Strengthen Your Relationship by Avoiding These Mistakes

What not to do to make your relationship strong

- | 73 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

a couple with thumps up show how to strengthen your relationship

I’m sure you’ve tried to strengthen your relationship by doing things that you might have heard, read, or seen people do.

So, today I thought of writing about things to stop doing in your relationship that would help strengthen your relationship.

If you are like me, you would value your relationship more than anything else and make sure to keep working on it to make it better.

You might want to read my earlier post about why love hurts in a relationship and how to heal a relationship when love hurts – to know more about relationships.

So, if you are in a relationship, you need to be very careful of your actions and your words because they can hurt anyone – anytime. They also cause a lot of misunderstandings in the relationship.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” ~ Henry Winkler

Stop Doing These Things to Strengthen Your Relationship

If you want your relationship to get better and flourish, you need to avoid doing the following things –

1- Stop being a complainer

It’s alright to complain once in a while when you are in a relationship, but if you complain too often – you might just put off the other person.

Your partner might find it taxing or draining to be around you because you complain about every little things, and much too often.

Remember, people like to be around those who remain positive, so remain positive in your action and words.

Tip: You can make you relationship strong if you stop being a complainer.

2- Hurting through your comments

Sometimes you feel that you are helping others by the way you talk. Instead, your good intentions might be taken negatively because of the way you express them verbally.

Words can hurt and leave scars, so choose your words wisely. Put yourself in the shoes of the other and think how you would feel if you were spoken to in such a way.

Tip: Build a strong relationship by speaking kindly, lovingly, and softly.

3- Talking and not listening

Listening is an art few can follow. Sometimes when you are in a relation, you just want someone to hear you out without giving solutions to you. You just want a listening ear more than anything else.

Most people look forward to share their feelings and frustrations with someone. This lightens them up and makes them feel better.

However, few people can really become good listeners. It often happens that when someone starts telling them their problems – they start talking about their own, or start giving solutions!

Such one-sided kind of conversation becomes stifling at times, and your relationship doesn’t really work.

Instead, your partner might look for another person who would be willing to hear him or her out – so be careful!

Tip: You can strengthen your relationship by being attentive and willing to hear out your partner, without letting your mind run to other things!

4- Being critical and defensive

Some of you might not take criticism well enough and tend to become defensive when you are given a feedback or criticized for something.

While there are others who take criticism well into their stride and use it to get better. They take it up in a positive way.

Constructive criticism and feedback is good, but if you become too critical it can hurt your relationship. If you keep complaining or highlighting the flaws of your partner, it can be very annoying.

Tip: You can make your relationship better by appreciating the good things in your partner.

5- Thinking that you are right and know everything

I’m sure most of you can relate to this one! You need to drop the belief that you are always right in whatever you do, because you can also be wrong.

Learn to accept this fact and listen to the other person because everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, even if it doesn’t match yours.

When you have preconceived ideas that you are right always, you are seemingly making the other person’s ideas stand wrong.

Remember, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there to learn, so don’t think you know it all.

Tip: Improve your relationship by opening up your mind to others, and by valuing them.

6- Staying distant

At times, in your relationship you might find some people who aren’t as responsive and prefer staying aloof or distant. They don’t respond to you or feel that you aren’t all that important.

What would you do in such a case? You would prefer to stay away from such people because you form a bad impression about their attitude and behavior.

Tip: Instead, strengthen your relationship by getting closer, responding, and reaching out to such people.

7- Ordering around

Most people don’t like when they are told what to do and what not to do. It’s like you are ordering them around or trying to boss over them and their lives.

I can relate to this as my husband feels that I’m ordering him around if I ask him to do certain things. Whereas, I do so because I’m short of time to explain things to him!

Even if you don’t mean to, it’s often taken in a negative way. You need to take time and explain things in a better manner.

Tip: Be gentle and loving with any person, and you’ll most likely build a strong relationship.

8- Judging others

Sometimes you might become judgmental about people in your relationship, or tend to think that you are above them. You might judge them for what they do or say.

Remember, you are no one to judge them because you don’t know how or what they are undergoing. Nor can you step into their shoes and live their lives.

No one likes to be judged or labeled – would you? Instead, by putting off people you don’t become a better person but make the other person insecure.

Tip: So, don’t judge or label people, but be kind and humble to make your relationship strong.

9- Not keeping your word

It often happens that people don’t keep their word, nor follow up on things they had agreed to do. They don’t stick to their promise, appointments, favors, or whatever they had said they would do.

This breaks the trust you have in the person because it makes the person unreliable. Besides leaving a bad taste in your mouth, you might not want to work or be associated with such a person in the future.

Tip: If you want to strengthen your relationship, be committed and responsible.

Hey! Let’s take a quick poll about how you would describe your relationship with your partner – just for fun!

[polldaddy poll=6992681]

So, how did the poll go, and what were your results? Let me know in the comments below.

