Why Many People Fail Us, And How To Avoid It

In the world of friendship and relationships, you don’t always have someone there to support you.

One of the first lessons we learn as we enter adulthood is that justice is something man-made, not a principle that governs nature. Beyond some religious and clearly metaphysical concepts such as  karma, we assume that it is normal that we have to fight for justice, instead of letting it do itself.

But knowing this doesn’t make certain relationship problems any less frustrating. The appearance in our lives of people who fail us when we believe they should be able to be there for us is one of those unsettling experiences to which we do not always know how to respond.

When personal relationships let us down

It has happened to all of us; There are people with whom, despite having shared good times and conversations full of sincerity, we end up distancing ourselves when we see that they are not there when we need them most. Even after we’ve done them big favors.

The disappointment that is experienced in these cases is not usually the cause of the distancing, but another of the consequences of that little betrayal. However, in those moments we tend to remember that, technically, others do not have to fit in with our expectations. For something they are completely independent beings from us, they do not exist to satisfy our needs. That as children we have had fathers and mothers who encouraged some actions and penalized others does not mean that nature is distributing rewards and punishments automatically. It is a fact that favors do not have to be returned.

But … should we settle for that explanation? When we realize that the people who fail us begin to be suspiciously numerous, aren’t there more possible explanations than mere chance?

Why is hardly anyone there for me?

It is important to understand that in practically any personal problem there are causes (not necessarily blame) in ourselves and in the context in which we live. Since to understand the second factor it is necessary to study case by case, next we will see two possible explanations related to the second factor. Both indicate a possibility of improvement in the situation.

A bias towards toxic relationships

It is possible that we have a bias to especially appreciate the company of a profile of people who, simply, commit very little to relationships or friendship. People with a superficial charm, for example, who are very friendly but always keep their distance so as not to get involved in other people’s problems. Or just extremely individualistic and not lonely people who, due to their rebellious appearance, seem attractive to us.

If we dedicate a good part of the time and effort to create friendships to establish contact with these people, we will possibly become more frustrated in the medium and long term, when a good part of the people with whom we interact begin to fail us. 

That is why it is good to reflect on the possible existence of these biases and redirect the mission of meeting people to other people or social circles. Perhaps prejudices and the limited variety of places through which we interact with others are limiting our chances of meeting people who are a good fit for us.

Learn to be there for yourself

Good and evil are not two elements totally separate from each other. Both depend largely on the context of the person who reproduces them through their actions. For example, stealing while being part of the middle class is not the same as doing it while begging. Taking this into account, it is understood that the same people who totally ignore our needs or care about us can become very good friends with us in a somewhat different context.

And what is it that could be causing that potential friendship to only be experienced as something totally superficial? Among other things, it may have to do with a problem of self-esteem and assertiveness.

If others perceive that we do not value ourselves, they tend to imitate our behavior, because we are the best experts on ourselves. Part of the absence of the people who are there to accompany us and support us may be due to the fact that we send the signal that doing that is unnecessary. 

For example, if we systematically give up defending our points of view, or defend ourselves against unfair criticism, the idea we communicate is that resignation is our way of life and that, therefore, no one should sacrifice time and effort to support us, because in the first place place we do not.

In any case, it must be clear that although the responsibility to improve our  self-esteem and  assertiveness is ours, that does not mean that the blame for what others do to us is also our fault. In fact, it is possible that the problem of self-esteem originated from the unfair behavior of others towards us and that, from there, a vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecies was created  (others take us little seriously because we foresee that it they will).

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