Relationships are tough, no matter how good of a communicator you are. They require work. And it’s not just work here and there, it is constant work. Whether you are staying in touch with a friend, maintaining a marriage, or being a productive member of a family, they all require work. They require you to put your time and energy into each one of them.
However, just because you offer up your love and support to someone, does not automatically mean the relationship will be successful. Too often, people spend more time and energy on a relationship that is of no value to them. In fact, it hinders and derails people from moving forward and blooming. Despite so many relationships adding negativity, toxins and disappointment to ones life, they continue to give to those relationships.
Often times, people stay in relationships far past their due dates out of comfort. It is easier to stay than it is to go. It is less of an emotional toll if they ride it out a little longer, than if they cut ties. When is enough, enough? When is it okay to say thanks but no thanks?
1. When you are the only one contributing.
The equation for a relationship is simple: 1 person + 1 person= relationship; therefore, it requires effort, time and energy from both people. It is not just for one person to contribute all the time. Of course there will be times when ones effort outweighs the other, but that is the beauty of relationships. A relationship is meant to even out over time. Perhaps your best friend is going through a tough time and requires a lot of listening on your part, but when shit hits the fan in your life, the tables turn and they become the listening board. That is how it is supposed to work. However, if your relationship doesn’t look like a give and take, but more of a give, give, give, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. Not only will you become burnt out in the end, but it is unfair to always carry the weight of the relationship on your shoulders.
Ask yourself, if I stopped contributing would the relationship be non-existent? Would we not talk? Would we not fix any problems? Would we not spend time together? If the relationship would die, then chances are you may be the only one contributing.
2. When you feel worse after spending time with them.
Relationships are meant to bring us joy, success and growth. Yes some relationships are lessons in disguises, but in the moment, they are supposed to feel good. If you feel worse after you just spent an hour on the phone with someone or after hanging out for the afternoon, it may not be the relationship for you. Do not get this confused with the run of the mill disagreement or ‘fights’ we can get in with loved ones. Those come and go and by no means are enjoyable. I am referring to the time and time again feeling of feeling worse when you leave than when you arrived. Relationships are meant to bring value and wealth to your life, they are not meant to drain you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Ask yourself, do I cry after spending time with them? Do I make negative comments to myself afterwards? Do I isolate or want to be alone after being around someone? If so, it doesn’t sound like you are having a good time so why are you wasting your precious time on them?
3. When they continuously hurt your feelings.
Not only does feeling worse after leaving them cause for a reason to question the relationship, but if you they are constantly hurting your feelings, it most likely is not a relationship for you. We all can’t live by the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ At some point people will say or do things that hurt your feelings, but it shouldn’t be on a regular basis. And please know that just because someone apologizes, does not excuse their behavior. If someone hurts your feelings over and over again, yet continues to apologize, their apology is just noise. Always remember that the best way to apologize to someone is to never do it again. No one should have to subject themselves to constantly being hurt, especially by the same actions or words.
Ask yourself, are you always feeling disappointed? do they say mean things to you? do they do hurtful things? do they apologize but not change? or do they not even take accountability? If so, as hard as it may be to hear, it doesn’t sound like they respect you or care about you.
4. When they expect you to always make the sacrifices.
Not only do they meet #1 by not contributing, but they are selfish in their endeavors and require you to make all the sacrifices. They expect you to have to change or pay a price in the relationship. Again, it doesn’t work that way. Both parties have to give a little which may mean they have to give up things. That is the merry-go-round in relationships. Both people don’t mind the things they must sacrifice as long as the relationship benefits in the end; therefore, both people are selfless at times.
If you feel it’s unequal, ask yourself, am I always the one having to change my plans? Am I always the one having to pay? Am I always the one having to plan? Am I always the one who has to give up something? Am I always the one giving up something? If you are, you’re more than likely the only one making sacrifices.
5. When they have nothing positive to add.
Ever been around a Negative Nancy? Yeah, they suck! They drain every ounce of positivity out of you. Not only does a poor attitude hinder the person, but it can hinder those around them as well. It is so hard to stay positive when others around you are constantly talking about what is wrong around you. Unfortunately, misery loves company and some people want others miserable with them. It sounds crazy, but there are plenty of relationships that operate in negativity because of one person.
Ask yourself, do they constantly talk about what is wrong? Do they always see the glass half empty? Do they refuse to see the positive side? Most likely if they do, they are in fact a Debbie Downer and will only pull you down with them.
6. When you receive zero support.
Relationships are also meant to pick you up and cheer you on during times of need. This could simply just be supporting you while you go back to school or applying for a job. It could mean supporting you while you receive medical attention or just a simple check-in after a stressful event. Support goes a long way, especially when it is from someone you love and care about. If someone isn’t offering you support, it makes for a vague and lonely relationship. It should never feel like you’re in it alone.
Ask yourself, if I were having a hard time and I called, would they listen? Would they offer to help? Would they continue to show up to assist me? If not, chances are they aren’t offering you much and you may just be wasting your life.
7. They make you feel unsafe.
I wish I didn’t have to put this one, but I do. Anyone that feels unsafe because of another person, is in the wrong relationship. This could mean you are afraid of what could happen when you are with them or you don’t trust yourself to be around them. This also includes those who feel unsafe because the person has threatened to hurt them or has hurt them in the past. No one should have a relationship with anyone if they do not make them feel that you are going to be okay. Please, if you feel unsafe, it’s time to end the relationship. You do not need someone in your life who causes you harm.
If you answered yes to any of the 7 statements, you may want to take a look at the relationship. There may be a conversation that you can have with them in hopes of strengthening and building up a more solid relationship. Not all relationships that are falling apart have to be destroyed. However, if you answered yes to multiple or all of them, it’s not a relationship you should be spending your time and energy on. There are billions of people in this world, why are you wasting your 24 hours on someone who doesn’t deserve a second of it?
Relationships make our world a better place. There is no reason you shouldn’t have amazing ones by your side. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them, what they have done for you, or who they are to you. If they are unhealthy and do not contribute to your life, you do not have to be in it. Instead of wasting precious time and energy on someone who doesn’t deserve you, you can use to towards someone else who does.
If no one has told you today you’re FUCKING awesome, you are. And you deserve FUCKING awesome relationships!
Toodles, Becca Jane 🙂