Does your negative mindset keep you from having a successful relationship?

By | May 29, 2014 | Love & Relationships

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Friendship on fire | Quote by Bruce Lee | The Momiverse

Like a fire, love may explode or die when the fuel is gone. Friendship offers safety, fire provides the sparks, and a partnership requires that both sides advocate for and protect one other.

Many people are convinced they can’t have a friendship on fire. These people are hampered by a negative mindset in which they don’t believe in themselves or their ability to create and maintain a loving and lasting relationship.

If you want a friendship on fire, you must be a friend to yourself first.

How much of this is me?

A good question to ask after a breakup is, “How much of my suffering is about me, and how much is about the loss of a super relationship?” Most of what I have heard over the years is either self-imposed suffering after a destructive relationship or self-recrimination from those who failed to appreciate a good one. In each case, the focus is on rehashing yesterday’s news rather than learning lessons and moving on.

Many people waste time depressing inner judgments before beginning the practice of compassionate self-acceptance. They don’t recognize that they walk around in a world covered with ash from their own ego eruptions.

When you encounter people you regard as cool, popular, attractive, and capable of doing things you would like to do, do you compare yourself to them? Inhibited by your sense of inadequacy and fear of rejection, you may hold back from being authentic and alive in the moment. You may be hampered by blinders that won’t let you see beyond your own defects.

Friendship on fire is about being real. If you’re bogged down in self-condemnation as a result of early life decisions related to siblings, competition, disappointments in school, family conflict, or peer pressure, you have loads of company. Lots of people have wandered into this haze and lost touch with their true selves. Fearing their defects will be discovered, they cling to faux selves and try to hide what they perceive as unacceptable inadequacies.

How do you know if a false self limits your life? Do you have symptoms that result from a negative mindset which hold you back from being your authentic self? Ask yourself whether you:

  • Become preoccupied with fantasy folks like movie or pop stars
  • Get tongue-tied when you search for the perfect thing to say
  • Want to remain as cool as a cucumber if you are attracted to someone
  • Feel mushy-headed in the presence of cool people
  • Believe you don’t deserve a person to whom you are attracted
  • Think if you are chosen for something, it has to be a mistake
  • Walk into a crowded room and wonder what everyone thinks of you instead of what you think of them
  • Become distracted with the idea that you need to run before your chosen one discovers your defects
  • Choose to act cool instead of dancing

It takes courage to love and go for friendship on fire. Empty your baggage filled with costumes and disguises and risk rejection. Allow your relationship to be a friendship on fire. This enables you to be vulnerable, yet safe. You can come home to yourself and nourish the deep desire to be known and accepted.

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Dr. Linda Miles

Dr. Linda Miles is a leading expert on relationships and mindfulness. She is a psychotherapist, author, media expert and speaker. She has studied and worked in her field of counseling psychology for over 30 years and often speaks about mindfulness, stress reduction, mental health and relationships. Dr. Miles is personable and accessible in her books, articles and talks about how mindfulness and loving kindness can positively change your brain, your chemistry and your life. She can be reached at DrLindaMiles.com or on Twitter.

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