In healthy, loving relationships there is mutual care, support, consideration and love. This seems obvious, but sometimes people were raised in dysfunction and have no clue what a healthy relationship is. For most of my life, I’ve been in this club and only beginning to painfully figure it all out within the past couple of years.
If there is anyone in our life that asks for favors, help and support but does not consider what these requests do to us and what our situation is, we have every right to say no and not feel guilt. This, I know, is easier said than done especially if we have empathy, have been raised in dysfunction and society says we should always help. The message should be that we should always help when we can and as long as it doesn’t take away from our well being.
Unfortunately, it seems a lot of the time it is the ones closest to us that ask us to give up our well being for their needs, never considering what their requests will do to us because they feel their needs are more important, or it is just a family dynamic. “I gave birth to you so you owe me your life”. No. We cannot help who we are family with – we had no choice in that matter, so it is not our responsibility to be sure all their needs are met. The only time we are responsible to meeting another’s needs is when we bring a baby into the world. The rest of the time, each of us is only responsible for our own needs. Yes, we should help others if we are in a position to do so and the people we help care about our well being.
Sometimes there can even be abuse in these situations, to the point where we are afraid to say no because we will be yelled at, guilted, demeaned, called names or even hit. We are unable to communicate our needs to these people because it turns into them abusing and trying to convince us we are wrong. This is not a healthy loving relationship. It is abusive.
There comes a time when we have to give ourselves love, respect, dignity, safety, freedom and happiness by not doing what we’ve always done for people that take advantage of it or abuse us, and we have to do that without guilt, regardless of how bad their situation is.
If we don’t, we allow them to make us a victim and we give away our power. One reason we are here is to help others, but how can we help others if we let someone take away our well being? If we are not well, we can’t help anyone. Empathy is a gift, but in these situations we have to work at having less empathy and detaching. This is an extremely difficult thing to do, but if we don’t do it, selfish, sometimes narcissistic manipulative ones will take us down.
If your needs are not considered or are not heard when you try to tell them, or you’re afraid to tell them because of the abuse that will happen, then this is a one-sided relationship and possibly abusive. We have to learn to be strong for ourselves.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you relate? Has this happened to you and if so, how did you deal with it? Any and all comments welcome!
Hope all is well with everyone.
Here are a few of the products available with my art printed on them (by clicking an item you like, it will take you to the page where it’s available). They’d make great gifts to yourself or someone you love and would help support my dream of becoming a full-time writer and artist. Any purchase would be SO appreciated, but if you don’t want to or can’t, that’s totally fine. Just stopping by and reading my blog is a huge support.