7 habits that are secretly sabotaging your relationships with others

Did you know that you can actually destroy your own relationships? Without even realizing it? 

Well, you may not be aware of it, but many of us have habits and quirks that cause people to dislike us, or create issues. This can even lead to people walking away from us. 

These habits can be simple ticks or big compulsions that we can’t seem to change. And to fix them, we need to know what they are.

Nobody is perfect, but destructive behaviors that hurt people will get in the way of happy and cheerful relationships.

So let’s look at some of the habits that can lead to self sabotage, and how to change them.

1) You assume things about others

Picture this: You’re having a conversation with someone, and before you know it, you’ve sunk deep into the treacherous trap of assumptions. We all tend to assume and overthink, right? 

Well, that’s not a good thing.

Most people don’t want to be perceived as something they are not. Like you, people want to be listened to and understood as they are.

Assuming you know what someone else is believing or feeling, without seeking clarity, can easily create misunderstandings. In turn, this hinders open and clear communication. 

Why? Because in your head, you’ve already judged the person and closed your mind.

When we judge people, we can dislike them or feel that they are bad, simply because something within us was triggered.

Break free from this habit by:

  • Actively listening. Start asking questions and be open to diverse perspectives. Remember, assumptions are the enemy of understanding!
  • Looking within yourself to see what has triggered you. (Maybe you assume someone is selfish when really it’s more about your own fear of being judged as selfish).

Make every effort to be open-minded. Give people a chance, because you would want that for yourself.

2) You use your phone to hide from people

The joys of smartphones – an amazing tool!  But the way you use them can be a perfect example of self sabotage.

While the internet and 24/7 connectivity has brought us closer in many ways, it has also become a double-edged sword.

We tend to bury ourselves in screens and prioritize virtual connections over real-life interactions. This can put up an invisible wall between us and those we care about, leaving them feeling like you aren’t truly interested in them.

Break the gadget addiction habit by setting aside dedicated screen-free time. This is also an opportunity to practice active listening. 

Try talking to the people and putting your phone on silent for an hour. It’s really nice to just give others your undivided attention. 

And it’s very enjoyable to spend real quality time with the people in your life. Because reconnecting with the beauty of genuine human ties is something that brings deep joy. 

For many, nothing beats mentally stimulating conversations. And it’s always fun to share moments with friends and loved ones, like having coffee together and talking about your day, or what happened on a special night out.

3) You blame the world for your problems

It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming others when things go wrong. Most of us play the victim card at times. You may never think you’re the one to blame. And this is why you might get angry and engage in the blame game.

Here’s the thing – this habit creates an atmosphere of defensiveness and hinders growth in relationships.

When you experience conflict with people you love, it’s important to approach the situation with kindness and empathy. Remember that your goal is to fix the problem. Not to ‘win’ a fight.

Instead of fixating on who is at fault, focus on taking responsibility for your actions.

After assessing the issue, try working together to find solutions. 

You can talk and find out each other’s point of view. Then after that, search for a compromise.  Even if compromise is elusive, you can always agree that it’s better to have a truce than a war.

Remember, true resolution comes from collaboration, not condemnation. Finding common ground and compromising is the real way to win, don’t you agree?

4) You forget to consider other people’s needs

In every relationship, there is a dance of balance and compromise.

It’s essential to consider the needs and desires of others, not just our own. Otherwise you may be perceived as selfish.

On the other hand, you must also make sure that you don’t become a doormat, and avoid putting everyone else’s needs before your own.

The answer is empathy and compromise.

Constantly prioritizing our own interests can leave our loved ones feeling neglected and unimportant. Break free from this habit by putting yourself in the other’s shoes.

Actively seek to understand others’ perspectives and find mutually beneficial solutions.

Remember, true harmony arises when we walk together, not alone.

And that’s exactly the point of good relationships, working together, right?

5) You sound negative all the time

words and phrases classy people never use 1 7 habits that are secretly sabotaging your relationships with others

Did you know that negativity has a sneaky way of seeping into our relationships?

It can be very difficult to spend time with a person who weighs you down all the time. 

Who would you rather be with? A ray of sunshine? Or a dark storm cloud with hailstones?

Negativity can poison the very essence of what makes unions beautiful.

While addressing concerns and conflicts is important, dwelling solely on the negative aspects of life and relationships can overshadow the joy of life.

Conversely, if you are always pushing people’s buttons, they will probably start to avoid you.

Escape the negativity by cultivating gratitude. Try to focus on the good things in your life and your relationships.

Nurture the seeds of positivity and watch them blossom into a thriving connection. If you act with kindness, you will reap kindness in return. 

6) You avoid expressing your emotions and feelings

Maybe you’ve been hurt in the past, and you feel it’s safer not to share how you really feel.

The desire to avoid talking about difficult things is understandable, especially if we have been hurt before, right?

Still, being open is (usually) better.

Remember, vulnerability and sharing are very important in deepening our connections with other people. Yet many of us shy away from these things, fearing rejection or judgment.

By avoiding emotional expression, we build walls and create distance in our relationships.

Break this habit by creating a safe space for vulnerability. Allow honesty and understanding to flourish. Let people get to know the real you.

Embrace the power of open communication, heartfelt conversations, and empathetic listening. Trust me, it’s worth the leap!

7) You compare people

In the age of social media, comparison has become an all too familiar tune. We may find that we want to know which person is better. Perhaps we find ourselves comparing others’ flaws and good points.

But if we don’t want to self-sabotage, we must avoid this trap.

Comparing our relationships can breed feelings of dissatisfaction in both you and your loved ones. A person can feel resentment towards you if you compare them to an ex, or another friend, or whoever.

Remember, every relationship is unique, with its own joys and challenges.

Instead of getting tangled in the comparison maze, focus on nurturing and improving.

Also, learn to be grateful. Realize how lucky you are to have met your partner or friend. And remember that no one is perfect and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!

The takeaway

Do you see yourself in some of these habits? If so, it’s okay, you are human! 

There are many habits that destroy relationships. You may think that whatever you’re doing is fine, and yet you may be unknowingly hurting others.

Just take things one step at a time. Be willing to change, and then watch how your relationships improve.

Be considerate and try to look within, to understand your own behaviors more clearly. 

Your social skills and your willingness to see things from the other person’s point of view can greatly increase the quality of your relationships. 

Want to supercharge the process? Ask trusted friends and family for feedback!

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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