Addressing One-Sided Relationships!
“A one-sided relationship is characterized by one person investing more energy and effort into making the relationship work. In this imbalanced dynamic, one person puts in more time and effort or has less control.” according to Very Well Mind.
Have you ever found yourself in a one-sided relationship with someone in your family, or maybe a neighbor or friend?
Are you the one consistently making plans and reaching out, but the other person is rarely available?
Or maybe during gatherings, you’re the one asking questions, but find it challenging to contribute to the conversation yourself?
You might feel like you’re in a one-sided relationship!
Watch video below:
Curiosity about Others!
Let’s look at a few scenarios of one sided relationships!
Maybe you’ve attended an event or had lunch with someone who doesn’t seem all that interested in getting to know you, and instead of inquiring about your life, they talk extensively about themselves, or maybe they share ongoing medical issues, gossip, or complain throughout the entire conversation.
It’s normal to have an off week every now and then, but the concern arises when it becomes a recurring pattern.
Their lack of curiosity about your life, can make things feel one-sided, and having you wonder how deep these connections really go, especially when you find yourself asking all the questions and being the always attentive listener.
Perhaps these individuals are used to communicating in this manner and may not be aware that there’s an issue.
Let’s look at possible reasons:
🤔 They have a history of traumatic past connections leading to trust issues, and prefer keeping conversations on a more surface level.
😮 They could be shy and unsure about the right questions to ask, or struggle as listeners.
😔 They simply don’t care, and have a tendency to dominate conversations with their own narratives.
We can only speculate about the reasons behind the behavior, and may never know why this happens!
Do You Prioritize Relationships?
Now, let’s say you actually do genuinely connect with someone on a deeper level, but they rarely reach out, or maybe unknowingly use bread crumbing tactics, to keep you interested.
You try to connect with them, but it’s nearly impossible because they constantly tell you how busy they are, and keep adjusting or even canceling plans, which can be very disappointing and frustrating!
As Steve Maraboli states “When someone tells you I’m too busy, It’s not a reflection of their schedule; it’s a reflection of YOUR spot on their schedule.”
If this becomes a pattern, and people aren’t making time to prioritize your relationship, or they neglect to check-in or provide support, it becomes challenging to deepen the connection beyond surface levels.
If you notice these patterns occurring frequently, it might be a good time for some reflection!
As Healthline.com emphasizes, “Investing time and energy in a friendship with little return can leave you feeling disconnected.”
When the obvious writing is on the wall, it’s good for your sake to lower expectations, and get realistic about what’s happening.
Lowering expectations and practicing acceptance, can help navigate disappointments and open the door to more fulfilling connections elsewhere.
Acceptance means being okay with things as they are, without wishing for them to be different, and letting go of the desire to change people or situations, and even though you think someone should be acting differently, you can’t change others, you can only change you!
Practicing acceptance helps us avoid feeling disappointed, when things don’t go exactly as we want them to.
As Byron Katie reminds us, “I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
I was reading a book called “The Gifts of Acceptance” and it said “True acceptance means accepting people and things as they are without judgment or harboring negative feelings such as fear, anger, resentment, and the like”.
It also goes onto say “Acceptance removes your blinders and you can recognize choices and opportunities that were invisible to you before. Your focus is changed from what you can’t change or control in another, or about a situation, to what you can do to make things better”.
Observe the behavior of the people you want to spend time with.
If it seems one-sided, or if they aren’t making efforts to deepen your connection, there’s no need to judge, just stop investing your own energy in continuous disappointment.
Redirect that same energy toward connections that give back, and you’ll be on your way to building a more fulfilling social life.
Building deeper connections requires not only spending time together, but a bit of vulnerability too.
Unfortunately, avoiding vulnerability can create a barrier to establishing more meaningful relationships, which could lead to a sense of loneliness or a lack of emotional support.
Even after knowing someone for a while, many feel uneasy about revealing even a hint of vulnerability for various reasons, and stick with no-pressure, surface-level connections.
Many are hesitant to show vulnerability, fearing judgment.
If you’re worried about judgment, just remember that everyone has insecurities, and sharing experiences helps create better and genuine connections.
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, it doesn’t mean that you have to overshare.
Just start with sharing just a little bit.
Maybe talk about a fear you have, a mistake you’ve made, or reveal something new you’re thinking of doing.
Sometimes the person you’re talking to, can relate, and ya never know, it may even lead into an even better conversation.
Building and maintaining connections can be challenging, and if you find yourself unintentionally fueling a one-sided relationship, consider these 5 strategies to enhance reciprocity:
1. Set aside specific time slots in your calendar to connect with the important people in your life, treating it with the same importance as other commitments.
2. Communicate your willingness to connect, and be open about your schedule, and find common ground for quality time.
3. Even if you’re busy, sending a quick ‘thinking of you’ text, speaks volumes.
4. Combine socializing with activities you enjoy, making it easier to prioritize relationships alongside your interests.
5. When you do have moments to connect, instead of asking surface level questions like ‘how are you doing’ or ‘did you hear the weather forecast’, ask questions that encourage deeper conversations, showing genuine interest.
If you’re shy, practice before you go, or write notes and bring them.
By implementing these approaches, you can create more give-and-take in your relationships.
For more ideas, download the free Better Conversations Guide.
It Takes Time!
It’s crucial to cultivate authentic, like-minded connections that align with your values, where thoughts and feelings are shared.
Building meaningful connections takes time, and sure, it might be inconvenient once in a while!
Now, if you’re already fortunate enough to have a handful of like-minded friends, those you can effortlessly chat or brainstorm with for hours, who consistently check-up on you regardless of how busy life gets, cherish and prioritize them.
Choosing who you spend time with, matters and creating like-minded connections is an ongoing journey.
Maintaining strong relationships has a direct impact on our health.
Engaging in positive social interactions helps alleviate stress, reduces feelings of loneliness, and promotes a sense of belonging.
It also can lower levels of anxiety, improve overall well-being, and strengthen your immune function.
Shifting away from one-sided interactions and emphasizing reciprocity, may contribute to a more fulfilling social life.
Remember, it’s never too late to deepen the connections you already have.
TOPIC: Addressing One-Sided Relationships!
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