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Relationship as a partnership

It helps to view your relationship as a “work of art” that you two are co-creating together, in real-time.

The work-of-art mindset can help counter that pessimistic self-narrative. Instead,...

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Be kind to yourself

Your reasons for developing self-sabotaging behaviors most likely spring from an understandable and human place. 

The way out of it is to have insight into who you are in...

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Defensive failure

It's what occurs when we want to achieve something and we think about it constantly but we don't do it.

This happens because of a few mental blocks that are keeping us locked in this c...

“I just don’t think I can do this”

Experiencing a rocky start is enough sometimes to discourage us from going any further and we convince ourselves we don't have what it takes to do a certain task.

How to outsmart it: Develop a growth mindset and try to see each failure as just an opportunity to learn.

“People like me aren’t good at this”

While our identities can give us a sense of meaning and a place in the world, sometimes they can get in our way when we’re attempting new things: many of us will avoid doing anything that threatens our sense of self.

How to outsmart it: Find people like you, that are doing the things you'd like to do and share your concerns with them.

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Manage your feelings when in a relationship

Anger and frustration can result in great harm when expressed. When you experience these feelings towards your partner, try to calm down before starting a quarrel, which would only just injure your...

A balanced relationship is a happy relationship

As you most probably know, making sure there is balance at every level in your relationship will only strengthen your connection with your better half. Therefore, take all the necessary steps to ensure that whenever one of you has a bad day, the other one is there to cheer him or her up.

Efficient communication within a relationship

Whenever you feel like asking something to your partner, try saying it in a polite and affectionate way, avoiding reproaches while making sure that you set the direction of your relationship up for success.

Dee Hock - Founder of Visa Credit Card

“If you look to lead, invest at least 40 percent of your time managing yourself.”

Dee Hock - Founder of Visa Credit Card

Shortcomings of leaders

Being a leader is a little like being a parent. You have all the best intentions of how great you will be and how you will avoid the mistakes you see other people make.

But, people in a leadership role find it is not that easy; they have too much to do and not enough time; they don't properly think through their priorities; they assume that people beneath them will take care of a lot of problems.

Do a "character traits check"

  • Think of someone you thought was a bad leader and list any of the negative behaviors they displayed.
  • Ask yourself if you share any of those behaviors — score 1 for not likely to 5 for very likely: for instance, someone who kept important information away from employees, a micromanager, a vague communicator, a yeller, someone who didn't keep their word.
  • After you identify your potential areas of improvement, make a plan for how you'll work on them.

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