5 Unhelpful Beliefs Negatively Affecting our Relationships
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
In my practice, I found that some people create high expectations through unhelpful beliefs about how things should work within relationships. As one grows, movies, social media, and even fairytales set many of the grounding beliefs for those expectations. When the reality clashes with them, one doesn't often understand how that could happen.
“The most important and most difficult thing
that you can change is your fixed false beliefs.”
Lack of flexibility and inability to adapt beliefs to evolving situations makes relationships difficult to last. Of course, these beliefs have been created over a lifetime. They may have been created at a point of life in which they have been helpful. But, later on, inflexibility around them begins to cause conflicts at work, in friendships, with families, and in romantic relationships. Unfortunately, deeply ingrained beliefs are difficult to break without becoming aware of them and consciously attempting to change them.
Unhelpful beliefs are very pervasive, and challenging them is not simple.
Following are 5 unhelpful beliefs that can contribute to ruining even the strongest relationship. Do any of these sound familiar?
1. Who loves me should know what I need.
We expect our friends or partner to be magically attuned to our needs. We think we shouldn’t have to ask for what we want or need, as the right partner or friend should “just know.” For example, should your partner magically “just know” you would like him to cook for dinner? Or should your friend "just know" what you like or not?
People aren’t mind-readers. Some people may be intuitive, but many are not. They mostly don’t know when something bothers you unless you tell them. Therefore, if you want to be understood and want them to do things the way you like, to maintain a healthy relationship, you need to be open with your expectations and voice them clearly.
Action step: Reflect on what you currently need that you aren’t asking for. Begin to ask for them and be very specific, as everyone interprets things through their personal experience. For example, if you want more attention from your partner, tell them precisely what the attention you want looks like for you.
2. I should manage to do everything by myself.
This belief leads to a high volume of stress in every relationship. The person who does everything better is also challenging for others; it’s frustrating never to be able to give back to someone, as to give to someone we love feels really good. Moreover, the idea of managing things alone better also sets the ground for perfectionism. It puts a lot of pressure, and once this belief is formed, and for you asking for help when needed can become challenging and perceived as a weakness. Relationships are meant to be reciprocal; they are about to give and take. Allow people in your life to share what they can give you and see the possibilities that open up.
Action step: Make a list of things you can tolerate to delegate; allow those things to be done by someone else in your life. Practice asking others for help and keep some tasks to yourself, but not enough to overwhelm you. This way, you will learn flexibility, others will learn to help you, and your relationships will improve.
"True freedom comes when you learn to choose
to change your beliefs rather than running on default.”