ALL-OR-NOTHING: RELATIONSHIP KILLER

woman with hand_disagreement

We are in polarizing times. The political scene propagates this all or nothing mentality. It is filtering into relationships at a damaging pace and creating a lose-lose situation.

There are many people that can’t get along with others when they find out that they are not in their corner on everything. As soon as you don’t agree with them on something, they throw you under the bus or talk smack behind your back. This type of person is narcissistic, self-obsessed, self-centered, and a egomaniac. The narcissist will think that things are either great or defective and as a result he will slowly and unconsciously train his mind to develop the all or nothing thinking.

Approval addicts thrive on five stars, thumb ups, and social media likes/hearts. They actually want you to adore them. Somehow if they get the entire universe to like them all will be well (OK that was a bit sarcastic). No matter what they desire (like fitting in, one upping someone, being right, or liked) they have an irrational fear that their survival depends on it. And if someone doesn’t approve of them, they live in constant fear. They are easily provoked, mad or annoyed. They’re offended if someone rejects their ideas. It all leads to paranoia. Despair is their friend and the hidden epidemic, their behavior is toxic. If you are this person, you really are putting yourself in a self-imposed prison. The hamster-wheel-focus, anxiety and constant striving is exhausting and leads to burn out and health problems.

If you think about your diet in all-or-nothing terms, it is likely that one indiscretion will derail all of your effort. Remember, anything short of 100% might as well be 0%, so if you stick to your diet 90% of the time, all-or-nothing thinking will have you believe that you’ve totally failed, and that you might as well eat whatever you want. Consider that in a relationship. If your friend or family member disagrees with 10% of what you are doing or what you said thing, you simply can’t like them anymore or respond by completely cutting them off. We need to agree to disagree. If a person calls out another person it doesn’t mean they dislike everything about you.

Do’s and Don’ts 

  • Embrace your strengths, don’t focus on your faults or others
  • Understand setbacks and people don’t have to agree with you. Don’t focus on self-defeating thoughts
  • Find positives in people, don’t have unconditional terms with people such as “never” or “nothing”
  • Absolute terms are ridiculous and something you don’t hold yourself to, so stop it with others. People are complex, they don’t fit into boxes, they are beautiful in unique ways. That ‘s how you want people to think of you, right!
  • Everyone isn’t out to get you. Believe it or not, you’re not all that perfect anyway. So why do you hold others to such a high standard and give yourself slack all the time
  • Recognize your self-worth is not from performance. So then, neither is the other persons

Approaching relationships with all-or-nothing is rigid, not realistic and not helpful. Expanding your perspective on people will give you a more realistic view of others and enrich your life.

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