Above all, don’t ever forget to communicate because poor communications leads to relationship problems. If you can’t talk to each other or share your feelings, your relationship needs help.

“Little kindness and courtesies are so important. In relationships, the little things are the big things.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

So, don’t wait, and go ahead and express your love right now!

Any relationship is like a tender bond. Remember, you can strengthen your relationship by nurturing this bond with love, care, and affection.

When the boat of your relationship sails smoothly, you will find eternal happiness and bliss in everything around you.

Over to you –

If you are or were in a relationship, what tips would you share to make the relationship strong? What things would you stop doing that will strengthen your relationship? Share in the comments below.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

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73 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Cheri

    2018-01-06 at 11:10 pm

    You are spot on about creating the qualities to make a relationship healthy and mature. There is a portion of the population who cannot exhibit these qualities. Because of early childhood trauma, parts of the brain did not develop, one being the empathy center which in turn effects the conscience. It is nearly hopeless to have a healthy, deeply connected relationship with such a person. I kept trying for 40 years. With counseling and research I finally understand my marriage was far from healthy and it would never get better. If you want a healthy, give and take, respectful, trusting relationship it’s never going to happen with narcissist husband. It’s important to expound on what makes a relationship work well. At the same time, it’s equally important to have knowledge that with some people, it’s impossible to have a healthy, viable, empathetic relationship. My eyes are finally open. All I can do is have compassion for him with such a limited emotional palate due to his servere, abusive childhood.
    So I am optimistic for the future about having the relationship I’ve longed for for so many years.

  2. Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA

    2013-10-14 at 3:27 am

    These are a good start, Harleena.
    The key issue to add- given the 9 on your list (and the 1 or 2 more I would add)- is the caveat that if more than three or four of these issues are routine problems, it’s time to find a mediator, a counselor, or a shrink that can help you both navigate the shoals you seem to be approaching- at breakneck speed.

  3. shahalam khan

    2013-07-27 at 2:40 pm

    This is very nice article about understanding a relationship better and I like that point that you have to listen to your partner more and it’s so true, thanks for sharing.

  4. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    2013-06-09 at 4:02 am

    This isn’t just for romantic relationships. It can apply to friendships. I have distanced myself from some friends because of their constant negativity and judging. It is difficult and tiring to be around. There is a fine line to draw between having a hard time and talking about your problems and then just always always complaining. It is draining.

    Keeping distant is something I do since I fear intimacy. I have gotten better about it and yet it is still difficult. I really enjoyed this post. : D.

  5. charmie

    2013-04-30 at 11:06 am

    Respected Harleena Ma’am,

    I must say an awesome one again. I read this article having my mug of coffee and my coffee tasted much better from the usual one. Trust me. 🙂
    I must say that the era in which we are living where the only concern is to sustain in the competition and earn the bucks of Vitamin M, we often neglect the relationships.

    Thank you so much for sharing such important points.


  6. Sherman Smith

    2013-03-31 at 1:33 am

    This is my first time to your blog and numbers 3 and 4 caught my attention. I know at times and I can’t take criticism well and become decision, but I come to figure the difference between friendly criticism and negative criticism. When I feel that person is trying to help, then I’ll definitely be all ears, but if it’s someone who is negative, I figure that they’re miserable and bitter and the only way they can feel better about themselves is to bring me down. So I just disregard their comments and move on.

    When it comes to listening and talking, I think I’m a better listener than a talker. At one point as soon as someone tells me their problems, I instantly give them a solution without listen to the rest of what they have to say. That frustrated and pissed off a lot of people. Now I tend to ask permission if they want my opinion of what they need to do after I listen to everything. That way we all can be on the same vibe.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-31 at 1:04 pm

      Welcome to the blog Sherman!

      I agree, not everyone can take criticism well enough, though as you mentioned, if you can distinguish between good or friendly criticism from the bad one – you can cope with things. It’s best to keep away from those who try to bring you down or keep criticizing you or your work, as that tends to bring us down and turn negative at times.

      It’s wonderful if you are a better listener, which must make your partner a lucky person! Ah…I can understand the eagerness to help, though it’s a wiser decision to ask people if they would like your views, which would get you more respect I think. Also, people would like that you are paying full attention to what you are saying – which is what most people want – someone to listen to them. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. shaun

    2013-03-30 at 9:26 pm

    I think a lot of this has to do with how you see the world. If you look at the negatives you will do most of the things on this list. If you keep positive and just enjoy life with your partner you will both be much happier. 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-30 at 10:25 pm

      Welcome to the blog Shaun!

      Yes indeed, a lot depends on the way we see things. A positive person will see positive in everything around him or her, while a person who wants to find fault or see negative will find faults in everything and everyone. I guess a lot depends on how well you know your partner and understand each other.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  8. Mary Stephenson

    2013-03-29 at 7:58 am

    Hi Harleena

    After 46 years of marriage, it has had its ups and downs. Probably what has kept us together is that we are opposite in a lot of ways and very similar in others. We never yell at each other, nor hit each other. Mind you there are times I would have loved to have screamed!

