Thursday, May 23, 2024

Non-Negotiables When Allowing Others Into Your Inner Circle

Not all people are cut from the same cloth and may not have the same level of understanding in a relationship. Deal-breakers in relationships are real. In the quest of finding ‘the perfect one,’ you overlook the red flags on your first date and can even end up with broken trust. This is because we tend to create a sense of false hope that all the relationships on earth are just perfect. The first few months of any relationship look flawless, like both of you are made for each other and shall live happily ever after. But things start to get real once you pass a significant number of dates. In some cases, it is after six months or a year in a relationship.  After this honeymoon period, you realize that you have painted a wrong picture about your partner. In fact, this is true for all types of relationships, including friends and family members. It is needless to highlight that our false personification about relationships can sometimes unfold serious mental/physical issues sooner or later. We all need to understand that no relationship is perfect, and there are some non-negotiables that we all must set right from the beginning.

Relationship’s impact on our wellbeing is much more than what we think of. The best relationship can help you grow as a person and acts as a pillar to lean on whenever needed. But if chosen a wrong partner, things may only go downhill.

According to studies, a healthy relationship contributes to better mental health that can lower the risks of anxiety, depression and result in higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more cooperative relationships.

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The study also shows that happiness and health are the results of our relationships and do not necessarily come from fame, wealth, or work.

Therefore, whenever you’re dating someone new or even with your close ones, establishing some non-negotiables from the beginning will save you from costing your mental peace.

What Are Non-Negotiables?


Non-negotiables refer to the values and principles you have but won’t ever accept to negotiate on them under any circumstance. Non-negotiables are the promises that you set for your own self and the things you are willing to accept or not willing to accept in a relationship, job, family, etc.

Examples of non-negotiable at the workplace:

If you’re starting a new job or switching career path, these are some of the non-negotiables to keep in mind:

  • Expect your employer to provide an excellent working culture.
  • Not be biased or show discrimination towards others at the workplace.
  • A healthy work culture.
  • Work-life balance.
  • A good salary pay.
  • Good opportunities for career growth.

Also, apart from the above non-negotiables, you can demand the following list of non-negotiables from your employer:

  • Option to work remotely.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Access to fitness incentives and mental health sessions.
  • Networking opportunities.

Examples of non-negotiable in personal life:

  • Living in a clean home environment for improved happiness, as studies claim.
  • Living debt-free must be on your list of non-negotiables for a relaxed, stress-free life.
  • Having a daily fitness routine or exercising daily.
  • Eating healthy foods or detox regularly.
  • Being less wasteful.

Why Do You Need Non-Negotiables In A Relationship?

Compromise and adjustment. That’s what comes to our minds when we think of any relationship.

We think that compromising and adjusting to others’ needs will make us happy because we somehow believe that our happiness depends on someone else’s happiness. But does that sound fair in any way? What about your satisfaction? Why do we always have to please others to feel happy with ourselves, even if it costs us great mental turmoil? Isn’t it similar to putting terms and conditions on your relationship?

Anything that comes with conditions is not worthy of a relationship. After all, it’s not a business deal between you and your partner.

It’s crucial to ensure that you share strict non-negotiables with your close circle, especially friends, partners, spouses, and family members.

Non-negotiables guarantee that you have a healthy bond with other people. Any relationship that is set on the necessary foundation of non-negotiables enhances your connection with your close ones. Relationships shouldn’t suffocate you but help you grow as a better person.

If you keep your eyes open from the beginning and be aware of all the red flags, it will save you from wasting time and energy on someone who doesn’t respect your overall well-being.

5 Basic Non-Negotiables To Have In A Relationship


Now that you know the significance of having non-negotiables let’s dive in to understand what they are.

1. Loyalty

Being loyal in a relationship verifies that a person is committed to you, and he or she will be there whenever you’re emotionally and physically vulnerable.

A study from Northwestern University found that couples loyal to each other are happier than those who don’t value loyalty. 

