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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Relationship: Why brooding can ruin everything – and how to change it

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“I love you”. And suddenly there is a much too long pause – until the partner says “I love you too”. Already in a relationship you start to ponder and interpret. But that can damage the partnership considerably.

Is it really possible to think a relationship is broken? According to psychologists, the answer is “yes.” As a couple, you have a close, interpersonal connection. Most of the time, your partner is also your best friend and you share all sorts of things with each other. Over time, you think you know the other person well and notice changes in their personality. This can also be true. But if you start to ponder instead of asking open questions, conflicts are often pre-programmed.

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Questions over questions – a pattern in a relationship that often occurs with people who brood too much. So the one men’s evening quickly turns into “he turns his back on me” and contact with his best friend turns into “he must have something with her”. If you want, you can put something into many life situations that is not to be found there. When faced with slight changes and uncertainties, some people tend to spend hours analyzing and interpreting their partner’s behavior. The result is often a wrong view of things, drama and many questions.

Brooding in the relationship is often triggered by a lack of trust

No one is completely transparent to the other, and everyone has little secrets or mood swings that are independent of their partner. Therefore, trust in a partnership is essential and one of the most important pillars. Especially when it comes to the factors of trust and self-esteem, there is often a struggle if you tend to brood and overinterpret in a relationship.

According to psychologist Gary W. Lewandowski, working on yourself is key to overcoming the mind loop and resulting relationship problems. The conflicts within the relationship often only arise when you repeatedly overwhelm the other person with your own interpretations and questions. Questions like, “Where were you last night often hide the fact that you didn’t get home until midnight?” or “Why did it take you so long to say ‘Me too’?” direct accusations, insinuations and the message of distrust.

Lewandowski advises “Psychology Today” to be more accepting. You can’t read anyone 100 percent. If the relationship has the three pillars of consistency, transparency and friendship, you should work on yourself to trust the other more.

Overinterpretation often begins with a lack of detail about a situation. Instead of pondering and making insinuations, it is advisable to simply wait and see whether there is more information or to ask specific and friendly questions before falling into a pattern of brooding. Phrases like: “What have you been up to lately?” are open-ended questions that give the other person more room to talk and explain than when you directly pair a question with an insinuation or interpretation.

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Source: Stern

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