How to Stop Being ‘Just A Convenience’ In Other Peoples Lives
With tonight’s Leo full moon entering a theme of passion fire, symbolizing self worth and encouraging us all to take a step back and a deeper look at how we value ourselves, our time, our energy and our efforts, which happens to be in perfect alignment with some of the things that are currently happening in the foreground of my own personal life, I felt inspired to write about reclaiming power against those who so desperately seek to take it away from us and feeling good about leaving behind relationships that no longer serve us as we enter into this next moon phase.
Whether it is a romantic partnership, a platonic friendship or a family member who makes you feel like you exist solely at their leisure, it hurts all the same. The heart doesn’t differentiate between the three. Fortunately, there are ways you can stop allowing yourself to be so available to those who treat you like you are disposable and start showing up more for yourself.
Feeling unimportant to someone you truly care for can be deeply hurtful. We’ve probably all felt that pain at least once in our lives; only once if you’re lucky. Whether you experience this type of heartbreak while you’re young or when you get a little older when it cuts a little deeper, it’s almost a given that you will feel some feelings of neglect or abandonment at the hands of someone else at least once at some point in your lifetime. The good news is there are definite ways to prevent yourself from getting too involved with these types of people and relationships before they end up hurting you.
None of us eagerly enter into or continue entertaining relationships with people who we know have or will betray our trust or hurt us, that is unless you are a complete masochist. I am not just speaking to romantic relationships, either. I am talking about all relationships, whether it is with a friend, a sister, a brother, a parent, or anyone else who you allow into your personal life on a deeper level that you feel you should be able to trust one hundred per cent. Typically we seek out relationships that we feel are safe, with those who we think will be there for us when we need them the most; those who are there for us when no one else is. They’re the people you can count on — they are the hidden gems. Not many of these people authentically exist and just land in your lap and it’s usually family members who fill these empty spaces in your life simply because of the blood is thicker than water theory. That is unless you are one of the truly lucky ones who just attracts good energy throughout your time on earth. I strongly believe that good energy attracts good energy but there is no doubt that it takes years and maturity to be able to see through the fake in order to recognize the real. Because these beautiful hidden gems are so rare we often tend to mistake duds for gems out of sincerity or perfect optimism. The havoc that a dud can wreak on your life given the opportunity can cause pain that is very real and wounds that can take a long time to heal from. The scar tissue of these wounds is often felt for years and is visible for others to see and feel as well. It can hurt like a punch to the stomach when you are treated like a nobody by someone that you love, like you were simply disposable… like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet leaving you feeling alienated and confused and asking yourself how the other person could be so cold by withdrawing their love so abruptly and abandoning the relationship like it meant absolutely nothing to them. Sometimes these people disappear from your life forever, sometimes not, but the wounds that are left behind from their Houdini act are often felt permanently. The trauma from the pain that is caused by this type of abandonment and that fear to trust again can linger for the rest of your life making it hard to move on and it takes a lot of self love and inner work to navigate your way through the pain and past the mess that is left behind by those that are so careless and flaky. These small tragedies happen to good people all the time, there’s really no avoiding it unless you live like a complete hermit and avoid getting close to anyone ever again, but unfortunately most of us just aren’t wired that way. Most humans are social beings who crave love and attention and acceptance from their own.
There are ways to spot and avoid becoming simply a convenience in someone else’s life. If you do feel that you have become less than a priority or just an afterthought to someone you thought you cared for, there are ways to spot it pretty early on by making a lifelong commitment to your own self worth because when you make yourself a priority it sets the standard for how others will treat you.
- Put yourself first, always. This doesn’t mean being overtly selfish or self-centred. When I say put yourself first I mean be true to you and ask yourself, what are you getting out of every situation you encounter in return for your efforts? If you’re constantly the only person in the relationship trying to make it work without fair and valid reciprocation on a regular basis, you’re probably just a convenience to the other person in the partnership. If you are constantly left feeling drained instead of fulfilled by this persons energy, that’s likely a red flag that you are not a priority for them. Relationships are not always a fair and two-way street 100% of the time, sometimes you have to pick each other up when times are tough but if it is consistently feeling unbalanced or if you’re always the one making the extra effort, save yourself the heartache and cut it off early.
