Relationships are the epitome giving and taking. It’s such a common concept, Give and Take, but it gets overlooked more often than not. You have the people that take more than they deserve and the people who give more than they should. What it really comes down to is self worth. Are you worth more than you are receiving or are you belittling another person’s worth by asking them to give more than they should?
It’s a balance. A tricky balance that stems from what you think of yourself and what you think of others. But you also can’t forget about how others view you. Often times, how the people in your life view you is a reflection of how you view yourself. After all..
“WE ACCEPT THE LOVE WE THINK WE DESERVE.” – STEPHAN CHBOSKY
I personally have had a difficult time realizing that I can’t make someone care about me. I can not force another person to appreciate what I give, even if I give them everything. It’s not a fault of their own, it’s just a difference in beliefs. I will give what I believe people should give, but that doesn’t mean someone else will believe they have to give back. Sometimes it has everything to do with the value of the relationship. Maybe someone receives value from what I give but they don’t see value in me.
Either way, I ultimately have control over how I am treated, but it’s not through forcing people to treat me that way. That is an uphill battle that is not worth anyone’s time. Instead, I’ve found that it is more effective to establish my self worth, acknowledge the toxic relationships in my life, and make the really meaningful relationships top priority.
LETTING GO OF FAKE FRIENDS
ESTABLISHING SELF WORTH
I have an entire post on what redefining your self worth. Establishing worth within yourself is, in my opinion, the single most important step to living a meaningful life. After all, if you don’t find meaning within yourself, you’ll constantly be chasing surface level meaning to fill that void.
One of the ways we fill the void of self worth is from others. We let other people decide how much we’re worth and take what we can get. The ignored texts, the over looked invites, the only reaching out when they need something. We accept these things because we don’t have a sense of worth that makes us believe we deserve more.
Find away to discover worth within yourself. While there are nice people in the world who treat everyone fairly, there are a lot of people who take everything they can from those who are willing to give. This isn’t to say you should stop giving in relationships. Just look out for the people who continue to make you feel worthless. In the end, it’s not up to them to decide what you’re worth. It’s up to you.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS
It’s hard to accept that someone you care about doesn’t care about you. Whether it’s a significant other, a friend, or a family member; it all hurts the same. It’s rejection. It’s the realization that you’ve put effort and care into someone who had no intention of giving you the same in return. The worst is when they let you put the energy in knowing that they will never return it.
As The Minimalist say,
“YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, BUT YOU CAN CHANGE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.”
Possibly one of my favorite quotes on relationships to date. It basically means that while you cannot control the actions and feelings of other people, you can choose who you surround yourself with.
It can be difficult to be honest about the quality of your relationships. Maybe it’s fear of excepting someone’s true feelings towards you, fear of conflict, or fear of losing someone you care about. Either way, holding onto anything out of fear is only preventing you from really embracing the joy that comes from meaningful relationships.
Don’t sell yourself short, don’t say you deserve it. Be real about the relationships you have and really think about who makes you feel worth it. Not because you need their love to feel worth it, but because you deserve to feel worth it. Anyone who pushes you aside, makes you feel second best, makes you a last priority, or brings you down? It’s time to let them go. You can’t make them love you, but you can choose to stop accepting their poor treatment of you.
MAKE THE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS TOP PRIORITY
To have good friends, you have to be a good friend. Once you’ve establish who the good ones are, you need to make sure they know how important they are by treating them with the respect they deserve.
Meaningful relationships are hard to come by, but as the saying goes: the best things are worth waiting for. Creating meaning in your life, especially in your relationships, is not an easy task. When you get to the point of being able to find quality in the people you share your time with, you’ll find that it was all worth it in the long run.
Photo by Joseph Pearson