SUPPORT MAY BE DANGEROUS TO RELATIONSHIPS

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


When I ask people whether they know of any disadvantages to being supportive, they often reply "no." Yet there are two crucial not-so-obvious disadvantages which accrue from being too supportive in relationships.


One problem develops over time. To remain supportive, silence rather than open expression of differences often becomes the preferred choice. Keeping silent for too long is injurious to one's mental health, for psychosomatic complaints and other psychological symptoms are frequently caused by choices (conscious or unconscious) to remain silent. Over time these choices to remain silent develop into a "laundry list" of unspoken differences. If now spoken, then the relationship might well be broken under the weight of all the differences. Therefore, the choice often becomes either to keep on being silent or to just break off the relationship.


Contrary to popular wisdom, women are more logical than men and men are more intuitive than women (on average). Seems wrong, doesn't it?

The silent person is not the only one who suffers. The relationship does too. There is a basic trust issue, which those who overvalue support tend to overlook. Whoever is being supportive is often hiding a wealth of opinions and ideas from the person being "supported". Truths are being hidden "out of consideration for" the person being so "supported". Many "support" their spouses/ bosses in this fashion and spill their true opinions and ideas to others. Often these are the same people who complain that their spouses don't trust them. Of course not. Trust involves openness and honesty, not hidden ideas and opinions and most especially, not sharing hidden ideas and opinions with friends instead of spouses. Because of this trust problem, being too supportive will often doom a relationship, which is a fact not often realized by those overvaluing supportive behavior. (I am not advocating brutal honesty 100% of the time, but I am advocating more honesty by many who overvalue support.)


There is a real difference between "support" and genuine acceptance. "Support" typically hides criticism, lack of acceptance, lack of forgiveness and lack of love. Genuine acceptance means that the other's foibles and failures are OK (one's opinions have usually already been shared with that partner and need no further expression to anyone).

Next Excerpt  

Our emotional responses are caused by our thinking about the situation, not the situation itself. Most of us erroneously believe otherwise.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   WOMEN & MEN: OUR MASCULINE-FEMININE MISCONCEPTIONS
   I WANT A CHEESE SANDWICH
   MEN DON'T LISTEN; MEN DON'T COMMUNICATE
   LEFT BRAIN - RIGHT BRAIN
   THE HOUSEWORK BATTLEFIELD
   FRIENDS BETTER KNOW THEIR ROLES
   SUPPORT MAY BE DANGEROUS TO RELATIONSHIPS
   THE INSENSITIVITY OF MEN
   THE SAGA OF JOHN DOE (white male, average guy)
   THE INSENSITIVITY OF WOMEN
   FEMINISTS ARE A DIVERSE GROUP


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Sexual Education Psychology

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