Building Trust in Relationships: Courtesy, Respect, and Kindness

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The trust you build in relationships can deteriorate when the need to impress our partner wears of. It seems that one of the first things to go in a relationship is manners. This seems to occur shortly after one feels comfortable or safe in the relationship and no longer do acts of kindess come from a desire to affirm your partner loves you. Although either partner may initiate this degradation of interaction, it must be allowed by both in order to continue. We may cease saying "Thank you," when a kindness is done or a courtesy is offered. Or it may not seem necessary to consult with the other in making plans. My personal favorite is finding it no longer necessary to say, "I'm sorry".

It baffles me that this goes unrecognized as having anything to do with the deterioration of a relationship. The random acts of kindness, courtesy, and respect that we may offer to a stranger, doesn't appear to be required in a more intimate relationship in many cases. The courtesy we would expect from a stranger, we don't seem to understand also needs to be expected from our closer connections. It's said that "Familiarity breeds contempt". In my opinion, the reason that contempt is bred, is that contempt is offered. We are indicating a lack of respect and consideration when we either perpetrate or allow the contempt of poor manners. This can effect how we trust or may question our partners love.

Do you often make demands of strangers? Or do you grant them the respect of having a choice of whether to co-operate with you or not? In many relationships, demands are made of each other that we would be horrified by if presented with them by a mere aquaintance. Is it any wonder we lose trust in each other love falters?

One metaphysical reason why this occurs is that there is a case of mistaken identity. In the depths of our psyche, we have mistaken our partner for ourself. This means that we are treating our partner with the same disrespect that we treat ourselves in our inner dialogue. Or, that we are responding to a level of contempt that we're accustomed to hearing within ourselves. This can be very revealing. Firstly, we have the opportunity to examine how well we treat ourselves through watching our behavior with others. Secondly, we may take a look at the quality of treatment of those we love.

Examine the way that you treat your loved one(s). Do you grant them the courtesy and respect due to the most important person in your life? Do you extend the illusion of unconditional kindness to them only to find you have an ulterior motive? If you cannot honestly answer "Yes", then you may wish to look at your relationship to them, and even more importantly, to yourself.