What are you getting out of relationships?


If you view yourself as a loser, or a flop, because a marriage, friendship, or other significant relationship ended, you don’t have the correct view of yourself. There’s a difference between a relationship failing and a relationship ending. If you view past unhappy relationships as failures, you will create more unhappy relationships in the future.

If you acquired wisdom from past relationships, you will create happier IMG_0536relationships in the future. Life is a series of relationships. We’re drawn to friendships and love relationships to make us wiser and add to our lives. But sometimes that’s the problem—we often don’t learn from relationship experiences. Instead we become more bitter, more resentful, more distrusting, more self-degrading, and deeper in self-pity. We get stuck in the hurt and repeat poor choices in relationships rather than look at the lesson from the experience and learning what to do differently. Author Alan Cohen wrote, “We form new relationships according to the way we think about old ones.” You want to break that any cycle.

A relationship can only be defined as a failure if you didn’t learn from the experience – if you didn’t look at your role that could have contributed to IMG_0363its ending. For instance, if more than one person tells you that you fail to pay attention, that’s an area you should give thought to since it would be a positive trait that’s necessary in a good relationship. If you have a trail of dumped relationships with individuals who are part of a rock band, what’s that telling you? If you acquire information about yourself that you didn’t have before the relationship, then you have successfully gained wisdom to use in future relationships. Sometimes we want the truth to fit the situation. When it doesn’t, it’s easier to ignore the truth than to change the situation. Ignoring the truth when it comes to relationships, will prevent happiness in your life.

It’s helpful to see past unhappy relationships as learning experiences. And you need to be aware of what exactly you learned about your choices, attitude, and behavior and make adjustments where necessary. Take responsibility for improving your life. Every person in your life has something to teach you. Listen. Observe. Successful relationships are those in which both individuals are happy with themselves first, and therefore, possess self-confidence and a healthy independence.

What are the relationship mistakes you feel best prepared to avoid today? -Dr. Sandy


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