So many times I see one-sided relationships, even in my own life. What do I mean by one-sided relationships? You know those relationships that always demand of you but aren’t always giving. This is a one-sided relationship.
A lot of times people aren’t really aware of their one-sidedness in relationships. They really feel as though they are giving at least 50% in the relationship. However, with some honest soul searching they may find that they are falling short on the giving.
Here are some signs of a non-functional support system:
- Conversations are one-sided; the entire conversation is about one person.
- There’s never really 100% support given to everyone involved.
Oftentimes when you have non-functional support systems there are many factors involved. Some of these factors are negative feelings or emotions. It’s a good idea to examine yourself and be honest with yourself to see if you’re being fully supportive to those that support you.
Life is challenging. Life is even more challenging when you’re forced to face it alone. Life is also more enjoyable when others are along for the ride. If you find yourself without the support system you need, it’s time to create one. Perhaps the best advice is to be supportive of others. People naturally reciprocate. Be supportive and you’ll receive support.
Get the support you need:
- Envision your support system. What do you need? Do you need a shoulder to cry on? Borrow $20? Are you dealing with cancer? Or do you simply need a reliable friend? Once you know what your support system looks like, you can begin building it.
- Start close to home and branch out from there. Family and close friends are the obvious starting point for creating a support system. But you have to be willing to ask for help. It’s also important to provide support when others are in need. Start with your close friends and branch out to more casual friends and coworkers. You might have a few neighbors, too.
- Engage in your hobbies. Others that share the same interests can become new friends. You already have a lot in common! Be a good friend and you’ll be able to expect the same in return.
- Find a work mentor. This might be someone at your place of employment. It could also be someone from a different company or even someone retired. When things are tough at work, you’ll have someone to rely on that’s familiar with your situation. They also have your best interests at heart.
- Find a support group. If you have a specific challenge, such as alcoholism or the death of a loved one, you can find a local support group and share your story. Those that share the same issue can be the most sympathetic.
- Find a spiritual mentor. A spiritual mentor might be a qualified yoga teacher or the priest at your local church. It might even be an interested, fellow church member. Church is a great place to find caring, helpful people.
- Your fellow volunteers are likely to be supportive of your endeavors. You’ll also have the opportunity to see how great your life really is. Find an organization you believe in and provide support to others.
- Join a club or sports team. There’s nothing like the camaraderie of a fellow team member. Play your favorite sport and make new friends. You can also join the chess, hiking, or knitting club. Find something you enjoy.
- Be open. Others are much more likely to be empathetic if you’re able to be open. Share your story and allow others to see that you need help.
- Go online. You can be anonymous while getting the advice and support you require. There are an endless number of support groups and forums ready, willing, and able to help. You can even choose your own name.
- Get professional help. There’s plenty of help available. Some of it will require payment, but there are also free options out there. Talking to an expert can be of great help.
Create a support system for your life. Networking isn’t just for your career. The same skills are used to find those that will be supportive. Create the network you need now so it will be there to support you when you need it.
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Painful situations are a part of life, but your perception of these situations makes all the difference. If you’re holding onto painful memories and feelings, these are very likely keeping you from leading a happy life.
Negative emotions such as fear and heartache can affect your body and mind, leading to dysfunctional relationships, depression, stress, and disease. So it’s important to not only be aware of your emotions, but also what you can do to release them.
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