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If you want deep relationships with people, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors

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Do you struggle with your relationships because you want them to be deeper, but you don’t know how to go about it?

If so, start by saying goodbye to the 10 behaviors below, which often get in the way of fostering meaningful connections:

1. Being flighty or inconsistent.

If you want to foster a deeper connection with someone, one of the most important things you can do is honor your commitments.

If you say you’re going to do something, aim to do it wholeheartedly.

Unless you get into a train wreck or are stricken with something horribly contagious, hold firm to your commitments.

In a world of uncertainty, people love and appreciate having dependable folks in their lives.

If you constantly break your word when you’ve agreed to be there for someone, it’s actually worse than saying no in the first place.

2. Making your needs and wants the top priority.

Do you prioritize your own needs and desires rather than taking into consideration what others need or want?

This is common in people who were forced as children to get their own needs met by any means possible, but it can also manifest in those who are simply spoiled or overly focused on themselves.

People are MUCH more willing to help, or even spend time with you if they feel that the relationship is even and goes both ways.

If those around you have been turning down your invitations lately (or even ignoring your texts or calls), you may want to consider whether you’ve alienated them with your selfishness.

3. Being deceitful.

True authentic connections, be they personal or professional, cannot survive in the long term if one of the parties involved is a liar.

There’s no way around this, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that a small amount of dishonesty isn’t a big deal.

Some people think that they’re innovative and clever if they learn how to ‘spin the truth’ to their advantage, but the benefits they reap are likely short-term and hollow in nature.

It’s one thing to screw over a large corporation by stretching the truth, and another altogether to destroy a relationship with some lame excuse about how the truth is subjective and open to interpretation.

When you lie, cheat, or steal, you destroy the fragile threads between you, rather than weaving them into strong connections.

Think of it this way: if you found out that your friend or partner lied to you, would you ever be able to trust them again?


4. Being inflexible.

When folks are overly rigid about things that need to be done—such as wanting them done ‘their’ way—it can cause tension.

There are countless ways to approach different things, and sometimes a different method could prove more effective than the one you’re used to.

It doesn’t really matter if your partner or child cuts vegetables differently than you do, as long as they get cut.

Similarly, while it’s good to adhere to agreed dates, schedules, and routines, it will help your relationships if you can be open to change when life circumstances shift.

This one can be harder for some people, for example, those who are autistic, as they are prone to black-and-white thinking.

If this is you, it’s worth being upfront with people about how you find this hard, so they can make allowances, and give you plenty of warning about unplanned changes.

5. Being bossy or domineering.

Unless you’re a drill sergeant who’s barking orders at recruits to train them up, there’s never a reason to be bossy or domineering towards anyone.

If you want to foster deeper connections with your staff members, treat them with respect and decency. Find out their strengths, encourage them, and appreciate them, and you’ll earn their loyalty as well as their respect.

Similarly, if you want deeper, stronger connections with your friends and family members, focus on collaboration, not confrontation.

If something needs to be done, ask them, instead of telling them what to do.

Never behave as though they’re your minions and you’re their superior. Treat them as equals, working side by side with you, and everyone will benefit.

6. Being judgmental.

If you find you look down on others because their choices differ from your own, ask yourself why you feel that your preferences, choices, etc. are the correct ones.

Every person is entitled to enjoy life on their terms, and it’s not up to anyone else to determine whether the things that bring them joy are valid or not.

When you’re judgmental towards other people, you damage (or even destroy) an experience that’s bringing them happiness in this often difficult world.

You don’t have to like what they like, and you can even think their interests are nerdy or odd. Just keep your thoughts to yourself.

7. Being ungrateful.

Far too many people show a lack of gratitude when friends, family, or co-workers do things for them.

They take for granted that coffee will be ready when they wake up, that their clothes will be washed and ready when they need them, or that those close to them will simply be available when they need help.

If someone cares enough about you to put effort into making your life a bit happier and easier, they deserve your gratitude and appreciation.

Notice the little things that people go out of their way to do for you, and thank them sincerely.

Better still, step up and do things for them in turn.

8. Being superficial.

Do you find yourself agreeing with one group of people about a topic, and then changing your mind with a different group about that same subject?

This type of superficial pandering doesn’t earn anyone’s respect. And it’ll result in you being seen as a sycophantic yes person who will say, or do, whatever you think others want of you, rather than being authentic.

It fosters distrust and suspicion because you aren’t holding on to your convictions.

People who are worth being around respect those who can agree to disagree, far more than they respect those who will shallowly go along with whatever they say or do, at that moment.

9. Being disrespectful.

Few things destroy meaningful connections more than disrespect.

Take note of your behavior towards others and ask yourself if you’d feel respected and appreciated if they treated you in the same way.

If any of these behaviors sound familiar, you’d do well to say goodbye to them:

  • Interrupting those close to you when they’re speaking. Or invalidating their experiences because you haven’t dealt with anything similar, or you think you know better.
  • Using their things without asking, even though you’d be livid if they did that to you.
  • Expecting them to drop everything and give you their full attention, even if they’re immersed in their own thing.

10. Having double standards.

A lot of people impede their connections with others by having double standards in their relationships.

For example, they want those around them to be open and vulnerable about their personal lives, pasts, thoughts, and feelings but remain aloof and invulnerable themselves.

This puts people on a very unequal footing, as one is essentially splayed open for the other’s benefit, while the other remains behind defensive walls for as long as they like.

As you may expect, this doesn’t foster a deeper connection with a person, but instead breeds hostility and resentment over time.


These behaviors erode meaningful connections over time because they’re awful for others to deal with.

Pretty much every faith on the planet holds to the adage, “Treat others as we wish to be treated”.

So if you don’t want your friends, loved ones, and co-workers to engage in these 10 behaviors with you, don’t behave that way towards them.

About The Author

Finn Robinson has spent the past few decades travelling the globe and honing his skills in bodywork, holistic health, and environmental stewardship. In his role as a personal trainer and fitness coach, he’s acted as an informal counselor to clients and friends alike, drawing upon his own life experience as well as his studies in both Eastern and Western philosophies. For him, every day is an opportunity to be of service to others in the hope of sowing seeds for a better world.