By David Joel Miller.
Some relationships problems are guaranteed to make you unhappy.
Humans have and need relationships whether you want them or not. Some relationships contribute to happiness and some create a great deal of misery. Romantic relationships can make us happy and they can be the greatest source of unhappiness. But lovers are not the only relationships that can be making you unhappy.
How many of these happiness sabotaging relationships are in your life?
1. You do not like yourself.
If you do not like yourself you make it hard for others to like you. We teach others how to treat us and the primary way we do that is the way we treat ourselves.
Treat yourself poorly and you set up a life full of unhealthy relationships.
2. You have partners and associates but no real friends.
There are all kinds of people who cross our paths each day. It is preferable to be on friendly terms with most all of them but having one hundred acquaintances is no comparison to having one true friend.
Casual acquaintances will disappear when times get tough; a true friend is there no matter what.
3. You are in love with money.
Money and other material possessions is a totally unreliable friend. No matter how much money you have it is unlikely to turn an unhappy person happy. Having enough money for your needs can take the stress and worry out of life but making money your best friend is likely to make you really lonely. The people who friend you when you have something they want will disappear the second you can’t or won’t give them more.
4. You think your partner should make you happy.
Happiness comes from inside. Expecting your partner to make you happy is a mistake. These days a lot of people think that their lack of happiness is their partner’s fault. The result is a lot of affairs, break-ups, and new relationships. If you leave one partner for another expecting the change to make you happy the odds are that you will very shortly be back in an unhappy relationship, this time with a new equally unhappy partner.
5. Your lover is alcohol or drugs.
Lots of people develop very unhealthy relationships with drugs, alcohol, gambling and a host of other things. If your lover is a substance or a repetitive behavior like sex or shopping you are in an unhealthy relationship and this relationship is bound to make you unhappy.
6. You spend all your time with Anxiety.
Some people think that being anxious is helpful. They spend most of their day worrying about things with a low probability of happening. If you are in a close intimate relationship with your anxieties and fears this connection will turn unhappy in a flash.
Consider professional help to get a trial separation from your anxiety and fears.
7. You are lonely when you are alone.
Being alone should not make you lonely. Work on being your own best friend and you will not be lonely just because you are by yourself.
Chronically feeling lonely when alone sets you up to jump into a relationship, any relationship, just to avoid being alone. Most of those emergency relationships turn out to also be the very unhappy kind.
8. Your friends are toxic.
If you hang out with unhappy people you become unhappy. If your friends are downers and want you to mellow down to their level you are headed for lonely street.
9. Your living in the wrong time zone.
If you spend all your time and thoughts on the past, what should have been to make you happy, you will lose the present. Frankly, the present is where you should be experiencing happiness.
Same problem if you spend all your time dwelling in the future. Do you time travel to some point in the future and tell yourself that if only you could get there then you will be happy. That time travel is leaving your present in the unhappy column.
10. The clock is your enemy – Procrastination – unpunctual – no time to yourself.
If you are constantly fighting the clock you are living an unhappy life. Make the present your friend. Start on time end on time and do not put off things that need doing. Make sure that you are not so busy chasing happiness that you fail to have time to enjoy it when you pass it by.
11. You have not made friends with the bed.
People who do not have a good sleep life do not have a happy awake life. Get lots of rest. If you have nightmares find out why and work with a professional counselor on dealing with those demons from your past.
A good healthy sex life is also a significant factor in being happy. Do not abuse your bed. Use it to sleep and to make love. Otherwise get up and get going.
12. You and your job can’t get along – you hate your job – spend the day avoiding work.
If you have a bad relationship with work it will color the rest of your life unhappy. If you hate your job – figure out why and go about changing things. The best time to look for another job is when you have one. Look for a job that you would enjoy doing and you will look forward to going to work.
Work on improving your relationship with yourself, others in your life, your work and your feelings and you will find that as these relationships become happier you will spend more time in the happiness place and less time in the misery hangout.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended books.