As we handle the challenges of relationships, there are some behaviors that self-aware people never engage in.
By avoiding these actions, we can all grow stronger connections and create a foundation of trust and mutual respect.
So, let’s explore some key behaviors that self-aware people never do in relationships and note them down as benchmarks for our own interactions and choices.
1) Ignoring or dismissing their partner’s needs and feelings
Healthy Relationship 101 is not ignoring or dismissing your partner’s needs and feelings.
It creates a sense of neglect and frustration, leading to resentment over time.
Active listening might be the biggest culprit here. Or should I say, the lack of?
Self-aware people know how important it is to listen attentively to their partner without interrupting or minimizing their experiences.
In a healthy relationship, both partners’ needs are equally important and should be recognized, accepted, and addressed.
2) Engaging in manipulative or controlling behaviors
Another important thing self-aware people never do in relationships is manipulate or control their partners.
However, there are many ways people do this:
- Isolating the partner
- Using emotional manipulation
- Manipulating through guilt or shame
- Controlling finances
- Monitoring or invading privacy
- Undermining self-esteem
- Threatening or intimidating behavior
Self-aware people encourage open communication, mutual respect, and the autonomy of their partner.
3) Avoiding personal responsibility
It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? There’s no way you could be responsible for anything bad happening.
Believe it or not, some people are like that. They always find ways to blame others for their actions.
Self-aware people, on the other side, take full responsibility for their mistakes. They know how important personal responsibility is in relationships.
Therefore, they take ownership of their actions, acknowledge their mistakes, and work towards personal growth and positive change.
By embracing responsibility, they promote trust, open dialogue, and a healthier, more fulfilling relationship dynamic.
4) Neglecting to communicate openly and honestly
Let’s be honest, how good is communication in your relationship from 1 to 10? Is there room for improvement?
Communication has been declining since the rise of smartphones and social media. Everyone seems to be in their own little bubble and not communicating with their partners as much as people used to.
Granted, people in the past had different methods of avoiding communicating or avoiding their partners altogether. Men simply stayed at a bar after work and came home late in the evening.
Still, self-aware people won’t neglect to communicate openly and honestly because they know how important it is.
5) Using passive-aggressiveness
I’ve written about passive-aggressiveness in relationships before. It’s something that keeps coming up when talking about toxic behavior in relationships.
It’s terrible because it creates tension, misunderstandings, and resentment between partners.
A passive-aggressive partner will use everything from sarcasm and silent treatment to indirect retaliation, manipulation, and gaslighting.
A self-aware partner won’t. It’s that simple.
There are many underlying reasons why someone starts behaving this way. It’s a long road to finding and fixing them.
6) Not setting or respecting boundaries
Another topic that keeps popping up when discussing healthy relationships is setting and respecting boundaries.
Respecting personal space and privacy is crucial in any healthy relationship. When boundaries aren’t respected, partners invade their SO’s personal space.
This could be anything from reading their messages or emails without permission to constantly monitoring their activities.
Of course, self-aware partners won’t stoop so low to violate their partner’s boundaries. They adhere to the Golden Rule – Don’t treat others in ways that you wouldn’t like to be treated.
7) Withholding affection or love as a means of punishment
Some people view relationships and marriages as power plays. I mean, if you’ve ever watched Everybody Loves Raymond, you know what I’m talking about.
For these kinds of people, almost every interaction revolves around who comes on top after it.
In the TV show, we also see how partners use withholding affection, love, and sex as a weapon.
In a healthy relationship, affection and love should be freely given, nurturing, and unconditional. We shouldn’t weaponize it.
8) Engaging in constant criticism or nitpicking
Is there anything worse than one partner constantly nitpicking and criticizing the other? Both my parents are like that, and I have to admit, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree with this one.
I’ve been battling with this for many years, and I still have to come on top. Although I’m obviously aware of this fact, it’s still hard to resist this strong feeling of nitpicking.
I know it doesn’t help and often makes me look bad. Hopefully, I’ll get it under control for my wife’s sake.
9) Keeping secrets or being dishonest about important matters
We often talk about open communication and how important it is. Keeping secrets or being dishonest about important matters can single-handedly destroy almost any relationship.
Yes, there should obviously be some boundaries, but not when it comes to important matters.
Health, money, concealing past relationships or infidelities, substance use, harmful habits, or making significant life decisions without consulting or informing your partner are a big no-no.
I mean, we all know this, right? Yet some people still do this.
10) Disregarding their own needs and constantly prioritizing their partner’s needs
Some partners are simply too nurturing. They constantly prioritize their partner’s needs over their own.
This often results in neglecting self-care but can also include neglecting physical health, emotional well-being, hobbies, or personal interests.
Over time, this neglect can lead to burnout, resentment, and a diminished sense of self.
11) Becoming overly dependent on their partner for their own happiness
On the other side is placing the responsibility for one’s happiness solely on a partner. This creates an incredible emotional burden that’s unsustainable.
It can not only overwhelm the partner but make them feel pressured and unable to meet all of their partner’s emotional needs.
Seeking constant validation and reassurance from their partner is also something many do that can negatively affect the relationship.
12) Projecting their own insecurities onto their partner
Self-aware people will never attribute their own feelings of inadequacy, fear, or self-doubt to the other person in a relationship.
They deal with and address their own insecurities and don’t constantly question their partner’s loyalty, commitment, or intentions.
I don’t have to tell you how projecting insecurities can have a detrimental effect on the other partner’s emotional well-being.
They start feeling unfairly blamed or burdened by the other person’s unresolved issues, which strains the relationship and creates an unhealthy dynamic.
We’ll come to the root of this issue in the following thing.
13) Avoiding self-reflection and personal growth
A healthy relationship sees each partner’s personal growth, as well as the growth of the relationship as a whole.
Engaging in self-reflection and actively pursuing personal growth is essential for developing a healthy, fulfilling, and evolving relationship.
But it requires readiness to explore thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and a commitment to continuously self-improve.
Are you self-aware enough to do that?
14) Holding grudges and refusing to forgive past mistakes
We all make mistakes. I’ve probably made hundreds, if not thousands, of small and big mistakes during my lifetime.
Nonetheless, some people love holding grudges and won’t let go of their partner’s past mistakes.
It’s a relatively common occurrence that one partner holds a past mistake over their partner’s head. They use it in arguments and keep referencing it whenever they get the chance.
15) Becoming overly defensive and escalating conflicts unnecessarily
Arguing constructively is a skill many don’t have. They become overly defensive during conflicts, which leads to an increase in emotional tension within the relationship.
Instead of genuinely listening to their partner’s concerns or feedback, they focus solely on protecting themselves and their ego, closing off avenues for growth and compromise.
And above all, they turn minor disagreements into major disputes, with both partners becoming locked in a defensive stance.
This type of communication perpetuates a toxic dynamic and makes it challenging to break free from harmful communication patterns.
Over time, excessive defensiveness erodes trust between partners. When one person consistently responds defensively, the other feels unheard, invalidated, or unwilling and unable to express themselves honestly.
There are many other mistakes self-aware people don’t make in relationships. Things like:
- Having unrealistic expectations of their partner
- Failing to support their partner’s goals and aspirations
- Taking their partner for granted and not showing appreciation
- Engaging in excessive jealousy or possessiveness
- Using emotional or verbal abuse as a means of control
- Dismissing their partner’s feedback or concerns
- Refusing to seek professional help or couples therapy when needed
But this article would be way too long if I explained each one of them.
Here’s how you can assess whether something is wrong or bad to do. If you have to ask yourself this question (Is it good or bad?), you already know that whatever you intend to do is not the right thing to do.