BAD RELATIONSHIP HABITS TO DITCH IN 2017

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The New Year signals new beginnings. But attaining new beginnings means that some habits have to go for you cannot do things the same way and expect different results. If you want to nurture meaningful relationships this year, then you have to ditch the following bad habits.

Defining yourself according to other people’s opinions.
Quit seeing yourself in the eyes of other people. You have to value, love and define yourself according to your standards. This calls for you to know yourself, know what you like and hate, what you stand for and what you value.

If, for instance, you don’t want to date right now or even get married despite your age, quit explaining yourself to others or feeling like you owe people an explanation. This calls for self-awareness, a powerful tool of success in every area of life and particularly in relationships.

Part of defining yourself includes pursuing relationships you are comfortable with.
Women, particularly, are victims of getting into relationships just because everyone else around them thinks that a certain guy would be good for them. You have the power to decide whether you really want to explore that kind of relationship with this person.

If there is someone you would like to know better or grow closer to or repair the relationship, then make up your mind and go for what you really want. And if there are toxic people you need to cut from your life, do so unapologetically.

Refusing to take responsibility for your mistakes. Sadly, it is difficult to own up to our mistakes. In fact, in our day-to-day lives, we probably know of many people who constantly blame everyone else but themselves for their mistakes. Taking responsibility for one’s mistakes calls for honesty and a deeper level of maturity.

To achieve this, you need to set aside time for self-reflection and acknowledge the role you play in whatever situation you find yourself in. For instance, if you find yourself constantly dating toxic people, you need to find out why you allow such people into your life, as this is the first step towards breaking a bad habit.

Learn to not only accept your mistakes, but also to apologise when you hurt others, to forgive yourself and then move on. Rather than beat yourself up accept that everything you experience in life even the bad can shed light on areas you need to work on, only if you are open and willing to learn. This will help you to be at peace with yourself.

Negative thoughts. Don’t fall into the trap of happiness-hindering thinking, easy as it may be to do so. Instead, learn to control your emotions and reactions because life is 30 per cent what happens to you and 70 per cent how you react to it. Even when your partner does something that has a negative impact on you, you can still choose to assume a positive approach to conflict resolution.

While at it, do not allow your bad negative experiences to make you bitter and cynical, otherwise you will find yourself carrying this negative energy into all your relationships. And do not generalise people and issues. Just because your previous partner cheated on you does not mean all men cheat, and if your previous girlfriend left you because you were broke does not justify you concluding that all women are gold diggers.

Realise that bad things happen even to the best of us but they need not be part of your regular thinking patterns.

Published January 2017

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