Never Appreciated

unappreciated

Never Appreciated

Do you feel that you have control over your life, but you are always getting stepped on? You go out of your way to show love, devotion, and perform grand gestures in hopes that they will be reciprocated. Instead, they turn out to be expectations. It stings the most when it’s a lover. But often those who are taken advantage of by romantic partners suffer at the hands of bosses, professors, friends and family too. If you’re never appreciated, or taken for granted more often than not, read on and you’ll know how to change it all around, and put some new direction in your life.

First, evaluate what you do for your lover and what they do for you. Writing two lists might make sense. Compare. Are you actually being taken advantage of? If your column takes up two pages with footnotes and addendums whilst theirs is barely two lines long, your lover has some explaining to do. Don’t get heated though. Instead, start to take a look at the patterns you take part in, in life. Do you get taken advantage of often, and by whom?

A lot of people are people-pleasers, so don’t feel bad. These people gain self-esteem from the gratitude of others. When they bestow their gratitude you get a bump. The problem is this person doesn’t often voice their own needs, wants and desires. No where do they feel more awkward at voicing their needs than with their partner. They secretly believe their own needs aren’t as worthy as others. But they are. So sit down with your partner and discuss how you feel with them. Tell them how hard you work on your grand gestures and how disappointed you are when they don’t reciprocate. Understand that they will be defensive. Don’t point the finger at them, or make them feel guilty. Just tell them how you feel and ask how they feel about that.

Approach it as a problem and invite them in. Have solutions outlined already. If your lover is resistant perhaps they aren’t in it for you, just for what you do for them. Assert yourself with your friends and at work too. Ask for what you want. Don’t overcompensate for past behavior. Be reasonable and ask in the right manner. But don’t back down. They may try to scare you off, but stand your ground. When you stick up for yourself others recognize it and you get respect. For more advice read the New York Times bestseller, The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D.

How does Someone Become Needy?

needy

How does Someone Become Needy?

Neediness isn’t good for a relationship. It lowers the person’s self-esteem and self-worth. It puts pressure on the relationship and ultimately pushes their lover away. The anxiety, constant worrying, the accusations or the constant need for reassurance become overbearing, robbing the other of psychic energy. A little self-doubt of course can be seen as modest and endearing. But it can become really draining to have to reassure someone time and again. Sooner or later the needy partner is seen as a liability and is cut loose. So how does someone become needy and how can they avoid it?

There are many reasons why people become needy, and a combination of reasons could be the case too. Here are some speculations. Unavailable parents, trauma, or abandonment causes neediness. There are unseen wounds that spring open when the person starts to enter into a new romantic relationship. Some people are never satisfied. The problem could be a traumatic event in their past. Or the problem could be temperament. Some things are never good enough for certain people. They have a hard time being satisfied. Development could play a role. Some people get stuck in the idealizing phase of their development, when they entered into their first romance. But they idealize love too much and fail in their adult life to be able to do the nuts and bolts of what it takes to make it work long term.

If the person acts immaturely, the problem is development. It could also be what Freud called the Unresolved Oedipus Complex. This is desiring what you can’t have. It’s like loving your parent and desiring them but knowing you can’t have them, this wanting what you can’t have and a constant inner tug-of-war destroys their relationships. These people tend to make the same mistakes in their love life over and over. Attraction to someone who is unavailable makes them more alluring to many. But it always ends in heartache. If you find yourself with this problem seek the help of a mental health professional. Work on building your self-esteem. Volunteer, do things that matter to you, count your blessings and make plans for the future. Plan goals and reach those goals. When you have a series of accomplishments you’ll feel better about yourself and feel less needy. When you feel needy, double think calling or texting that person. Put little systems in place for yourself to control your neediness. Have a good friend be your mentor and call them if you feel needy. It will improve your relationships if you practice a little bit of patience and some good judgment. For more advice read, Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment by Susan Anderson.

Women Who Feel Less Desirable Than their Husbands Work Harder to Satisfy

Self-doubt

Women Who Feel Less Desirable Than their Husbands Work Harder to Satisfy

A new study out of the University of Huddersfield in the U.K. found that women who feel less desirable than their husbands work harder to satisfy them. Dr. Chris Bale, lead author of this study, unveiled his findings at the 2013 British Psychological Society Annual Conference. 192 female participants between the ages of 18 and 60 took part in this research project. An array of rating scales were used to determine the women’s relationship behaviors and self-esteem. Those whose self-esteem was higher put less effort into the relationship as they felt more desirable than their husbands. Women with lower self-esteem, however, put more energy into their relationships as they felt less desirable than their husbands. More money, time, thoughtfulness and effort is invested to make up for the imbalance, according to Dr. Bale. Some assume that working on a relationship would elevate self-esteem as it would prove worthiness as a partner. But unfortunately the opposite is generally true. They get caught into a never-ending cycle.

One possible reason the cycle may exist is, what is called in psychology, attachment to rejection. It doesn’t matter what the wife does, she always somehow feels rejected. Let’s say you feel inadequate in the relationship and decide to take your partner out for a surprise dinner. You pick a new restaurant you think will blow them away, but you aren’t sure. At this stage you focus on rejection. No matter how good your plans are, you worry that they won’t like the restaurant and think you have terrible taste. Be that as it may, you get a reservation there, buy them a little token that you know they will hate, but you buy it anyway and you are off.

