On Monday I wrote about how my parents had taught me some valuable lessons over the past few months after a couple of run-ins with them that were uncomfortably reminiscent of some of my poor relationships. I am always learning from my own experiences and those of others, so I have jotted down some quick thoughts that have come to me over the past while that pave the way for deeper discussions in subsequent posts. Here are the first ten…

1. We each have our way of communicating and if someone is not understanding you, you’re either not communicating in a language that they understand, you’re sending mixed messages, or they don’t want to understand.

2. In relationships, you cannot assume that you are ‘right’ and that the other person must adopt your behavioural or communication style. For a start, you’re not twins, you’re individuals, but even more importantly, you need to learn to understand that person and find a way to communicate with them that resonates with their behavioural and communication style. Case in point – Mr Unavailables and assclowns talk a lot of doo doo that is in contradiction with their words and they know this even if they won’t admit it. If you keep talking and discussing, they deduce that you don’t mean what you say because they don’t mean what they say. However when you act decisively, it has far greater impact. They feel it when you cut contact and stay cut off; they realise that you’re likely to be around when you hang around chatting, hoping, or trying to be their friend.

3. The fact that you have communicated something doesn’t automatically create an obligation of action. ‘I’m not happy about the fact that you didn’t call me’ carries far less weight than ‘If you want to continue dating me/having a relationship with me, please call when you say you’re going to call’.

4. Whilst riding their asses like Zorro isn’t necessarily the answer, people who tend to cross boundaries or trample all over them see any time that you accept their poor behaviour as a weakening in your boundaries and adjust their behaviour accordingly to exploit the ‘weakness’.

5. If you feel like your patterns are deep-rooted, take a good long hard look at the relationship you had (or didn’t have) with your parents. We subconsciously create familiar patterns unless we acknowledge their existence and deal with them.

6. You may be upset or hurt by someone but that doesn’t mean that they have to do something, be sorry, apologise, or change.

7. You may well recognise that someone’s behaviour is not ‘right’ or ‘normal’ but that doesn’t mean that they have to change it, that you’re the one that you should tell them or get them to change it, or that they should want to.

8. When we get hurt in relationships and feel pain, this doesn’t mean that the other party owes you anything or that they should feel more for you.

9. People are relatable and find it easier to understand something if they can relate to it and connect. If their natural disposition is to be thoughtless and not think about someone else’s feelings other than their own, they’re unlikely to be moved by you explaining how you feel.

10. You may love them…but they don’t have to love you back. Harsh, but true. This is all the more reason why it is important to choose quality partners with a potential to yield good relationships, because trying to extract feelings and a relationship out of someone who caters to negativity is a one way trip to rejection.

Your thoughts?

Look out for the subsequent parts over the next few days – part two, part three, and four now available.


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