Everyone knows that relationships take work, right? Lots of hard work. But, in many cases, relationships can be sustained effectively by simply not offending the other party. Plodding along without real growth or deepening of intimacy is acceptable, even if not optimal. At the very least, both parties can count the relationship as a success merely by the fact that it has not ended on a bad note.
In contrast, there are those that are hell-bent to commit relational suicide. Just as there are many unthinkable ways to end one's life, there are definitely bloody, painful and tragic ways to end friendship as well.
In an effort to bring public awareness to an infrequently discussed and unnecessary tragedy, I have listed below some of the glaring symptoms of impending relational suicide. Hopefully, you don't recognize any of these tell-tale signs:
Putting unrealistic expectations upon others or placing them on a pedestal.
Twisting or taking pleasure in using the words of others against them in a purposefully hurtful way.
Attempting to make others bear guilt for not meeting your expectations, regardless of how it makes them feel.
Neglecting to empathize with another person's feelings or opinions.
Blatant disrespect or contrary responses intended to humiliate or invalidate others.
Seeking to put others in awkward or uncomfortable social positions or situations.
Using others for their status or popularity in social settings.
Initiating time together only when it is beneficial to oneself.
Manipulating conversations to facilitate self-doubt, embarrassment or loss of temper.
Pretending to be something or someone other than reality.
Focusing on self-pity and blaming others for your loneliness or boredom.
Always seeking to downplay the importance of others in deference to oneself, or taking on the attitude of a victim or martyr to maintain attention.
Acting as if it's perfectly acceptable to be overtly rude towards others.
Please, don't perpetuate needless tragedy willy-nilly. Don't ignore the warning signs; take action now. Respect and selflessly care about those you are privileged to call friends.
Stop relational suicide before it's too late.
Because, eventually it will be too late.