Immediate Steps To Take If You Are Being Taken As A Natural In A Relationship | Elizabeth Stone
Have you ever felt that no matter what you do for someone, they don’t appreciate it?
Maybe you once had a great relationship, but somehow things took a turn for the dark side.
Feeling taken for granted can completely destroy a relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes in our busy lives we don’t show our partners how much we care about them.
Here are five immediate steps you should take if you are taken for granted in a relationship:
1. Depersonalize the situation
Work on it from the standpoint that they’re on your side and actually want to make you happy, but—for whatever reason—can’t. This is a much more fixable situation than deciding that they don’t love you or care about your happiness anymore.
You often experience a lack of appreciation in your relationship, not because the other person doesn’t value you, but because both people are busy, comfortable, and/or unable to express their feelings well.
You often carry the people closest to you through the most grief because you think: They already know how I feel. Not so.
That’s why it’s important to take a step back and think about other circumstances in your life.
Are you busy? Have you and your partner invested time and energy in your relationship?
All of these circumstantial things can result in both of you neglecting to take the time to acknowledge the other person’s efforts.
Obviously, there’s a big difference between “they’re too busy to spin” and “they don’t care about you anymore.”
It is important not to take it personally when the circumstances are not ideal.
2. Think about your own behavior
If you want something in your relationship, sometimes it helps to mirror what you want to get. If you want your partner to say thank you, make sure you say it yourself.
Don’t fall into the trap of withholding your own recognition because the other person felt unappreciated.
Remember that you cannot get what you need by denying someone what you need. Make sure you notice the things your partner does for you and do your best to mention them and show how much they mean to you.
People often rise to idealized treatment of them, but it cuts both ways. If you expect to be treated maliciously, you will often find ways to back up your expectations.
I’m not saying you should start trying too hard, but I’m suggesting that you show them your appreciation by saying it out loud.
Sometimes when you’re missing a connection, you don’t realize that you’re not giving out what you want to receive—probably because you’re clueless, but sometimes because you’re keeping score.
3. Don’t get stuck in bitterness
It’s very easy to get tired of your relationship when you feel like things aren’t going well.
Unfortunately, if you let it, bitterness creates a spiral where your partner stops doing things for you because you react bitterly, then withdraws more, and more bitterness comes from that.
Sooner or later it gets out of hand, and eventually both people become discouraged about the future.
Recognize when you are hurt or angry, because if you ignore these feelings, the resulting bitterness will drive the other person even further away.
4. Discuss the problem – gently
Sometimes you have ideas about your relationship, but you don’t actually tell your partner, hoping they can read your mind. After all, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, right?
So if you’re upset and don’t deal with it—unless you’re a gifted psychic—the problem persists.
When you decide to pop the question, sometimes a simple offer of reassurance can do the trick.
Something like, “I’ve noticed you’ve been very busy lately, but it would mean a lot to me if you told me more often that you love what I do for us. I don’t always know you’re happy. I deserve a little more attention.”
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That sounds raw and honest, because it is. Nor is it a listing of your partner’s faults or an indictment of their character. It’s a statement of what you need.
Remember that it’s easier to get what you want from your partner if you really tell them what you want.
5. Decide if the relationship can be improved
After you’ve done the other things on the list, give it some time to see if things improve. If you still feel very undervalued, consider whether this can continue or whether you are willing to leave.
Do you see things improving with your efforts?
Is it relatively minor, or do you feel like you’ve chosen someone too selfish to acknowledge your needs and provide the kind of relationship you desire?
If it’s the latter, it’s your choice to stay, but recognize that they probably won’t change.
Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves to improve their relationships.