I have always treated my friendships hot or cold. All or nothing. Ride or Die sort of relationships. I’m not too sure that has worked out for me well over the years. I know the saying that friends come and go, but unless there isn’t an actual barrier like distance, I don’t know why most of my relationships fizzle out. I wonder if maybe it is growth, poor connection, consistency or lack of vulnerability that contribute to the deterioration of my relationships. I have been also reflecting on my part and how I contribute to all of this and how over time my identity changes with the relationships I keep.
Relationships of any kind have a give and take nature. Reciprocity is a vital component of keeping the relationship going, this I have struggled to maintain most in my relationships, at work, at home and even with new potential friends. I am eager and willing to always put myself out there first. I go out of my way to please. Although people pleasing is a real thing, I won’t get into it in this article, the focus here is rejection. I have always been puzzled in instances when I haven’t been reciprocated the exact experience I provide for my relationships. I want the same dinners I offer, I want the same frequency of visits, texts or phone calls asking me about my day, but it never seems to pan out. This disappointment inevitably turns into frustration and the relationship suffers in the long term.
I have come to understand that the feeling of rejection I feel has nothing to do with other people. I simply don’t take care of my own needs properly to see red flags in others to then react appropriately to what I need out of a relationship. I have always had a difficult time sitting in my own emotions and naming my feelings. This is an important task for self awareness that I am starting to see I am lacking. What I am looking for externally in other people I can only provide for myself. I have to name what I want and how I feel first. This concept has helped me process some of the unpleasant feelings about my relationships in the past and present, particularly about the lack of reciprocity from others and feelings of rejection.
I cannot control other people, therefore situations will always arise that will disappoint me. This doesn’t mean that I have to be so black and white about the people in my life. If you focus on your needs first and use proper communication, how other people respond is not in your control. To better understand where your feelings of rejection come from, think back when you first had rejection in your life and process those feelings first. This will help build better foundations for any new relationships. If there was a time that you didn’t feel good about yourself or a relationship, when rejection hurt, sit in those feelings and then let them go. Don’t take those feelings with you to a new situation. Take care of your needs and communicate them to others, the rest is for you to enjoy! Enjoy your relationships and the people in your life.