The Five Biggest Relationship Mistakes
That Narcissists (and Others) Make

If you know  the five biggest relationship mistakes made by narcissistic individuals (everyone is narcissistic in some way) and how to avoid them, you can save your relationship and bullet-proof it against future harm. You can avoid the five biggest relationship mistakes and save yourself lots of pain, trouble and money. All you have to do is to try.

Based on my forty years of experience as a psychotherapist and relationship counselor, and the findings of research in relationships, this article will outline the biggest relationship errors and what you can do about them.

By putting others first and taking care of your relationships, you'll do a ton of good in this world and you'll make loved ones proud. And the good you cause will come back to you, tenfold.

But, if you behave like a narcissist, employing any of the biggest relationship mistakes, and you believe everyone owes you, and they ought to prostrate themselves at your feet, your relationships will fail.

Mistakes can be rectified and a troubled relationship saved, if you learn how to avoid the five biggest relationship mistakes and develop the proven skills of successful couples. Relationship Gold, our flagship eBook on how to correct damaging relationship mistakes, will put cutting-edge relationship strategies in your hands. Written by a master relationship therapist with decades of experience.

Five Relationship Mistakes to AvoidThe Five Biggest relationship Mistakes Typical of Narcissistic Individuals

The Five Biggest relationship Mistakes 

Here are five of the biggest relationship mistakes. Who really knows what the biggest mistakes are?  Ask me tomorrow, and you may get a different answer. I've chosen five of the biggest relationship mistakes I've seen recently in my marriage and family therapy practice.

There may be some similarity to John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling -- the standard all relationship therapists must study in graduate school.

1. Pissing in your partner's face 

In my years of working with all kinds of couples, I've observed that criticizing or attacking one's partner is always tantamount to an unhappy relationship. No one likes to be criticized, intimidated or disrespected. That's what criticism does. It finds fault and shifts blame. Some people just can't stop criticizing. And they're like a train wreck, as far as relationships go.

Complaining, criticizing and whining about someone only makes you look like an ungrateful, know-it-all, and disgraces the other person -- it amounts to pissing in your partner's face. Like a dog that is saying, This is my territory.

It only makes the person want to get away from you. After all, no one likes to get pissed on.

2. Acting like it's all about you, and pushing your partner into the backseat 

I love to see a couple where one spouse is a golden, fair-haired child. The unfairness, resentment and dysfunction are obvious to everyone else, but to that one person -- the one who fashions themselves as God's gift to humanity. That in itself is one of the five biggest relationship mistakes.

In such a relationship, one spouse has to always be wrong, do all the bending and forgiving, as the idol slurps up all the adoration they can get. If it's all about you, then your relationship will not be a happy one. Not truly happy. Sure, you can get all the attention and adoration you desire, and you can intimidate everyone around you until they give in just to appease you, but who are you kidding? What kind of relationship is that?

Truth is, you'll be in a relationship with yourself, and everyone else will simply fear you.

3. Acting like a jerk who doesn't care 

If you're mean or mean-spirited, you won't go far as a lover or relationship partner. Although some women, for example, may go for men, who seem unattainable, naughty or rebellious, once their true colors show, they'll be gone. Good relationships -- those that stand the test of time -- are built on a single principle (paraphrased): Do and say unto others as you would have them do and say unto you.

The Golden Rule works.

Jerks do not belong in relationships. They are all about being in control and using others to get what they want -- one of the biggest relationship mistakes, and most damaging. That's the cornerstone of abusive relationships.

Of course, anyone can act like a jerk, at times, so it's something we all need to work at: being a better, more loving and considerate, kinder, more understanding, gentler relationship partner.

4.Seeking to control your partner and the relationship and everything under the sun 

Control freaks are hard on relationships. I personally run as fast as I can away from such people. I want to be in a relationship with someone who lets me be me. And, in turn, I allow them to be themselves, comfortable in their own skin.

