Most of us remember a crazy relationship we were in, or a time we acted crazy toward someone we love. Looking back, it’s often difficult to remember what our mindset was in that moment. We ask ourselves, “Did I really act like that?” I wish I knew more then than I know now about how to be a better partner, son, and friend.
The sad reality is that we just aren’t taught how to be mentally strong when faced with adversity. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. Here are 10 things mentally strong people DON’T do when it comes to relationships.
1. They don’t analyze everything
Mentally strong people don’t analyze the meaning behind everything someone else does. As an introvert, I pride myself on my ability to find the deeper meaning in life. But I caution you not to get to caught up in analyzing everything! Sometimes a head scratch is just a head scratch. (It doesn’t mean they are bored with you and would rather be with someone else.)
2. They don’t believe the other person will “complete” them
Mentally strong people complete themselves before they look for someone else to enhance their lives. You have to enjoy your own company first and nobody else can replace that part of you. Many people live their lives as if they were a character in a romantic comedy, and believe that they must eat, sleep, and breath their partner. Mentally strong people remind themselves they are complete just the way they are.
3. They don’t bring up the past to justify the present
Mentally strong people don’t bring up the past to win an argument or use it as relationship collateral. They try to work toward improving the relationship in that moment, instead of bringing up past events to justify their actions. Mentally strong people seek to live in the moment by understanding that the past has its place but will never solve today’s problems.
4. They don’t look outside the relationship to improve the relationship
Mentally strong people devote their full attention to themselves and their partner, when it comes to fixing problems in the relationship. They don’t seek another person to fulfill their needs. They don’t become distant and justify their behavior by looking outside of the relationship to feel better about themselves. They don’t engage in destructive behavior to avoid the inevitable.
5. They don’t put the other person down to feel better about themselves
Mentally strong people understand that you don’t treat other people this way. It’s a lot easier to blame someone else for the way you act or feel, instead of looking at why you react the way you do. Mentally strong people know that the only way to have a successful relationship is to lift the other person up, not put them down in order to temporarily feel better about themselves.
6. They don’t stop communicating
Mentally strong people communicate with others in the good times and in the bad. They don’t avoid conversations that need to be had. They seek to better understand their partner, instead of avoiding topics that are uncomfortable or awkward. The mentally strong don’t avoid things because they are uncomfortable, but rather look at these situations as welcome opportunities to improve the relationship.
7. They don’t stop loving themselves
Mentally strong people love themselves first, so they can love other people, not the other way around. Mentally strong people spend time improving their lives first, before they try and help anyone else. They know that by radiating love, it will only help the relationship succeed. Mentally strong people put themselves first.
8. They don’t believe they can fix the other person
Mentally strong people help their partners in any way they can, but they understand that they cannot change the other person. Only an individual can change themself. Mentally strong people don’t live in the future and convince themselves that if only they put enough effort or time into someone, then that person will change. Moreover, mentally strong people seek to understand the other person’s perspective, before they try and offer them advice.
9. They don’t try to make relationships progress faster
Mentally strong people accept that the relationship will develop in the right way. Of course, there are ways to improve the relationship and develop a deeper understanding of one another. However, mentally strong people know deep down that they can’t force something that will take time to develop. They give up control and surrender to the natural progression of the relationship.
10. They don’t stay in unhealthy relationships
Mentally strong people know when a relationship of any kind is no longer working. Not only do they look out for themselves, but they look out for the other person by communicating clearly. They understand that they’ve put in as much time and effort as they could, but would rather spend that time on someone who is right for them. The mentally strong know that everything will work out just fine.
It’s a lot easier to find fault in someone else, especially when we become vulnerable and trust someone we love. I encourage you to be mentally strong first, then ro seek someone who complements who you already are. Only through self discovery can we better understand the types of people who will enhance our lives.
To successfully improve any relationship, you no longer seek to change the other person, but you will instead seek to continually enhance a long and prosperous life together.