According to Dr. John Gottman’s reputable research, keeping a five to one ratio of negative to positive is one of the single biggest indicators of long lasting relationships.
Therefore, I usually help couples focus on expanding the positive rather than trying to eliminate the negative. Successful couples can have a certain measure of conflict, unresolved issues, or negative interactions, and still thrive.
But there are certain dynamics that can creep into even relatively healthy relationships that are toxic. These dynamics are sure to erode the relationship and significantly lower the chances of survival.
Dr. Phil, love him or hate him, writes a chapter in his book Relationship Rescue on what he calls “bad spirit.” He is spot on in asserting that in order to fix our relationships, we have to start with ourselves.
Take a look at these traps below, and be honest with yourself! Do you engage in any of these? If so, do what you can to find new ways of expressing yourself (see these 6 ways to express yourself with integrity for help on this).
Toxic Relationships: 8 Damaging Dynamics
This can be subtle or overt. Do you do things for your partner to get leverage or the upper hand? For example, you may give only to get what’s “owed” to you later. Or, you may be keen to let your partner what an imposition it was for you to support them in some way (I have been totally guilty of this!) Let me be clear: It’s ok to expect fairness. But a “keeping score” mentality makes you obsessively concerned that your partner never gets a “freebie.” If this is you, the first thing is to notice it. Then try to start thinking from the “usness” place. What helps your partner helps you by putting emotional currency in your joint accountGet on the same team.