Issue 49 –
The Top Ten Challenges to Relationship:
Keeping Your Love Alive Amid Life’s Routines
Challenge 9: Becoming a Psychological Know-It-All
Unfortunately, there can be a downside to all this self-exploration and psychological work. It is entirely possible for us to lose our vulnerability as we gain knowledge and to eventually become a psychological know-it-all. As we accumulate information about our relationships, our partners, and ourselves, we move very naturally and smoothly into the role of the expert or advisor. And just as smoothly and naturally, we lose our linkage to our partners.
This means that we are no longer equals. We are no longer partners in a relationship where both people feel a bit vulnerable and both people are trying to find the answers. There is an expert and a novice. This is a foolproof way to break an intimate connection.
These experts simply cannot make a connection to others. That is not what they do. Instead, they instruct others. It does not matter one bit that their information may be brilliantly insightful and precisely on target. Accuracy is totally irrelevant! The energetic linkage is lost and so is the intimacy. The relationship withers from lack of connection. This is truly ironic because the harder that this psychological know-it-all works at fixing a relationship, the worse things get.
The best way to figure out whether this has happened to you is to look at the reactions of the people around you, particularly the reaction of your partner. Do people’s eyes glaze over when you begin to share your insights with them? Do they become defensive, argumentative, or rebellious? If so, you have probably – unwittingly – become a psychological expert who approaches others with a great deal of information, but without any real connection.