Be Aware: Beliefs and Opinions You Hang On To Might Harm Your Relationships
There probably are many beliefs and opinions you hang on to, which you unconsciously internalized while growing up. Since they drive your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors in your adult life, they might harm your relationships without you realizing it.
When you become aware of the beliefs and opinions which exert power over you, you can neutralize their power, and consciously decide how to react to and behave with your partners. Such free choice is vital for a successful relationship.
How beliefs sabotage relationships: Michael’s example
Michael always treats his partners as though they are worth less than he is and don’t know much. Despite the fact that his behavior leads to arguments and conflicts, consequently to remoteness and separation, he doesn’t change his behavior.
Michael behaves out of the belief that “the other sex is not valuable enough”. He may have internalized that from his father or the neighborhood he grew up in; perhaps from TV programs that he watched. This belief manages him automatically, unconsciously. For that reason, he can not change his behavior with his partners, even though he experiences fights and frustration, remoteness and separations. He is liable to move from one relationship to another, behaving superiorly, maybe even in a degrading manner with his partners.
It is safe to assume that you, like Michael, are probably controlled by beliefs and opinions that you adopted from your childhood homes, your social environment, television, radio, books and films, which you are not aware of.
Examples of such beliefs and opinions might be:
* “Never show your true self to your partner.”* “A man needs more sex than a woman.”* “Women are annoying; they just want to talk about feelings all the time.”* “Women are not as smart as men.”* “A woman should do everything in the house.”* “Cheating is OK for men but not for women.”* “Men don’t cry.”* “You should always keep a few secrets from your partner.”* “Men only want one thing.”
Self-awareness enables you to identify beliefs and opinions that control you
Beliefs and opinions such as these affect your perception of relationships, as well as your interactions with your partners.
As long as you are not aware of them, they will continue harming your relationships over and over again – with the same partner or with different ones.
The only way to deactivate the power such beliefs and opinions exert over you is by becoming aware of them and realizing how they control your attitudes, thoughts, reactions and behaviors in your relationships.
It is only then that you can consciously choose to think, react and behave in other ways, vital to cultivating a successful, healthy and satisfying relationship.