Relationship Models

These Models are sets of false beliefs that affect our behavior in relationships

Relationship Models are beliefs adopted in early childhood that manifest themselves as patterns or themes throughout your life. When activated, they create negative thoughts and feelings which influence behavior that affects your relationships.

These models each represent a set of false beliefs about yourself, others and your relationships. These models create inaccurate or unrealistic standards and expectations about yourself and others that lead to destructive behavior. In a sense, they distort our view of others and interpersonal situations.

For instance, if you’re profiled with a dependence model you might expect yourself to be incompetent without the help of others or their constant support - which can affect your ability to maintain or enter healthy relationships that force you to spend time apart occasionally.

  1. Self-Sacrificing

    1. Fear you'll be abandoned or punished if you disobey which leads to:

      1. Meeting needs of others at the expense of your own

      2. Submitting to others to avoid real/perceived consequences

      3. Surrender control to others due to real/perceived coercion

    2. Activation condition: Put in situations or relationships where needs of others come first or you feel controlled by others

    3. Emotions when activated: sadness and anger

  2. Abandonment

    1. Belief you'll be emotionally isolated forever and abandoned because significant people in your life are unstable or unreliable

    2. Activation condition: With a partner who is unpredictable, unstable or unavailable

    3. Emotions when activated: anger, fear and grief

  3. Mistrust

    1. Having expectations others will hurt, betray or neglect you

    2. Activation condition: When you believe people you're interacting with will hurt or betray you

    3. Emotions when activated: anger, fear and yearning

  4. Exclusion

    1. Belief you're inherently different from others, don't belong to a group and anticipate social exclusion from them

    2. Activation condition: Being in situations or with groups of people that make you feel different or left out

    3. Emotions when activated: loneliness, shame, fear, anxiety, anger and yearning

  5. Dependence

    1. Belief you're unable to handle everyday life without considerable support or help from others and cannot survive without them

    2. Activation condition: Any new life changes or situations, like an end of a relationship.

    3. Emotions when activated: fear, anxiety and anger

  6. Entitlement

    1. Belief you are special and superior to others which qualify you for special privileges

    2. Activation condition: Things don't go your way or when your desires aren't put first

    3. Emotions when activated: anger

  7. Emotional Deprivation

    1. The belief that your partner does not understand you or love you enough.

    2. Activation condition: Being with a partner who is cold, ungiving or distant

    3. Emotions when activated: Disappointment, hurt, withdrawn, angry

  8. Defectiveness

    1. Belief you are inherently flawed, defective and therefore unlovable

    2. Activation condition: Getting close to someone and feeling your defects will be exposed; when criticized; when in situations you're likely to be found inadequate/unworthy.

    3. Emotions when activated: shame, sadness and anger

  9. Failure

    1. Believe you're inferior in ares such as school, work, sports, etc and will ultimately fail

    2. Activation condition: With people more successful than you; situations that make you feel lacking in accomplishments, talents, competence or intelligence.

    3. Emotions when activated: fear, sadness, anger and shame

  10. Unrelenting Standards

    1. Believe your self-worth is based on your internalized high-standards and achievements

    2. Activation condition: You don't feel you or others have met your high standards

    3. Emotions when activated: anger

Here are examples of typical models people hold that are written as beliefs:

  • There's something wrong with me

  • People are always leaving me

  • No one really cares for me or gives me what I need

  • Only the best is good enough for me

  • I'm going to fail at what I do

  • I can't take care of myself without someone else's help

  • It's dangerous to trust people too much

They’ve served the purpose of helping you survive in your past, but now they’re self-defeating beliefs you hold onto because of the familiarity and comfort they provide. You're likely not aware of the underlying beliefs too nor would you think they're problematic.