Imagine this, you want to study or work on a passion project, but you don’t have people you trust. You want them there with you to push you through your insecurities and have faith in yourself, but they don’t. How would that make you feel about yourself? Worst, right?

Being loyal doesn’t only mean commitment but also having faith, trust, and a strong belief in becoming the best version in any relationship.

Ensure the people you allow in your inner circle are loyal and make it clear to them that you do not tolerate betrayal.

A simple sign that a person is loyal and will stick around to you is: they hate the people you hate and love the people you love. 

2. Privacy

Privacy is an essential non-negotiable in any relationship.

Be it any relationship; one must not cross the lines. But, on the other hand, there will be things that you may want to keep in the vault or share on your terms.

A sensible person always understands and respects your boundaries and does not invade your privacy. Instead, they wait for you to find the courage to share things with them at the time when you are ready to confide.

A good friend holds your hand, reassuring you of their willingness to lend an ear to you to listen and help, but also holds themselves back from digging into your private matters.

A good friend always ensures that sitting with them in silence is comfortable for you. Such friends are nothing less than priceless gems. If you have one, cherish them!

Friendship reveals secrets and opens doors with patience and confidence, not by force.

However, to be sure, when allowing people into your inner circle, let them know you care about your privacy, and they should respect it. When they touch a sensitive subject, let them know you are not ready to discuss it. Don’t play mysterious, and don’t try to change the subject. Just be honest.

3. Communication

All relationships work on an unspoken give-and-take policy. However, they all should be based on all forms of communication. Effective communication prevents any mishap that may end up happening in any relationship.

How healthy a bond you have with a person is attributed to how well you communicate with them and how they receive the message. You should be able to do it using words, looks, and gestures without doubting even for a second that the other person did not understand the message.

Because a good friend gets the message before you even talk to them in words!

And if you both are not on the same page even after trying innumerable times, perhaps that person is not meant to be your friend.

Lack of effective communication at any relationship level can cause trouble.

A survey conducted in 2019 revealed that ‘Communication problems is the most important factor that leads to divorce, at 65%, followed by 43% inability to resolve issues.

So it’s always for good to take things slow and build trust at first. If your partner is trying to understand your feelings instead of turning a blind eye to them, they are a keeper with whom you can cherish your relationship for a lifetime.

4. Friends And Family

No matter how much you love your friends, it’s not fair if someone demands you to choose between your friends and your family. Real friends will never try to push you away from your loved ones; instead, they will try to bring you even closer.

Real friends enlarge and consolidate families; they don’t tear them apart.

Make your priorities clear from the start to avoid situations where your new friends interfere with your non-negotiables.  Remember, your duties and responsibilities are essential; hence, do not neglect them. Real friends will understand and support you, and those who don’t probably don’t belong in your inner circle.

Just remember that friendship takes regular face-to-face contact. You can’t expect people to be there when you need them and disappear when they need you. You have to invest in your friendship and provide the support and care you expect from others.

5. Respect

No relationship can ever last if there is no respect.

The moment someone loses respect for you is when the bond you both share is as good as broken and dead.

Respect is one of the prerequisite non-negotiables in any relationship with anyone in our inner circle. If you still think we are not making any sense, then imagine what happens if you put your life in the hands of someone who doesn’t respect you.

Would you like to keep your bond knotted with such people? You surely don’t see people you don’t appreciate as friends, do you?

Respect means more than politeness or admiration. It means accepting decisions and supporting actions you disagree with. It means encouraging dreams you don’t share and embracing without judging. Because when you respect someone, you don’t hold them back. You trust they will succeed and still back them up!

Studies show that men prefer to be respected more than being loved. When given a choice between being disrespected or feeling alone and unloved, 74%  of men chose alone and unloved. This clearly depicts that men value respect more than love.

Another Lifestyle Poll conducted on Harvard college graduates shows that 75% of women also chose respect over love.

Respect is like a see-saw; you only allow people you care for, and they respect you back in your circle to have a balanced relationship.

