“Don’t feel bad if people remember you only when they need you, Feel privileged that you are like a candle that comes to their mind when there is darkness.”
Raise your hand if you have a friend who rarely checks in just to catch up, yet consistently pops up needing a major pick-me-up favor. 🙋🏻♀️Me too!
At first, I’d jump through hoops to assist my needy friend – driving her to the airport, extensive apartment hunting, letting her vent for hours. I chalked it up to that’s just how friendships work. You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours someday.
But gradually, I realized…she never offered support back. My giving muscle got overworked while my receiving one felt empty. I woke up feeling drained rather than filled by our friendship.
When someone only contacts you exclusively when they require something urgent, it’s completely normal to feel frustrated! But there are constructive approaches to navigating these dynamics while still upholding your self-respect.
In this article, let’s unpack perspectives and tactics on engaging with selective buddies focused solely on meeting their own needs from you. Discover how to balance care for them with wisdom around your personal boundaries.
Why This Communication Style Damages Bonds
Repeatedly contacting someone exclusively when you desire something from them implies the relationship is transactional rather than an authentic friendship rooted in mutual care. It reduces both people to a means to an end.
Over time, when effort feels imbalanced, with emotional withdrawals far exceeding deposits back, affinity, trust, and goodwill inevitably erode. Being treated like an on-call personal assistant leaves people feeling used, disrespected, and cynical about whether genuine friendship exists at all.
One-sided relationships ultimately fray when the giver feels their time, energy, and support get exploited without Reciprocity in the long term. Scorekeeping shouldn’t rule connections, but give-take matters. You can’t feel loved if you’re never receiving love back.
Healthy Boundaries With Need-Based People
Now, completely cutting off needy folks isn’t necessarily required (unless they’re truly toxic). You can practice maintaining boundaries while assessing if genuine mutual care emerges when not enabling imbalanced relating.
1. Limit Favors At First
Kindly help out once in a while, but avoid becoming their everything person and sole crutch. It’s appropriate to modify requests if they become excessive.
2. Transparently Call Out Communication Patterns
Politely say something like, “I’ve noticed you usually only text me when you’re upset or needing something urgent from me. I care about you, but moving forward, I’d really appreciate more balance in our conversations.
3. Demand Equal Effort
Commit to only consistently being available to assist those demonstrating equal willingness to invest in you, too, when you’re struggling. Mutuality matters.
4. Follow Through Selectively on Asks
If they seem entitled or take your help for granted, sometimes purposefully go silent for a bit rather than jumping to serve. See if they protest your absence or reach out eventually about you.
5. Slowly Withdraw Yourself
Gradually pull back your initiating energy, assessing if an authentic caring friendship still organically exists once all favors and fixes disappear from your dealings. Their reaction will show if bonds are transactional or real.
“Uphold your dignity by walking away from people who are into themselves so much that they forget you have a life to live, dreams to pursue and a destiny to fulfill. They only remember you when they need you to do something for them. Be mindful of your own feelings.”
The bottom line: Practice wisdom and patience while expecting people to shift from self-serving to mutually caring overnight. But stick to your standards requiring Reciprocity in close relationships. From that grounded place of self-honor, keep navigating all connections from a lens of compassion rather than frustration.
No one enjoys feeling used rather than loved holistically. But martyring your self-worth won’t transform one-sided relationships into equitable ones. The only control you have is demonstrating your own friendship values consistently through balanced effort and graceful boundaries.
Let go expecting need-based people to pivot their communication patterns overnight. But stick to your standards requiring Reciprocity. With patience balancing care for them and yourself, the healthiest rhythms have room to organically emerge in time, even if at lower intensities than you desire. Trust actions more than words. From that grounded place of self-honor, you can navigate all relationships from a lens of compassion rather than frustration.