Okay, here is our politically incorrect advice for people who want to have healthy relationships.
And this applies to all romantic relationships, intimate relationships, or close friendships. If you want to have healthy relationships:
Being intolerant seems counter-intuitive, right? We are generally taught that healthy relationships are based on compromise, negotiation, and understanding.
But, as a result of this, we often end up suppressing or ignoring issues that really bother us because we don’t want to “rock the boat.” While some degree of compromise is a necessary part of healthy relationships, too much can be harmful.
We advocate being tolerant of those whose opinions, race, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality differ from one’s own—free of bigotry—but we discourage tolerance of the following:
Aloofness—an unwillingness to connect
Infraction of agreements
Being taken for granted or treated inconsiderately
If you tolerate these behaviors, you are sending a message that they’re okay. When is it more compassionate to tell your partner or friend to stop whining than to empathize with their plight? There comes a time!
As we’ve entered an age in which we value egalitarianism, condemn inequities, and de-emphasize gender roles, we’ve gotten swept up in political correctness. Carried to an extreme, this leads to the idea of unconditional love, a myth I’ll address in another blog post.
We all have conditions, expectations, and requirements of our friends, partners and lovers. Don’t be afraid to express—maturely—what you need.
The healthiest couples I work with have very clear understandings of what will be tolerated and what won’t be tolerated. Do you tolerate more (junk) than you want from your partner, lover, friend?
To stop being tolerant of less than what you want, is to send a positive invitation to your partner, because you’re saying, “I know you can do better.”