Stop accepting bread crumbs from people while giving them endless amounts of your time, patience, and energy. You are human, and humans have limits. Moreso, you deserve better than what you’re getting back in terms of reciprocity.
Imagine giving someone an entire Subway sandwich, but when you’re hungry they give you crumbs. You’re okay with that because at least they gave you something. You expect yourself to always be giving and altruistic, but it’s perfectly fine (or not fine) for others to give you almost nothing in return. Stop doing that to yourself. You deserve better.
Start managing your expectations. I don’t mean standards. I mean expectations of people. Standards are like boundaries. They’re the things you don’t budge on. Expectations are more flexible. If you are a person who goes out of their way for people on instinct, you need to learn to adjust according to what you are given in return. It seems petty, and at times it will be. But it’s also being fair to yourself. If you don’t know how to be fair to yourself, how can you truly be fair to anyone else?
Any relationship requires a healthy balance of energy. A one-sided friendship, for example, isn’t really much of a friendship at all. You make all the plans, you plan the birthday parties, buy the presents, listen to them when they’re down, help them move, etc.
Do they do any of these things for you? If not, you need to change your expectations. Instead of doing all of the above, you should only do what your friend reciprocates. Nothing more.
That is now what you expect out of YOURSELF when it comes to that person. If that becomes an issue, then state why you’ve changed your behavior to match theirs. By stating it, you’ve expressed the expectation you have of THEM and the ball is in their court to figure out what they expect from the friendship. It should ALWAYS be fair.
The friend may decide not to meet your expectations, and that’s fine. That’s where compromise comes in. You have to decide if the compromise is worth keeping the friendship.
That’s where your standards/boundaries come in, the things you’re not willing to budge on. They should always be realistic. If it all works out, then great! If not, it’s not your fault. You still did the right thing. This can also be applied to marriages and long-term/short-term relationships.
Stop allowing yourself to be walked all over by people. Stop accepting bread crumbs when you’re worth an entire buffet. Know your worth and demand to be treated fairly especially now in the social media age. You have to stand your ground.
Remember that, no matter what, you are enough.