You don’t need people who tell you what to do or make decisions for you. Having people who will support you or, when they disagree with your actions, express their disagreement without raising obstacles is more than enough.

Here are signs that show your partner respects you.

What To Do If Someone Is Trying To Break Your Non-Negotiables?


Here are some ways to handle non-negotiables if deemed necessary:

1. Speak Up For Yourself

Whenever you feel someone is manipulating you to break your non-negotiables, speak up immediately. Speaking up for yourself in such incidents is essential as it allows the other person to know you won’t keep up with their nonsense.

2. Set Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are essential for a healthy relationship and one which many of us struggle to set in the first place. It is crucial to set boundaries so that others know you value and respect your own opinions, and no one can question your non-negotiables if they genuinely care.

3. Call Out

Perhaps you feel someone is dishonest with you in a relationship, so call them out on their behavior. If you believe honesty and trust as the most common non-negotiables, confront people whenever they show dishonest behavior to you.

4. Distance Yourself

It’s possible that even after expressing your dilemma, the other person may not rectify their mistake and keep breaking your relationship non-negotiables. In such cases, distance yourself emotionally and physically.

If it’s a friend, you can stop attending to their calls and messages. But if it’s someone from your own family, share your honest opinions with them that they are trying to break your non-negotiables.

Concluding Thoughts About Non-Negotiables In Relationships

The people you let into your heart or life should be special and should see you as such. Your relationship is like an investment, and you’re the investor. It fosters only when you and the people around you put equal efforts into the relationship. Consider it as a plant where your sow the seed first, give proper nutrients, water to the plant, and nurture it to grow into a beautiful plant. Treat your relationships with others like plants and never compromise with your own needs.

Key Takeaways On Non-negotiables In Relationships

  • Deal-breakers are real if you fail to spot the red flags in your relationship from the beginning.
  • According to studies, a healthy relationship can contribute to better mental health and lowers anxiety and depression.
  • The impact of any relationship is more than what we think, as it can help you grow as a person and acts as a pillar to lean on whenever needed.
  • Establishing non-negotiables with your friends, partner, parents can save you from costing your mental peace.
  • Being loyal in a relationship ensures that the other person is committed and has respect for your individuality.
  • Loyalty is all about having faith, trust, and a strong belief in each other.
  • Having your privacy in any relationship ensures that no one invades your boundaries and gives you space to do what you like.
  • Effective communication prevents any mishap or misunderstanding that might happen in relationships.
  • Nobody should force you to choose between friends and families and understand that you have a life of your own.
  • Lastly, respect is a prerequisite in any relationship as it helps you accept others with all their flaws.

What are relationship deal-breakers?

  • Lack of respect for others.
  • Controlling behavior.
  • Dishonesty.
  • Lack of communication.

How does a healthy relationship look like?

A healthy relationship is where people:

  • Love and accept you for who you are.
  • Share constructive criticism when you make mistakes.
  • Celebrate your success without envying you.

How to establish non-negotiables in relationships?

  • Be loyal to each other.
  • Show respect for your loved ones.
  • Prioritize both your friends, family, and partner.
  • Communicate whenever a misunderstanding takes place.

Have you discussed these non-negotiables with your loved ones? If you haven’t, perhaps sharing this post with them will help draw their attention. Also, if there are any other non-negotiables you’d like to add to the list, don’t hesitate to share them in a comment!

Until then, I hope the above lines will help you confirm and consolidate your friendships and bring a smile to your lips for knowing your inner circle filled with people who are worthy of your time, respect, and care.  If you liked this article, don’t forget to hit thumbs up below.

Mihaela Olaru
Mihaela Olaru
Mihaela is a sociologist, an English – Romanian translator, the proud mother of two joyful girls and the happy wife of her soul mate. She turned writing into a career in 2010 and has never looked back. She spends her leisure time by cooking healthy foods, reading princess stories, watching movies, playing games in the park, or walking along the Danube.

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