We might all be aware -- thanks to the plethora of relationship advice available in our culture -- of the multitudinous ways we can mentally, physically and psychologically mess up our most important relationships though our words and actions. For instance, I was intrigued by a recent Cosmopolitan article that listed some common relationships saboteurs. These were interesting and possibly even helpful. But what the list didn't directly address, and this is true for many articles, are some underlying core beliefs that people bring to their relationships that undermine their ability to have the healthy, happy ones they yearn for. What happens is that deeply held ideas about relationships, or about your self, stealthily affect words and actions, and therefore relationships. Here are four common notions that will unconsciously sabotage these and so they are worth looking out for.
1. You expect someone else to make you feel loved.
This is the American myth of "You complete me!" in a nutshell. This is a myth because it is psychologically, mentally, physically and spiritually impossible for another person to complete another. Each individual must do that for their self. You and I can allow others to help us in this journey, but in the end only we can make ourselves whole. If you have ever been in love with someone who doesn't think he or she is good enough, you might also understand the difficulty in trying making that person accept how good you think he is.
Holding this belief creates a needy energy and it is often verbalized too: "If you loved me you would..." "Don't you know how you make me feel?" This energy wants to force the other person to be responsible for how we feel. Very few of us want to be put in this position because on one level we know it is not possible to do. If I could "make" the people I love happy, I would do it! They would be the happiest people in the world because I would "make" them feel this way. It never works, really, despite what the myth says.
This is why most of us resist being around someone throwing off a needy type energy. And if you are one of those waiting to for someone to make you feel loved, allow me to say that you will wait a very long time. This brings us to number two.
2. You do not completely love, respect and trust yourself.
In number one, the misstep is to expect someone to fix that for us. Here in two, the misstep is that we also now carry around a vibe of not-lovable, not-good-enough. If at some level we don't feel lovable, we will accept people around us that don't quite love us because it matches our personal belief. I have had clients and friends be very comfortable with less than stellar romances because they just did not expect any better.
Overtly and psychically this not good enough vibe is available to anyone tuning in to us. People often adjust to this particular energetic signature. I've fallen for this myself. I had a friend who had debilitating self-worth issues and would put herself down fairly often in conversation, an instance where her lack of self-acceptance would be then overtly obvious. I found myself reacting critically to her more often than to any of my other friends, despite being aware of this dynamic. My first reaction to her was not to trust her or appreciate her, but to criticize. It took extra energy on my part to not conform to what she was broadcasting about how she felt about herself.
Not completely loving ourselves causes all kinds of problems because on one hand we feel needy for healthy love from the other and, on the other hand, can hardly tell the truth about what others feel if they are at some level conforming to our feelings about ourselves. And number three is related to this.
3. You judge yourself negatively for perceived failings
If you are still judging yourself negatively for what you think are your shortcomings and errors, you do not then accept yourself as you are today. If you are nitpicking yourself, this energy carries over into a willingness to nitpick others even if you never say anything about it. Many very good people go out of their way to accept their significant others just as they are.
However, if at some level of the psyche, a person doesn't accept his or her self, then this is the energy they carry -- non-acceptance. Have you been close to someone that was critical of themselves? Sometimes you catch them self-berating over something and then you think "Hey! I do that too!" It is hard to believe that someone who is mad at himself over spilling a drink or missing a deadline, for instance, would be kinder to us if we did it.
Plus, it is much easier to accept other people's foibles and idiosyncrasies if we accept our own without criticizing ourselves. Often if we are harsh about something we think we do wrong, such as being habitually late or too skinny or too loud, then we do tend to overtly criticize others for those exact qualities. The cleanest, healthiest thing to do if acquire self acceptance for everything as it is today, not tomorrow when you have fixed all your flaws, but right now. It is something we mystics are constantly caught harping upon. It doesn't mean you don't want to improve; it means that you accept yourself as is, even before any improvements. This also relates to number four.
4. You resist authentic verbal, emotional and physical expression because of fear
It is hard to create an authentic and healthy close relationship if you do not feel comfortable in expressing yourself in a healthy, authentic way. Often we struggle to say or do just the right thing in important relationships so that the other person is happy with us -- because we are afraid of what the other might think of us if we don't. The underlying belief here is that what they think of you is more important than what you think. The fear is that if the other doesn't like what you say or do, then you are at risk. And yet the real risk is to be in a relationship where you are afraid to be yourself.
An additional problem is, when carried to an extreme, that we get very bad at identifying, and therefore expressing, our true selves because we are more concerned with what others think and feel than our own thoughts and feelings. While we all benefit from improving our communication and listening skills, constantly choosing actions and words that are aimed at making the other happy will backfire because we cannot in the end make others happy (see number one). Sometimes, some people turn around and frustratingly proclaim that their boyfriend doesn't understand them!
This loss of authentic expression will hurt an intimate relationship when we alter our verbal and physical expressions due to fear. Fear or doubt of self can lead to holding back emotions, affections and passion. For instance, some people feel overly inhibited in expressing physical affection during what might otherwise be appropriate times. Maybe it's because they were criticized in this area in a past romance. Or maybe their cultural upbringing prohibited acknowledging affectionate physical feelings. The end result is that the relationship will always be missing something when someone continually holds back something that is true for him or her.
Questions, comments and ideas are welcome and encouraged. Contact Psychic Margaret Ruth on her Facebook page, email email@example.com or call 801-575-7103. You can also get details on private readings, hear the weekly podcast on metaphysical topics, and enjoy the blog at www.margaretruth.com. Margaret Ruth has been on radio, television, published in newspapers and magazines and major websites. She is the author of "Superconscious Connections: The Simple Psychic Truths of Perfectly Satisfying Relationships" (Sept 2010)