- Self evaluate often. Check in with yourself when you’re around others. How do you feel when you’re in their company? Are you truly yourself or do you feel like you’re sacrificing your values or morals just to fit in with them? Going against the grain is uncomfortable at first but in the end it’s only you who suffers the consequences when you pretend to be something you’re not. If the other person doesn’t like who you are when you are your most comfortable self, they probably aren’t good for you.
- Ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze. There will always be times when you are left holding the proverbial bag, getting the short end of the stick or taking one for the team which is especially true in romantic relationships. It can’t always be 50/50. In fact the best relationships I’ve ever had have been built on that foundation with a mutual understanding that I may not be my best today but I will try again for you tomorrow. Loving someone fully means making sacrifices for them sometimes and swallowing your pride. It means both people giving their best at all times but understanding that sometimes your best isn’t perfect but you’ll try harder next time. On the contrary if you feel like you are constantly waiting for “next time” to come around and it never does, and you’re frequently left feeling like the only one getting the short end of the stick in the partnership, it’s probably not worth your time and therefore the juice is definitely not worth the squeeze. Your efforts will be better spent elsewhere.
- How does the other person celebrate your wins? This one is pretty basic. If you are succeeding and your people aren’t cheering you on, they’re not your people.
- Do they support your decisions? A solid person will always support you whether they agree with your decisions or not. Period. Voicing an opinion and offering a different perspective is great, it shows that the other person is actually interested and engaged in what’s going on in your life but if you are met with conflict or manipulation over a decision that you have made for yourself then that’s usually a sign that the other person is responding out of selfishness and they are not looking out for your best interest, instead they’re making it about themselves and will likely not be there for you if things don’t go the way you plan. This often happens with overbearing people who don’t respect boundaries. Be firm and trust your gut no matter who gets p.o’d. The people that want to be involved in your life will support you notwithstanding their own personal opinions.
- Love SHOULD NOT hurt. We’ve all heard of the term ‘tough love’. The house that I grew up in, this term was used a lot. I was often under the impression that silent treatments and other forms of neglect were just signs of this so called love whenever I did something wrong so I grew up thinking that this was a totally normal and acceptable way to express my emotions and would later adopt tough love as a love language for myself. Tough love is not love. It’s toxic. Its used by people who do not understand how to communicate their feelings in a healthy way and its actually a form of emotional abuse and doing that to your loved ones is not only emotionally immature, it’s straight up abusive and can seriously mess up a person. Other more obvious forms of this so called tough love i.e. abuse is things like verbal abuse, making the other person feel small or stupid by belittling or being condescending, swearing and name calling, and the list just goes on. Basically if it leaves you scarred it’s not real love. If you do receive this type of treatment from anyone I would strongly urge you to walk away at the very first sign of it and if it’s something you’ve been brought up around you should seriously consider cutting ties with those family members as hard as it may be for you. That is the only way to amputate such toxic cycles outside of some serious family counselling which takes a lot of genuine effort from everyone involved. Healthy love is about openness, communication, creating a safe space to speak your truth, and listening when the other person needs to speak theirs.
- Promptly call out manipulation. Operative word being promptly. If you have ever come face to face with a manipulative person you know how quickly things can escalate. Gas lighting is a real thing and manipulators love to gas light. If you are dealing with someone who uses gas lighting or other forms of manipulation as a weapon, I’ve found it is best to just call it out immediately which usually puts an end to the convo pretty quickly. If it doesn’t, then the other person is still just left arguing with themselves while you’ve already mentally checked out.
- Accept the things you cannot change, but try not to take it too personally. Sometimes people don’t want to change and there’s nothing that you can do about it besides accept it and move on with your life. Let bygones be bygones and know you are better off without them.
As difficult as it is to accept that you might not hold the same value that you place on other people, there’s comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone and when you begin to put yourself first and clear out all that negativity from your life you will be opening up space for better things. Showing up for yourself, loving yourself, and valuing yourself is so much more validating than waiting on validation from others. Don’t let others dictate your worth because there is no long term happiness in doing that. Just be true to you and let the pieces fall where they will.