    He got the message a few years back that he didn’t really listen and has learned how to be attentive. He is quick to remind me of this milestone!

    I was always one for not talking much so my silence has probably saved a lot of belted out words that could never be taken back. Not that I haven’t complained and rightly should have, probably should have more than I did at times. But I always thought about how it would come out of my mouth, so I always picked my words carefully.

    Yeah I hate that when people want to give you solutions and all I want to do is vent my frustrations. Please be quiet and listen or just “I totally feel your pain” would do nicely!

    I think the big problem with couples and relationships is that they just don’t get the part of how the other person really feels. Men and women have such huge differences of what is and isn’t important and what is fair. When time passes along you being to realize what you do have in common and what really matters. You surely can’t change anyone you can only hope that somehow you can find a common ground on the difference and hope that the similarities are strong enough to make it all worth it.

    Lots of great guidance in your post for any relationships.


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-30 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Mary,

      You always amaze me when you say 46 years of marriage, and would be the best person to talk on this subject 🙂

      I agree, marriage does have it’s ups and downs, but then that’s what makes it all worthwhile – isn’t it? Most couples are like that – opposite and similar in lots of things, that’s what keeps the balance I think.

      I’m glad you found your way to make your hubby listen to you, which I feel is so important, more so for women who love talking and want to be heard! Nice to know you have always been careful with your words, something that I need to learn as my words sometimes hurt my better half, even though they aren’t said in that way. I guess the tone you use and the way you say your words matter a lot too.

      Lol…yes indeed – I too wish people would just listen to us and not lecture us or give us their views, because sometimes you just want to vent out or be heard, or just express your feelings and emotions.

      Yes, if couples or partners care for each other, they would care for each others feelings, though I feel that strong love and understanding in most cases, comes with time. I guess when both sides begin to appreciate each other for who and what they are, without trying to change them to what they like – things start falling into place.

      I liked what you said that we need to find the good points and similarities that work for both in a relationship and take it up from there, rather than pin-pointing to what doesn’t work.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pearls of wisdom with us. Your comment is surely a great learning experience for all of us. 🙂

  9. Adrienne

    2013-03-29 at 12:42 am

    Well Harleena, I’m not in a relationship so I didn’t participate in the poll but I had an ex friend contact me two weeks ago wanting rekindle our friendship.

    My response to her lead to her misunderstanding what I said which lead to really hurtful things she said. I let it bother me so much because I do care about her and I have no idea why she always twists what I say. I just don’t understand why she wants to rekindle our friendship when she always takes what I say and turns it around.

    So everything you stated here, I would have loved to send that to her but it would have done a lot more harm. I’m done with that one anyway so I have no more unhealthy relationships in my life.



    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-30 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      That’s absolutely alright, and the poll was just for fun and to see how people would best describe their relationship. I’m glad not many said it was perfect, and voted for being not bad 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your ex friend, though I feel there might have been some communication gap for her to feel something different than what you meant. I guess that must have resulted in her saying hurtful things, though that’s no reason whatsoever to say words that hurt anyone.

      Perhaps she is seeking your attention or misses your friendship, and twists or says things to get a reaction from you. Wonder if talking out things straight with her would help, by just asking her why she does or says such things.

      I can understand that sending this post to her would do more harm, though maybe you talking to her might help know her inner feelings. Of course, only if you wish to, or else if it’s happened a bit too often – it’s best to let such relationships pass and make room for those that matter.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  10. Rupali Gupta

    2013-03-28 at 9:40 pm

    Nice post, to build a strong relation its essential to avoid these mistakes that you mentioned and i personally never do these mistakes.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-30 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Rupali,

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

      Yes indeed, to strengthen our relationship, we should try to avoid the above mentioned mistakes, which isn’t easy – but not impossible too if we really want things to work between ourselves and our partners.

      Thanks for stopping by, and it’s great if you aren’t committing these mistakes, which means you have a perfect relationship 🙂

  11. Robyn

    2013-03-28 at 8:52 pm

    Essentially, if a couple can agree to listen to each other without becoming defensive, and speak without being offensive, their communication and relationship will improve exponentially, because each will feel respected, heard and understood.

    Admittedly, this communication techniques is difficult and involves a commitment on both parts to slow down, to learn to listen carefully, and sometimes keep some of our choicest(less kind) words to ourselves.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-30 at 7:26 pm

      Welcome to the blog Robyn!

      You are absolutely right, though sadly that’s often the things couples don’t do! I rarely see couples listen to each other or speak without being offensive, more so when they place their egos between their relationships. Yes, this is seen in older couples who with time have learnt to love and understand each other, and take each other for who they are.

      It is indeed tough to follow what you said, though not impossible if there is complete love and understanding between both partners, which I feel comes only with time in most cases.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

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Strengthen Your Relationship by Avoiding These Mistakes

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