Be a psycho-pest (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

In this day and age, we get relationship advice from many places: friends, family, Google, books, lectures, workshops and therapists. Many of us become familiar with psychological concepts and are very adept at using psychological jargon.

If we are using this information for our own growth and development, with the intention of improving our relationships, it can be a very good thing.

Very often, however, once we read a book or learn a concept, we become REALLY good at identifying how are significant others are falling short and could do with a psychological tune up. We even begin diagnosing our loved with various psychological issues based on our newly acquired expertise.

We gently and not-so-gently remind them how they are not great at communication or are not practicing effective relationship skills. If we are in therapy, we might remind our spouse that they are not following the therapist's recommendations.

This is a fun and easy way to ruin a perfectly good relationship as our loved ones do not usually appreciate our generous efforts at diagnosing and fixing them. They often react by stubbornly resisting all our well-meaning efforts to shape them into better human beings.

We are surprised and confused that our relationships get worse as a result of us becoming relationship experts. (Not that I speak from personal experience ;) )

Here's the thing: if we want to get good at noticing everything that our spouse is doing wrong, we actually do not need to read a book, go for a course or even for counseling. Most of us are already pretty good at this in any case!

What will help our relationship get better is if – and only if – we learn and apply the concepts on ourselves and focus on what we can do differently.

Be the change . . . as they say.

So much harder, I know.

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