8 Harmful Relationship Patterns: Do You Have One?
By Aiyana Ma’at
How many times in your life have you paused to take a look at yourself and how you tend to think and act in your relationships? Have you ever considered that the ways you tend to feel, think, and act in any given relationship situation can be pretty predictable and easy to call? Why? As children we learned to take on “roles” and act out certain behaviors that helped us in some ways and hurt us in other ways.
So, it should make sense that as adults we actually take on a role in our relationship that is either the “parent”, “child”, or “adult”. The “parent role” tends to dictate or take control of a relationship; the “child role” often is looking to be taken care of or can act somewhat irresponsible. When a partner takes on either of these roles, often the partner steps into the opposite role and this dynamic can cause a dysfunctional relationship.
When both folks challenge themselves to both stay in the ADULT role it gives both the opportunity to step their game up and go to the next level in their relationship.
Here are some examples of behavior patterns that you may have learned from your parents or used as a child that just don’t work well in adult relationships (….but you’re still acting out these patterns!)
1. If something uncomfortable happens you tend to go off on your own and not want to speak with your partner.
2. You take life too seriously when some playfulness would really help the situation.
3. You make light of serious issues in your relationship that deserve thoughtful and deliberate consideration.
4. You pretend you’re fine when asking for what you need would be much more appropriate.
5. You keep “trying harder” to make the relationship work, even though everything is telling you that your “trying” is not very productive and you should be open to a new way.
6. You sometimes lose your temper and regret it later.
6. You tend to withdraw, shut down, and not share your feelings.
7. You pout and wait for your partner to come rescue you from being upset instead of taking responsibility for your own happiness.
8. You act as if your opinion is the truth and the light and anything outside of that is just, well, retarded. (Anyone know of any little ones who think the world revolves around them???)
These are just a few. Until we start owning our part in the breakdown of relationships we can’t begin to change to make things better. Instead, we put the problem onto the other person and blame them for the relationship not succeeding. When we blame the other person we never have the opportunity to learn the lessons that the relationship offered and we then don’t know what we need to change to make our future interactions and relationships better.
At some point, we all have to take a good honest look at ourselves and stop playing and start pushing.
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Oh my goodness. I'm # 4 and 5 all day long. I knew I acted that way but I never really connected it to childhood behavior and habits. Aiyana, you gon have me thinking about this ALL day. It's deep! I can see how I've always been the same way. I really can! And, where has it gotten me? That's a whole nother story!!! Thanks for this article!
Great post. I can definitely relate to a lot of those patterns and I know my on-off partner will be able to. And it is very true that a lot of people aren't willing to look at their part in a relationship. I understand that sometimes the complete breakdown can be mainly the result of one person's actions but that does not mean the other person can't look at their behaviour and improve it, even if it didn't directly lead to the relationship failing.
Love your website and advice – thanks for sharing!