When people think of a relationship, they often think about not only receiving, but also giving. These two parts come together to form a relationship and while it is not always possible to give and receive in each moment, this doesn’t mean that one of these aspects will then be ignored overall.
However, there will be relationships where one person always takes and the other person will then either have to always give or leave the relationship completely. One could try to bring this observation to the other person’s attention and yet it won’t always have an effect on their behaviour.
So there are many options available and it will often depend on how self aware the other person is, as to whether a more balanced relationship can take place.
There are some people who are attracted to people who emotionally unavailable and have a real challenge committing to a relationship. This could be due to them already being in a relationship with another person, travelling on a regular basis or because they have just come out of another relationship for example.
But in the examples above, there is likely to be a certain amount of give and take involved. And while this person who is self-centred may not be in a relationship with another person, travelling or fresh out of a previous relationship, they are still not available.
How it looks may be different, but the consequences are the same and one is attracted to someone who is not truly there for them.
To be with someone who is self-centred is going to be frustrating to say the least and one will feel as though they are doing all the work. So it is going to be a relationship that involves a lot of energy being given and no energy being returned.
They could be always busy, caught up in their own life or overwhelmed by one challenge after another. And now matter what is going on, their needs and wants are always more important that one’s own needs and wants.
So one is constantly compromising who they are, just to keep the relationship alive. There could even be justifications made as to why they are always busy. And if one is attracted to this person, they can end up being believed, at least at first.
If this is a relationship that lasts, it is not going to be life enhancing. For a while one may put up with this scenario, but over time, pain is going to build up. One can come to feel that they don’t deserve to have needs. They may even feel guilty for expecting their partner to be there for them or to actually give anything.
So they could put up with this for a while and then find another person who is exactly the same. Because even though the person is different in the beginning, their behaviour could end up being the same.
Here, one may come to notice that there are certain patterns to the kind of people that they are attracted to. And how every man or woman that they meet, seems to be the same. In the beginning it could have been all rosy and shortly after, the same experience appears.
At this point, it would be normal to feel frustrated, angry and powerless. One may come to conclude that they are a victim and have no control over the kind of person they attract and are attracted to.
The Ego Mind
What shows up in ones life can be in conflict with who they truly are and yet at a deeper level, the experiences and situations that one continually finds themselves in, can feel safe. The ego mind forms associations of familiarity around everything and what’s familiar is what is safe.
But just because something has been classed as familiar and therefore safe to the mind, it doesn’t mean that it is functional or healthy. And that fact that someone can be attracted to self-centred people is a clear example of this.
How Did This Happen?
At a conscious level this is only leading to pain and suffering and at a deeper level it feels comfortable. So in a way, it is a form of self sabotage and one has come to feel safe with what doesn’t support or nourish them.
This may be hard to comprehend at first, that is until one reflects on how their needs and wants were responded to as a child.
As a child, one is completely depended on their caregivers and whether they got their needs met or not, will depend on how responsive and emotionally aware they were. And ones caregivers don’t need to be responsive at all times, they just need to be available in most cases.
If ones caregivers where emotionally undeveloped in some way and emotionally unavailable, it can lead to a role reversal taking place. Here, the Childs needs and wants are ignored and the Child has to take care of the caregiver’s wants and needs.
So the child then comes to view their needs and wants as something to feel guilty about. And they may even lose touch with them and feel as though they don’t have any.
Losing touch with ones needs and wants can take place, as can feeling as though other people’s needs and wants are more important. So through being there for others, others should be there for them.
And through experiencing this so many times as a child, one can then come to feel uncomfortable with thier needs. If these early experiences were functional this wouldn’t be a problem, but as they were not, it only going to create more pain.
For as long as one feels the same about their needs and wants, they will continue to recreate the same situations. One can feel guilty and ashamed for having them and even feel that it is not safe to have them. Feelings of rejection and abandonment could arise if one were to reveal their needs and wants to others.
These feelings and emotions that have remained in one’s body since those formative years can be released with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. For some people, changing how they behave and how they view their needs and wants may be enough. The right course of action can all depend on how much of a challenge this is for someone.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.