There are three possible reactions. First, he hates the restaurant and the token gift, and wonders if you know him at all. Instead of blaming him for being an unappreciative jerk, you blame yourself entirely and you knew it would happen all along. Next he could act neutrally. He could thank you for such a lovely gesture, you talk over dinner and have a nice time. But you don’t get an overt emotional response. This neutrality itself is interpreted as a failure. You think he didn’t like it at all. He was just humoring you. Lastly, you get an overtly positive response. He’s overwhelmed. He loves the place and thinks you have marvelous taste. He is overjoyed at the token, and remarks how well you know him. Still, you see this as rejection inherently. You think he’s going way out of his way. This can’t be a natural reaction. Clearly he hates everything. He’s just trying to save your feelings. Try not to get caught up in the cycle of rejection and instead, accept your own power, strength and positivity and find ways to build yourself up so you can feel that energy. For more help in boosting your confidence and self-esteem read the New York Times best seller, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

How You Subconsciously Maneuver into Controlling Relationships

Upset Woman

How You Subconsciously Maneuver into Controlling Relationships

If you feel like you have no control in your life but are always being controlled, feel overwhelmed by pressures, or that you are helpless because your power has been taken away, you could be creating a situation where you always export your sense of power and control to others. This generally isn’t a conscious move. If you feel a lack of power or control in your life, feel helpless but don’t know what to do, then this is probably you. The first issue is becoming aware of it. Once you have done that you can take steps to turn things around and take control of your life again.

HERE’S HOW YOU SUBCONSCIOUSLY MANEUVER INTO CONTROLLING RELATIONSHIPS:

First, you stop taking care of yourself in the right way. Whether you are smoking, shirking off exercise, over-eating or eating the wrong things, whatever the situation when you don’t take care of yourself you are sending an unconscious message for others to take care of you. The next sign is that you rail against the expectations or authority of others. Those with rebellious attitudes often are screaming at authorities to control them. They hate authority and at the same time they wish deep inside to be controlled by it. Those who wish to be controlled often don’t make the best choices in life. They fall apart at the last minute. They lack follow through. They flake out. They fail to complete the assignment and they telegraph their inability to handle things in the process.

Those who subconsciously want to be controlled may ask those in positions of authority question after question about a task or assignment. They may not even need help but feel inadequate, they are seeking attention and even friendship, or they want someone else to take over. Are you willing to take risks? Do you fear or loathe making mistakes? If you do, then you may be screaming for someone else to come in and take over. Are you a person who just can’t say no? If you constantly overextend yourself and can’t follow through, then this may be you. Do you feel as though you have no say in what’s happening around you? Do you feel as though your opinion doesn’t amount to much, if anything at all? The fact that you feel this way means you are ripe to be controlled because you yourself don’t value your own opinion.

Are you attracted to the controlling type? If your partners always seem to be persuasive, charismatic, strong, independent minded and even controlling and manipulative people, you have to consider that subconsciously you want to be controlled. Do you know your own feelings on what is going on in your life? If you can’t tell how you feel about things, or do things even though they make you feel uncomfortable, you may be practicing a type of self-sabotage that leaves you subconsciously exporting your power while consciously despising what is happening to you. For more on breaking free of negative patterns read, Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg.

When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship

Dispute

When an Ego Battle Replaces your Relationship

Relationships can do funny things to people. The feeling of attachment can also bring confusion, fear of intimacy and the need to guard one’s self. This is due to past traumas during childhood or in previous relationships. So to protect one’s self this person will often lapse into creating fights, sarcasm, vengeful gestures, passive-aggressiveness, resentfulness, over-the-top competitiveness, self-doubt, frustration and aggression.

This person is afraid of letting their guard down or letting someone in for fear of being hurt. If you yourself think you have become stuck in an ego battle that has replaced your relationship, take a look at these signs. Ask your significant other or consider whether you are experiencing these symptoms. This person has a need to control things and situations. They may have a constant critic going in their head. They may be full of put-downs, sarcasm, criticism or ridicule. The ego tries too hard to control the situation. It is doing so in order to protect itself from love and so ironically becomes the very obstacle to what the person desires most, bonding with their love.

Some people go completely the other way. They give up everything to be with their spouse, their friends, family, hobbies, education and everything they value, just to be with the object of their desire. They lose themselves and this becomes their obstacle to their own pleasure, equal love. The last sign that you are in an ego battle is when one person is “Flat-lining.” This is behavior where one person in the relationship tries to disappear in order to not raise the ire of the other, and avoid conflict. They withdraw from their partner and stay in the relationship in name only. There is no engagement or intimacy. If the right relationship skills aren’t learned, even if this relationship doesn’t last, the person with commitment issues will bring the same problems into their next relationships.

Instead of using negative means to interact in your relationship, see the pattern and learn to dis-engage it. If this is your spouse or lover, teach them that they don’t have to act like this, that this isn’t what love is about. Whenever a problem arises, each side should take a deep breath, relax and manage the negative emotions that come to the surface. Both parties should consciously reach deep down inside and bring out the skills they need to make this relationship work; patience, understanding, openness and the desire to come to an understanding. Counseling or couples therapy may also be necessary. The first step is realizing the problem. The next is working through it. For more advice read, Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy.