Sharing‎ > ‎

One Sided Relationships

posted Jan 23, 2010, 10:17 PM by Darwin Stephenson

Dear Darwin:

Please tell me, what would you say to someone who is constantly taking all you have, not returning it, asking for more, and it happens all over again all the time. I want to help this girl and i do! all the time! but she doesn't want to help HERSELF! what do i do?????? I'm getting so tired of getting taken advantage of. I need to go do some yoga. please help me!


Hi Stephanie:

I can empathize with your situation as this is a very common issue with interpersonal relationships. When we put ourselves in a position to regularly help others, often times we encounter people that are attracted to our willingness to give. This isn't to say that these people are purposely trying to take advantage of us, but rather that they've developed a repeating pattern of drawing energy from others.

The first thing we should always do in these situations is to have compassion for the other person. A person in balance wouldn't operate in this manner and thus we can immediately recognize that they're out of balance. Thus, without balance, they're unable to attain the strength and energy necessary to objectively see their behavior or chart a course of change. Nobody wants to be in a situation of continually needing help from others and by approaching resolution through compassion we can engage the person with love.

We've all met people like this in our lives and our Minds have fabricated lots of different stories about why these people are the way they are. But what we should recognize is that their behavior is the result of a number of factors rather than a single factor. Our logical Minds love to come up with patterns and no doubt we've discovered part of their reason for acting this way. But there is always much more to the story than meets the eye.

The bottom line is that they are not thriving and, through their relationship with you, they're able to derive a bit more energy into their life. When this is communal, this exchange of life force energy is both healthy and central to being human. However, when this energy is flowing primarily in one direction, it can be unhealthy for everyone. Unfortunately, these "energy suckers" are often unaware of their unbalanced ways and thus talking to them about the problem rarely resolves the situation.

Instead, we should take our lay-psychologist hats off and instead envision the relationship as a back and forth, flowing of energy. I know this sounds like fluffy, metaphysical jargon but hear me out. For starters, let's describe ourselves, not in the way that voice in our head describes, but rather as we truly are:

"You are the collective consciousness that radiates from the connections between your Body, Spirit, and Mind." - Inspiration Divine, p 22.

Thus, instead of simply being a physical manifestation of that voice in your head, you're actually the active combination of the Body, Spirit and Mind. If you look closely at this sentence, you'll see that you are the "connections" between the Body, Spirit and Mind:
  • You're not your Body, because you'll continue to exist after your dead and buried.
  • You're not your Mind, as you're more than just that voice in your head.
  • You're also not simply your Spirit, as your Body and Mind play an active, participatory role in your life.
In essence, you are both the connections and the individual entities at the same time.

As we imagine sensations, feelings and thoughts flowing between the Body, Spirit and Mind we can visualize these communications as pure energy. A thought originates in the Mind, which causes the Body to act and the Spirit to react. In a healthy and balanced individual, this natural flow of energy exists in effortless harmony. As you can see, keeping ourselves in balance is key to living an enlightened life.

Now visualize two people in a harmonious relationship. Rather than the sensations, feelings and thoughts flowing within the individual, they are shared and exchanged between the two. This ebb and flow of energy is central to being human and our social nature is by Divine intent. We are called to love one another and unite all of Humanity. Thus when we interact with one another we share much more than sensations, feelings and thoughts...we exchange energy with one another.

However, when we encounter someone who is out of balance they tend to take more energy than they give. Most people tend to avoid people like this because they find these people to be draining, exhausting and even depressing. In the cosmic exchange of energy, these people are living off of the energy of others.

There have been times in our lives when we too have operated like this. We all have unfortunate times in our lives when we need the helping hand of another. Each of us can recall a time in our lives when we needed help and our friends and/or family were there for us. Our nature is to help one another and during these times of imbalance in our lives we sincerely appreciate those that give without expectation of return.

But some people unknowingly become stuck in this way of living their lives. Through years and years of repeating this same pattern in their lives, they've developed a dependency on other people to help, guide and even rescue them. Often these people have trouble maintaining long term relationships with friends and family as they have become accustomed to seeing people through the eyes of what they can do for them. They live in a world of expectation and thus are missing the communal blessings of balanced relationships.

Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do” Luke 23:24

Unaware of their imbalanced ways, these people are not conscious to the damage they're causing in their relationships or of the balanced life they could be living. And because they've developed deep, repeating patterns (ruts) in their mental approach to life, talking to them about this situation is rarely effective. The reason is that they're living their lives entirely within the logical constructs of their Minds. Thus when you talk to them, they're only hearing you through the isolated consciousness of their Minds.

To effect change, they must move to a more balanced approach to life where the Body, Spirit and Mind are all participating in the conversation. Again, remember you can't convince them of this by talking to them about it. Without the lines of communication flowing between their Body, Spirit and Mind, your words will simply be logically referenced against their pre-existing construct of life. In this construct of life, you are a source of energy. And if you're not going to supply them with the energy they need to thrive, they're not going to continue the relationship. Hence, why talking to an unbalanced person about balance rarely works out.

Therefore, to help someone who has developed this approach to life, we must do two things:
  1. Set Healthy Boundaries - to protect oneself in this exchange, we should establish healthy boundaries when we are of sound Body, Spirit and Mind (e.g. when we're calm, rather than reacting to a situation). We seek boundaries that allow us to help the person, but also have defined limits. Although you'll likely be ignored, you should communicate these boundaries to the other person and stick to them.
  2. Engage their Body, Spirit and Mind - it is impossible for the connections between the Body, Spirit and Mind to be severed, but they can become atrophied like a muscle that hasn't been used for years. We can help the other person turn this around by inviting the other person to join us in activities that nourish the Body, Spirit and Mind. For example, going to the gym together, taking a meditation class together or joining a reading club.
As more energy begins to flow into their life via their own Spirit, they'll naturally move away from being dependent on others for this life force energy. When these connections begin to blossom, they'll be opening up to their true self. As a good friend, you'll be there to guide them along the way and help them over the small bumps in the road. Through modeling a balanced life, they'll slowly find ways to regain balance in their own life.

In every relationship, we play the role of Father, Mother or Child. People who drain energy from others have become stuck in a child phase rather than developing. Helpless to recognize that their gestation period has passed, they're insuring that they remain in this phase of life by refusing to stand on their own two feet. What they don't realize is that we regularly cycle through the phases of Father, Mother and Child in our lives and this means that someone needs them to play the role of Father or Mother in their life. By not progressing with their own development, someone else in their life is struggling. Someone else is unable to move onto their next phase in life, because this person isn't evolving. By helping them find balance and the flow of God's life force energy in their life, we not only help this person but also the people who need them.

We live in a cause and effect world where we want simple and definitive solutions to our problems. Instead of working towards a solution, our Western Minds crave absolutes and instant fixes (hence the predominance of anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications on the market). We usually like to tackle a problem head on and confront it with brute force. However, this is an un-compassionate approach to someone who is struggling with imbalance in their life. Without communications and energy flowing through their Body, Spirit and Mind, their lives are hard, difficult and a struggle. We seek to truly help them by guiding them to a place of balance where energy flows through them, rather than to them.

Before I close, I must add that I love the fact that you answered your own question. In final line, you said you needed to take a yoga class. And as yoga is the balance of the Body, Spirit and were already on the path to the answer of your own question.


Darwin Stephenson