“People don't always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don't advance in life. ”~Hannibal Lecter
It took a long time for me to realize that who you work with is one of the most important aspects of career satisfaction, especially in the field of court reporting. The same goes for personal relationships. If your core beliefs, values, priorities and principles differ, then it is unlikely the relationship will last.
How to Know When a Relationship Won't Last
1. Your differences dominate the relationship:
Professional: The director of litigation support said to me, "You're different from all of the other reporters." I couldn't argue with her. I've got principles, values and beliefs that don't generally fit with this type of company. Trying to conform would have been compromising who I am. So I never conformed and things deteriorated.
Personal: Surrendering your beliefs, values and principles just to make the relationship work will destroy your self-worth. I kept losing respect for myself every time I conformed to his lifestyle, and he felt the same about me. Our personalities were bringing out the worst in each other.
2. Your physical and mental health comes secondary:
Professional: After I spent a day in the hospital I was no longer given work. That one day cost me $6,000. If possible, never tell anyone at work your medical concerns or if you are an expectant mother. Sometimes part-time work is forced on new mothers, whether or not they have a spouse to support them. Keep your personal life to yourself.
Personal: I never learned healthy coping skills as a child. There were no role models around to demonstrate it, so as an adult I was taking over-the-counter meds and drinking alcohol to cope with physical and emotional issues, while struggling to stay in a relationship and manage our financial situation.
3. You have to trade in long-term financial security:
Professional: Freelancers need to be able to market themselves to bring in a consistent flow of work. That will be impossible if you have one person making promises, and an office staff that is not following through on those promises. Being able to take work for anyone else and plan ahead will be too difficult.
Personal: Our home was a money pit. I wanted to sell our house and buy a small townhome or condo to change our financial situation. He did not agree. His beliefs were just different and we never came to an agreement.
4. You have to trade in safety and peace of mind:
Professional: My performance suffered. I was panicking while getting mixed signals every week. Things were never consistent. I couldn't rely on their word. I had to separate myself to protect myself. Once I did, everything improved.
Personal: My mental decline started once I realized I was facing a brick wall for any kind of positive change while being in the relationship. I didn't know how to cope. Taking control of my own situation, getting back to my core values, changed everything.
5. You have to sacrifice integrity:
Professional: I started to hate my job once I had to downgrade my quality of service to suit the requests of the agency. I lost my own clients and my clients didn't respect me after I started giving in to the requests and limitations being placed on me.
Personal: People-pleasing is the opposite of living with integrity. You're letting other people control your behavior by always trying to please them. Trying to please your spouse, even when you know what you're doing is wrong for yourself, is compromising your integrity. People-pleasers are not admired by others.
6. Communication is fruitless:
Professional: It was obvious that the people working in the office together were not communicating with each other, and they made no efforts to streamline the process to make our job easier. Offering suggestions to make things run smoothly was discouraged.
Personal: If you are listening and expressing your feelings and legitimate concerns about your situation, and your partner's only reaction is to shift all of the blame onto you, then the issues in your relationship will never go away. You'll never move forward because your partner is trying harder to protect their ego instead of trying to correct the issues.
In order to make a relationship work during life’s changes there needs to be a shift on both sides. If your core beliefs, principles and values are not the same to begin with, then these shifts will push you further apart.
Being authentic and honest is the only way to attract the things and people you value.