Threats to Relationships Free Trial

- Play video to reveal questions

There are four major factors that threaten your relationships by increasing their costs. The first is unresolved conflict. Because there are natural genetic and cultural differences among people, all long-term relationships involve some conflict. However, self-importance causes you to put your needs and ideas ahead of others, while cognitive consistency reinforces your existing beliefs and discredits alternative perspectives. As a result, normal disagreements can become impossible to reconcile.

The second negative influence is stress. This results from our tendency to focus on problems, which causes many people to develop a grumbling orientation. In addition, most adults have some neurotic needs and many have automated anti-social techniques for coping with repressed fear, guilt, and frustration. Together, these tendencies add significant stress to your relationships, causing some to fail in the long run.

The third negative influence is psychological distance. This results from not being self-expressive. Instead, you sometimes use impression management to project a certain image or to conform to other peoples’ expectations. This is necessary when they do not have tolerance for your intrinsic self. When impression management is combined with intolerance it creates psychological distance between the two parties and often begins the process of growing apart.

The fourth negative influence is boredom. This is due to your tendencies to automate behaviors with people you encounter frequently – like key accounts. This makes your relationships prone to diminishing returns and, when coupled with low creativity, often makes them routine and stagnant.

While these factors increase relationship costs, the benefits are often declining as well. This may be due to negative influences like diminishing returns or natural events like changes in life as you mature. In any event, as soon as your costs outweigh your benefits, the relationship begins to generate dissatisfaction. And, if this dissatisfaction gets too high, the relationship will be at risk.

Are your key relationships under threat? To find out, answer the questions below.

Submit button will appear when all movies have played and all questions answered.