Control freaks are really addicts who are addicted to power. If you are trying to control your relationships like a puppeteer manages their puppets, your relationships will fail. Mutual respect, cooperation and compromise will go much further toward helping you to enjoy healthy relationships.

Good relationships begin with equality as a rock-solid foundation. When you attempt to control someone, and how they react, you are putting them in a down-under position of inequality, intolerance and disrespect.

5. Dominating every conversation, having to be right and never giving in 

There are many reasons people feel a need to be right, perhaps to compensate for a perceived sense of inferiority, for example. Despite the underlying factors, nothing harms relationships like a partner who demands to be right, and never wrong, and who throws a fit if you disagree with their lofty, impeccable, superior opinion. Such minor demagogues are common. Whenever I do therapy with a couple who can't agree to disagree on anything, I know I'm in for a struggle.  After all, how do you work with someone who is always fighting and is never wrong?

And one may be a brilliant scientist, inventor, scholar or successful business person, but that doesn't mean they know how to conduct a relationship. No one ever makes people happy by dominating them. There are many ways to see things, many points of view, and they're all valid in some way. 

The art and science of happy relationships involves making people happy by honoring their thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and creating the conditions where they can flourish. But, he who dominates every conversation (and relationship) just wants to hear himself talk. Such a person is committing one of the five biggest relationship mistakes.

A couple yelling at each otherNo One is Listening when Both are Yelling. Besides, It Doesn't Matter Who is Right. Wouldn't You Rather be Happy?

How to Fix the Five Biggest Relationship Mistakes 

Okay, folks, we'll keep this short and sweet. Complicated fixes don't work. Let's focus on a few of the simplest, most effective ways to solve the five biggest relationship mistakes.

1. Pissing in your partner's face

Rather than throwing a tantrum, or criticizing, complaining and pointing out your partner's flaws, tell your partner what you'd like for them to do differently.

Turn a complaint into a request.

Ask nicely and give your partner time to make the change you're wanting. Be reasonable, and avoid asking them to do something they can't do, or to be someone they are not. When a positive request for change is made in a reasonably pleasant way, your chances are much better of getting what you want. 

2. Acting like it's all about you, putting yourself on a pedestal, and pushing your partner into the backseat

We live in a self-centered, narcissistic culture, and it's a crying shame, because narcissistic behavior wrecks relationships. Fact is, if you want to be a successful relationship partner, you must put the other person first. If you can't do that, go live on an island by yourself, where you can bask in your glory, surrounded by the audacious reflections of your own intoxicating beauty. I repeat. Put your partner first.

Think of them first. Please them before you please yourself. Take time to understand their needs. Avoid judging and putting them down. Express gratitude. Treat them like a king or queen. Let them win. You'll win, too, in the end.

When they hurt you, be patient, and choose a dignified, not emotional, response. take the high road, even if they've taken the low one.

Avoid behaving like a narcissist, and never get mad when your partner gives you criticism, never punish them for disappointing you and don't blame them for your unhappiness. This way, you'll be protecting your relationship from the five biggest relationship mistakes.

3. Acting like a jerk who doesn't care

This seems easy, but it isn't. It may require that you retrain yourself.  First of all, make it a big goal to show you care. Start by using GOOD manners that convey respect and honor. Express your care and concern often and clearly. Say it, demonstrate it.

Say the words, Thank you. I appreciate your help. You're so amazing. Thank you for being a part of my life. You are a great blessing to me. I don't know why you are so good to me, but I really appreciate it. You make me feel special. I don't deserve you, but I am thankful you're in my life. You make me happy.I could not be happier with the meal you've prepared for me. I thank God every day for you. You're my greatest blessing, etc.

Tell others how great your partner is. Never criticize him/her in front of others. But do brag. Make your relationship partner sound wonderful. And always treat them respectfully in public!

