Anyone can overthink anything, and with relationships being one of the most important things in our lives, most people will over think relationships. The good news is that you are overthinking the relationship instead of under thinking it. In our modern society, and as far as I know, there has always been a group of people who under think relationships, and they are very dangerous to be around. People, who under think a relationship, don’t ever have any self-examination, and as I said previously, they are very dangerous to be around. While under thinking a relationship is bad and dangerous, overthinking a relationship is just more of a habit that needs to be corrected like exercising each day.
When people overthink a relationship, they start to get into the what if I had done this, or what if I had not done this. Truth of the matter is that no one really knows what any end result will bring. Take the example of someone hitting a cue ball in billiards. Even the best of the professionals will sometimes miss shoot. Even if a person had handled a situation completely different, there is no guarantee that the situation would have gotten better or worse. Therefore the what if questions and the what not questions often slow a person down who is truly trying to have some introspection in their lives. If a person should not ask the what if questions, then the question becomes what should the person be looking at.
The most important thing about relationships is not events but patterns and the process. If someone is a good friend, they will overlook a small problem. If someone is not a good friend, then they will not overlook a small problem. All of us are human, and all of us make mistakes. The difference between a good friend and a bad friend is that a good friend will overlook our humanness because he or she will understand that we all are human. How good of a person could somebody be if he or she can’t overlook even a small problem? The only question starts to become is that small problems can keep repeating themselves into patterns.
When small patterns keep repeating themselves into patterns then that is something that you need to look at. If friends keep dropping out of your life for the same reason then that is something that you will want to look it. Of course, you will need to make the determination are these so called friends pointing out your assets or liabilities. If friends are objecting to your assets, then maybe you are better off without them. A good friend will want you to succeed in life; therefore, a good friend will not be objecting to your assets.
If a friend stops a relationship in your life due to a liability, and other friends have also stopped relationships in your life due to liabilities, then that is something that you will want to take a look at. Repeating liabilities are something that you would want to personally change. The easiest way to change a repeating liability is to determine why you are doing that or what is your motivation for having this repeating liability. Many people have a good motivation in the past for using that liability, but the current situation is different than the problems of the past.
Many people develop dysfunctional repeating liabilities due to having to overcome monumental problems in their lives that they lack coping skills and the resources necessary to overcome them with assets. The most important thing for a person to focus in on in a relationship is the person applying good assets to the relationship. While there are many good assets, the best small group of them is honesty, acceptance, willingness, humility, and gratitude. A famous psychiatrist once said that she has never known a person to have bad relationships for long when the person applies this group of assets. The difficulty is not in learning the small group of assets, but in learning to use them in a typical day.
It is easy to be honest during the good times, but it is hard to be honest in the bad times. Many people tell me that they would never steal, but I ask them would they steal to no starve to death.
They say of course not, so then I ask them would they steal if they will hungry, and they say maybe. Eventually, the people start to develop a boundary, but people will often cross their boundaries just as much as other people will.
It is easy to accept life when life is giving you all of the good things. It is tough to accept life during the bad things. To accept life during the bad things, it becomes necessary to do the next two assets of willingness and humility. Few people ever truly develop humility, but that is not to say that most people don’t try. The problem is that true humility is giving up our self-righteousness. Most people can give up some self-righteousness but not all of it.
The last good asset is gratitude, and like many of the previous good assets most people don’t have any trouble with the good times, but they have lots of problems with the bad times. The ironic thing is that anything worth having is worth putting forth some effort for it, and gratitude is no different. When people look back on their lives, the happiest people are those who are grateful not only the good times but also the bad times.
Paul Teska, LPC + LCDC