Why do successful people fail in their relationships? Is it that they are obsessed with success? Is it that their priorities are on things rather than people? Although both mentioned points are valid, I found several other factors that contribute to this phenomenon. For starters, the same personality traits (e.g., driven, competitive, perfectionistic) that enhance career success can destroy relationships. Many highly successful individuals have difficulties transitioning from work to home and carry the same behaviors into their home life. In this situation it’s not uncommon for family members to feel more like employees. A deeper explanation for why high achievers struggle in relationships is they never learned how to connect through emotional intimacy and relied on achievement and productivity to be the only way to experience love and acceptance. Their mindset is: “I’m loved for what I do rather than who I am.” Growing up with conditional love or experiencing emotional abuse can motivate an individual to prove their worthiness through performance and success. Society certainly reinforces that success is defined through wealth, material possessions, status, and power. The reality is that happiness and joy are not correlated with these factors at all, yet many people still believe it’s the cure-all for their unhappiness. What is the answer? Find out next week how to define success differently and experience joy that lasts a lifetime.
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