Express what's in your heart. Say it. Show it. Walk the talk. Your partner will feel good and your relationship will sparkle and shine.

happy couple running together on beachA Happy Relationship Makes You A Richer Person

4.Seeking to control your partner, the relationship and everything under the sun

There is no such thing as control. It's a myth. One of the five biggest relationship mistakes.  You can't make someone do what you want all the time. You can't keep someone under your thumb. And you can't protect yourself from pain or harm. You can try, but you'll fail miserably.

Jay Haley defined a relationship as "a control device".

And he was right. We seek to control our relationships to get the love we want and to avoid being hurt. But, in seeking to dominate and legislate another, we kill their spirit. We destroy our love, and set ourselves up for failure. Give up trying to control your partner and you'll create the possibility of a good relationship

Controlling your partner may be the most serious of the five biggest relationship mistakes. If you absolutely can't stop controlling people in your life, get some therapy. There's something amiss. just be the best person you can be, give your partner space to be their best, and together create a jointly shared relationship that will bring you much happiness and joy.

Equal partners. One can't have 80% of the say and the other only 20%.  What are you trying to do, create a dictatorship? You can't make someone love or stay with you. Why try? Your marriage or relationship will only end up drowning in a sea of anger and resentment.

5. Dominating every conversation, having to be right and never giving in

Make your conversations 50/50. One person speaks, the other listens. Never talk more than 50% 0f the time. Listen to yourself. If you're doing most of the talking, something's wrong.

Chances are, the relationship is all about you. And that's one of the five biggest relationship mistakes.

Do you always have to be right? Or find yourself lecturing all the time? Are you a nutty professor who has to be showing off all the time?

Give up the neurotic need to be right. Allow (and even encourage) others to have their own opinions and to disagree with you. If someone agrees with you that doesn't mean they love you. And if they have a difference of opinion with you that doesn't mean they don't.

Why let differences of opinion on politics and religion divide you? Sure, a couple needs to agree on some core values, but there will always be differences of opinion. If you love someone, you'll honor the differences without trying to force the person to comply with your ideas, thoughts and wishes. 

Get my ebook on saving and restoring relationships. It's full of clinically sound strategies and techniques to help you get and keep the love you want. Relationship Gold is all about turning relationship problems into  assets and strengths, and making problematic relationships flourish. You'll learn from actual case examples.

Forcing others to think like you is nothing but a control strategy in disguise. give it up before you drive people away from you. That's not love at all. Love is letting go of the need to control.

Just agree to disagree. And find the good in their opinion. At least, be able to see where they're coming from and how they're getting there. Give them your respect, love and affection.

Let people love you because they WANT to.

And be objective, or honest with yourself. No matter how strongly you believe something, that doesn't mean you are correct. You may think the earth is flat. And many people have believed that erroneous notion. Just remember, you could be wrong. About anything.

Be right about this: you can overcome the five biggest relationship mistakes with a little effort and hard work. You'll be glad you did because you'll be happier and more fulfilled. And life will take on a new meaning and joy when you know you're making people happy.

Human beings are not good arbiters of truth. We are easily fooled. We are fallible. Our thinking is subject to emotion. We are easily conditioned and misled. So, get off your high horse and approach your relationships with a humble sense of humor. Admit to being wrong, now and then.Laugh at your mistakes, apologize, then get to work fixing what you can.

Overcome the five biggest relationship mistakes that individuals make, when acting like a narcissist, and you'll be a relationship master in no time.

Happy Couple on the BeachA Truly Happy Relationship Will Add Years to Your Life

The Five Biggest Relationship Mistakes: In Sum

You can avoid the five biggest relationship mistakes and save yourself lots of pain, trouble and money. All you have to do is to try. Just be willing to appraise yourself honestly, and make the changes you need to make. You'll be living a happier, more satisfying life in no time. And you'll have no regrets. By putting others first and taking care of your relationships, you'll do a ton of good in this world and you'll make loved ones proud.

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