3 Things To Do When A Negative Relationship Is Better Than No Relationship


A post shared by Dr.Henry Cloud (@thedailydrcloud) on


For the last two weeks I have been talking about #PowerOfTheOther by Dr. Henry Cloud. I have written about corner 1 and the lack of connection.

Today, I discuss corner 2: the bad connection.

To anyone that has experienced isolation (corner 1), it’s very easy to think “I’m sick and tired of this, I’m just going to go out there and find company.

Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t necessarily pay-off.

Why? Because the need to connect with someone is greater than waiting to connect with the right type of person.

Dr. Henry Cloud shares the concept of how humans are created for connection. That regardless of how independent we are, we would always be looking for some type of connection with one another.

Corner 2 is the type of relationship in which the other, be it an individual or our mental self, makes us feel inferior. It’s the relationship that no matter what we do we are never good enough.

For me, my corner 2 has been negative self-talk.

I remember several instances during my baseball career in which I spent countless hours punishing myself for mistakes or not making the right plays.

  • What the hell are you doing?
  • I knew you would screw it up!
  • Did you really think that was going to work?
  • Seriously, all you have to do is look at the ball!
  • What’s wrong with you? You have been doing this for years! That mistake in unacceptable!
  • Do you really want to be just average? You know better!

What makes this a relationship is the idea of talking back to myself and trying to prove myself wrong. Then there are the instances that give me hope and keep me going even though I’m criticizing myself 90% of the time.

You may be thinking that’s dumb but I truly believed that relationship was better than isolation.

So…What can you do if you have this type of relationship?

1. IDEA NÚMERO UNO: How does it serve you?

Seriously! How exactly does winning that relationship over serve you? There are 7 billion people in the world…why does this one matter so much?

The old saying applies here: there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Yes, I know it doesn’t feel good to ‘lose’ at something, but when it comes to relationships I think ‘3 strikes and you are out’!

2. IDEA NÚMERO DOS: Give yourself a deadline

To continue the baseball analogy, maybe you’ll give yourself a full inning or 3 but you need to give yourself a definite number of tries and then cut the cord if it doesn’t work.

I can bet that most people give a restaurant or a company 2 or 3 tries to be satisfied by their service. Why can’t we apply the same concept with an individual that’s causing us pain?

3. IDEA NÚMERO TRES: It doesn’t define you.

Never let the external define the greatness within.

I have said this before and I believe it.

While I may be rationalizing that fixing the bad connection is required for my success and personal value, my love ones are just wondering what the hell is wrong with me!

Corner 2 is a sneaky bastard but wait until you get to read about Corner 3: the pseudo-good connection. More on that next week.


What tips do you have to get out of this type of relationship?




What is your experience with this concept?

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