If you're unsure about where you stand with another person because their behavior's a little hard to interpret, this article can help translate what's really going on between you two.
For instance, if you're confused because someone's going all hot and cold on you, that's one sign that your relationship with them is unhealthy.
I've broken down 6 signs for you that you can look out for to see if your relationship with another human being, whether romantic or not, could use some work.
And remember, not every relationship is worth fighting for.
Some bridges need to be burnt for your own well-being.
This is simply meant to be a guide for you to recognize some of the issues that you'd wanna be aware of.
#1. They lie to you.
Regardless of whether or not you've seen some of my latest content, you shouldn't be surprised to see this one.
Lying raises a lot of questions:
- Why can't this person trust me?
- What are they trying to hide?
- What else have they lied about?
- Will they lie again in the future?
- What do they gain from lying?
- What do they lose from telling the truth?
As you can see, when a person lies to another, it creates a lot of room for mental gymnastics and overthinking acrobatics.
Conversely, when people can be honest and truthful to one another, that shows that they can depend on each other and be their authentic selves with each other.
That's what a healthy relationship looks like.
So if someone you know lies to you,
even about the smallest things,
even about something that may even seem trivial (such as complimenting your food that they weren't a fan of at all),
consider it a call to action to be on alert.
Human beings are imperfect creatures and not everyone who lies should be immediately dropped out of your life.
However, it's never a good sign, and if you catch them in a lie, consider having a conversation with them about it and set your boundaries.
If you value having healthy relationships and standards, be willing to walk away if the dishonesty continues.
#2. They make themselves unavailable to you.
Nobody's schedule should ever revolve entirely around you.
But at the same time, if someone never, ever makes time for you, perhaps it's a sign that they don't value you.
Some friends can go months or even years without talking to each other, and when they reconnect, they'll pick up right where they left off.
We're not talking about those kinds of relationships.
We're talking about:
- The person you went on a date with the other day.
- The acquaintance you made at the party.
- The new work colleague you met after the last work meeting.
New people will find a way into your life without proving their invested interest in you.
But when you start overly investing in them without signs of reciprocation, that's when you set yourself up to be taken for granted.
It took me a long time to learn about this sign.
I'd give my time to all the wrong people who treated me like dirt.
I'd make myself available to people who blew me off and saw me as an afterthought.
Don't be like my younger self; have a spine and say no to people who don't appreciate you.
If someone puts you on the bottom of their priority list, they should be nowhere near the top of yours.
Don't let people walk all over you.
Go find people who want to be around you and will give their time and attention to you.
#3. They don't make sacrifices for you.
The previous sign talks more about making time and being available for you.
This sign refers to other things like not spending a dime on you or helping you out when you need it.
I'm not saying all healthy relationships require that the other person spend their hard-earned money on you.
I would like to especially point out that this third sign is most dangerously present in the dating world.
With friends, it's a little different. Sometimes you treat a pal to something but that's what it is – a treat. Most times, you can expect to split the bill and pay for your own things.
However, in the dating world, there are especially high expectations for men to pay for things.
But everyone should be on the lookout.
If the person you're "dating" never offers to foot the bill or buy you something, AND they don't meaningfully contribute in other non-monetary ways, drop them immediately.
You will be used until you run out of money, and then they will find someone else to feed off of.
Don't let anybody take from you without giving.
It takes two to tango, and no partnership dance involves dragging the other person's dead weight around the dance floor.
At least, not for the whole dance anyway.
#4. They don't listen to you.
Have you ever had anyone just mentally check out while you're talking to them?
Yeah, not a good sign.
Sometimes, people get distracted, and not for malicious reasons.
- Maybe they're going through a breakup.
- Maybe a family member just passed away.
- Maybe they got fired or are going through a rough financial period.
Not every instance of someone not giving you their full attention is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
However, if you have no reason to suspect that the other person is going through anything significant and they aren't devoting proper attention to you or the interaction, then be warned.
Especially be on your guard if this is a regular occurrence.
People in healthy relationships listen to each other.
They actively pay attention to what the other person is saying.
They are present during the conversation.
Maybe they don't understand how to be present during a conversation, and I'd recommend having a talk with them so they can understand how you feel when they check out while you're talking.
If they don't care about how you feel, then it's time to move on.
#5. They only reach out to you when they want something.
You have that one person in your life who you don't really stay up-to-date with, but they ping you every now and then only because they need something.
Do you know who I'm referring to?
This person is similar to the one who exhibits the third sign in this article, and maybe they're the same person.
If someone only values your existence for the sole purpose of needing something from you, you are also being used.
Maybe you'll take their reaching out to you as a sign that they'd like to reconnect, and you offer to grab drinks with them or grab a bite.
Watch them ghost you or get all cold about the idea.
Yep, you're being used.
They don't want to be friends with you; they want to be friends with what you can do for them.
There's a big difference there, and knowing it and setting your boundaries by cutting these people out of your life will make a big difference in the quality of your social circle.
Some of these signs can be worked through, but when someone exhibits this sign, there's a good chance that the relationship is beyond repair, or never had much going for it to begin with.
You're not free money.
You're not free help.
Don't act like you are.
#6. They only detract from your life and add nothing to it.
This sign wraps up just about all the other signs I wrote about.
What this all really boils down to is:
Does this person complement my life in a good, healthy way, or do they only take from it?
- Do they burden me with their lies?
- Do they leave me in the dust?
- Do they never offer anything in return?
- Do they ignore me?
- Do they use me?
Like I said earlier, it takes two to tango. Healthy relationships require giving from both ends.
If you're the only one giving and you're only being taken from, your relationship is not healthy.
It doesn't matter if you're friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or partners.
Something is amiss between you two and something needs to be done.
Depending on how much this person means to you, you can have an honest conversation with them about how their behavior makes you feel.
But either way, you need to enforce strict boundaries.
Now this doesn't mean you can set unreasonably high standards and demand this and that because you have boundaries.
A lot of people take this kind of advice and go to the extreme by issuing demands to people, and by threatening to leave if their expectations aren't met.
That makes you a dick, not a person of value.
However, don't be a pushover either. Don't let yourself be used by a parasite.
Value your time, energy, and resources. None of those are infinite and they should only be reserved for the gems you find who give to you in return.
Seek out those who add to and complement your life.
Maintain those healthy relationships and your social circle will shine.