Whether it’s a friend, or your partner or spouse, it’s horrible to feel that they don’t value you. It can really undermine your self-esteem.
But so often we push down all the signs that are there – because it’s very painful to be treated in this way. We don’t want to face the truth that they’re treating us like this when we care about them, and always treat them with respect.
So here are some signs we should pay attention to …
1. They aren’t interested in what you have to say. Perhaps they appear sweet when you are around, but they don’t really care about your opinions. But what they think, and the views of certain others, always seems to matter, and are taken seriously. They also show a glaring lack of empathy when you want to share something that’s important to you.
2. They rarely follow through on what they say they’ll do. They break commitments, and the change the plans you’ve made, and often they will do this at short notice. It is clear you’re being treated as a low priority. They don’t keep their word, and are not there for you.
3. They don’t invest the same amount of effort as you. When they need something from you, they are quick to get in touch – but when you need help, they usually don’t reciprocate. It is you who has to fit into their schedule and their plans. It feels as if this other person always calls the shot.
4. Their words and their actions are out of synch. They tell you that you’re great, “such a very precious friend” – yet they can’t find the time to hang out with you. Or they tell you that they love you, then they treat you like you’re trash, or they chat up other people behind your back.
5. They are takers – never givers. You are the one who has to pander to their needs, and you end up feeling drained as you get nothing in return. Honestly … is this a relationship, or are you being used?
6. You feel as if they’re in a competition with you. They aren’t interested when life goes well for you. In fact, you sense they’re threatened, and they’d rather things went wrong. So, you have to play successes down – because it makes things tense or sour. Yet it’s a very different story when life work out for them!
7. They lie to you (even if it’s just small lies). You are genuine and real in your relationship with them – but they withhold information and important facts from you. Perhaps they tell you they had a coffee with a colleague after work … but fail to mention it’s a woman … and this isn’t the first time. Or they tell elaborate lies, and you start to feel suspicious. Or you feel you’re being kept out of what’s happening in their life.
Even though it can be painful to notice what’s going on, we need to face the facts, and to tell ourselves the truth. And perhaps this is the time to start honouring yourself, and to start requiring more from the people in your life.
Don’t put up with this mistreatment, and this lack of respect.