5 Relationships To Avoid Now That Will Be Painful Later

The quality of our life is directly proportional to the quality of our relationships. The relationships we have with others says a lot about who we are.

I remember a mentor once saying that a personal relationship usually brings up our unresolved issues from the past a lot faster than not being in a relationship. It is something we cannot avoid unless we choose to live a life excluded from other people.

There are three core relationships we all have, which are with:

  1. Ourselves.
  2. Others.
  3. The world.

These three types of relationships determine all of our experiences in life. Unless we have strong, healthy relationships, it can be extremely difficult to have a joyful and fulfilled life. Life is about our relationships.

Image courtesy of marcolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over the years, as I have gained more clarity on what’s most important to me, certain relationships have fallen away that were no longer serving me. As I have chosen to put more attention in my professional development, people who aren’t business-oriented are no longer a key influence in my life. As time goes by, I know I will create new relationships and there is every possibility that some existing relationships will dissolve away.

Here are five relationships to avoid at all costs because if we don’t, it will cause us pain, misery, stress and loss. The loss we can suffer may be emotional, financial, spiritual and eventually, relational. It is better to become aware of these types of relationship now before they become a problem in the future.

  1. Relationships that are meant to make you happy. It can be hard to accept that no one can make us happy or sad. We are always responsible for how we feel. If we are in an intimate relationship and are dependent on the other person to make us feel happy, then that’s a strategy for long term pain. It’s the experiences we have with another person that either generate emotions of pleasure or sadness.
  2. Relationships that are dominated by one person. Very rarely can there be a healthy relationship if it is controlled by one person. In a work environment, a manager will never have a great working relationship with a direct report if there isn’t a two-way feedback system in place. Similarly, in a personal relationship, one person should never have all the power. There has to be equality in the relationship.
  3. Relationships dictated by emotional control or manipulation. If a person is always blaming another person in order to show dominance over them, then that is not healthy. Blame can never be justification for being righteous. In such a situation, both parties lose because one person will be constantly looking out for mistakes, while the other person will desperately be trying to avoid making mistakes.
  4. Relationships that are co-dependent. If the choices we make are always dependent on what we think another person will say or do, then that is dangerous. If it goes unaddressed, that will build up resentment, which can often lead to the destruction of relationships. We should never expect someone to do something they do not want to do in order to make us feel better about ourselves.
  5. Relationships that are not built on trust. Trust is one of those things that can take a long time to earn but can be lost very quickly. If a relationship is based on false assumptions, lies or avoidance, then that will only cause pain. Trust is built by willing to be vulnerable, owning up to mistakes and being willing to receive feedback for the betterment of the relationship.

Relationships can be challenging but they also can be the greatest joy in our lives. The more we are willing to invest in all our relationships, the better the quality of our experiences will be. If we’re able to let go of some of the false beliefs we have about relationships, the better relationships we will create.

Action Step: Reflect on some of the core relationships in your life and rate what type of relationship they are. Are they supporting you or are they deflating you? What can you do today to enhance your relationships?

Question: What is another type of relationship we must avoid?

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