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So, a little help here?
I have always been the kind of person who waits by the phone, while the other person is off living their life. I am emotionally supportive, but don't know how to be supported. What are some simple things I can do to stop being like that?
Anyone else like this?

By CraeftSmith7
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1

I do this too, I have high expectations I guess. I wonder if it's a sign of being desperate. It drives me crazy and I hate it.

Kojaksmom Level 8 July 5, 2018

I take it as a sign of desperation in myself as well. I've never had the time or ability to make a lot of friends. That is what I am focused on fixing right now.

@CraeftSmith mee too. If someone doesn't show interest and isn't considerate it's time to move on.

@Kojaksmom for certain types of relationships, maybe, but I feel like that attitude has left me without any regular friends.

1

This is interesting to me. I reconnected with a boyfriend from 40 years ago, a couple years after my husband died. He lives 50 miles away, in a city i have always wanted to live in. We have made tentative plans to live there together in a year or so. He calls all the time; no problem there. But he insists that his life is so busy and every function he attends so important to him that there is NO way he can visit me, I have to go to him. It's been a year and I know he has issues, but I'm getting a little tired of it. We are so alike. We can talk about anything and generally agree, so I really don't want to give up the verbal intimacy and, being in my late 60s, I don't see a lot of possibilities for dating.

mjbirder Level 4 June 23, 2018

That still seems like a big red flag. Maybe it's not such a bad idea to hold off on moving.
Actually, it might not be a bad idea to find out who else is out there. You don't have to drop him to chat with other people

@CraeftSmith I've been staying at home too much and not going to events and activities in my own town. I'm not crazy about going out alone. I was beginning to get out a bit, then when I reconnected with him, it seems I spend the whole day on the phone with him. I've become dependent on the calls and am even less likely to get out by myself. When I try to talk about less phone time, like maybe only one day a week, he gets very upset and scared-sounding. Thanks for listening when you have your own problems.I hope things get more equitable for you.

@mjbirder Do you have local family or friends? It's important for you to get out and be social.

@CraeftSmith Friends, yes, a few girlfriends, fellow artists in my art clubs and my watercolor students. Family,no. Just my husband's granddaughter who has her own busy life, but was VERY supportive the first year after husband died.Only child, childless, other family moved away. It seems that my husband and I had rather isolated ourselves in the last few years. I was the kind of person who only related to one person, the significant other, at a time; so was he. And here I am, trying to do the same thing now with my phone friend! Hard to learn; hard to change!

@mjbirder that is good. Facebook might have a lot of events you would like. Getting out of the house can be hard. Our libraries have lots of social events. Maybe yours do too. If you get bored, you can always message me ☺️

2

This is me too. I hang out waiting for my partner to ring, text, messenger etc. I try to keep busy but in reality all i do is long for her. She is far from living her life tho and has a job to do and a home to keep as a single mom. So I just give her space and offer to help wherever necessary. I know I need to just get on and live my life...but without her? never!

Nardi Level 7 June 22, 2018

Dude why do we make ourselves slaves to our women's whims?

@CraeftSmith I think it's how I make myself useful to her that makes her love me. She say's it's not and she would love me regardless. I don't believe her and just carry on giving her reasons to keep on loving me. I want to be loved and she owns my heart.

1

I think being a single parent, you formed some habits out of necessity. I place a high value on self reliance and that's not a bad thing. Maybe put your self in the other's shoes, many people really like to help and find it rewarding. Change your outlook just a little, you aren't a burden, cooperation helps both people.

Buttercup Level 7 June 22, 2018
2

Find somebody like you.

Sorry, that's the best advice I have right now...

Paul4747 Level 7 June 22, 2018
2

Many people are like you actually, and more men than women I think. Men are taught falsely by society that it is a weakness to ask for help. It's fine to be self-sufficient, but some things work out so much better with some help and support. Others gave some great answers below already. You have been building up your helping others muscles, but neglecting you own self-esteem muscles. They are still there but may take some use and exercise to get in good shape. Value your physical and mental health, and pay attention more to your own needs by taking small steps to have what you want in your life. Valuing yourself more, and accomplishing things that interest you and make YOU happy will build your own confidence and integrity and even make you more appealing to others. I'm sure your chances will improve if you make some effort to get out there on the playing field, and don't be discouraged if success doesn't happen right away. Good luck.

Silverwhisper Level 7 June 21, 2018

Posting about it was me pushing myself in the direction of accepting help. You are absolutely right that society expects men to be a certain way. Most women I meet also expect to not have to emotional support a man, but expect a lot of emotional support. It is difficult, and makes me want to abandon relationships in favor of hook ups and short terms

@CraeftSmith Committed relationships take time and effort and are not for everyone, and only you can decide what you need to feel fulfilled, and do the best you can for that. I'm sure there are women out there too who have had it with relationships, and they are more independent now, and they may be content with something short term too. Advertise who you are and what you are looking for and let Life happen as it will. Change strategy later as needed.

@Hihi What you say is true, and while many men can be emotionally supportive they more likely want like to offer practical help and fix people and problems without as much emotional involvement. I took his meaning that he was more of a helper on all levels and he had not learned how to ask for help or support when he needs it. I think further down NotAndrew got that meaning as well. Women are very emotionally supportive to each other more than men of course. Men do have the emotions, but they are culturally trained to hold them in to cause mental stress and die a few years younger than their spouses on average! Only partly a joke.

@Silverwhisper i can't speak for other women but if you're supporting me emotionally it's going to be reflective. If I feel you've "walled off" to appear "strong" or maybe you're angry, I'm not going to chase you or try to pry it out of you beyond the initial inquiry of "what's wrong, is there something we need to talk about?"

@Qualia that is a common thing in women I have known. Asking a few more times in different ways can turn opening up into something I am doing for her. Even though it is obviously a little game, it helps overcome the emotional conditioning guys get.

@CraeftSmith I say that's my m.o. above & just tried to "pry" stuff out of someone last weekend after he flipped out in the street over something I thought was ridiculous (was he angry about something else? I'll never know)... it's very wearing, I'll say that.

And I know men are conditioned from an early age. It's really hard to watch that repeated in this day and age, the "don't have feelings thing".
I don't begrudge a man having feelings, being able to express them well, it's attractive to me, to see the soft side. Huge draw in fact.

@Qualia I have to wonder about someone who would flip out in the street. That doesn't seem "manly" just childish. I think you would be totally justified in just walking away from that

@CraeftSmith It was definitely unhinged.

2

I can be like that. I spent a big part of my life putting others' needs and desires first to the detriment of my own, acquiescing to their wishes. Never felt I was worthy or deserving of having my own life. In some strange way it felt like "security" feeling needed like that. But it was really an illusion. To live my life means that other people aren't always going to be supportive, so I have to do that for myself first, ask it of other people, focus on the people who will give it, and walk away from the ones who won't or can't, instead of waiting for them to give it to me. Not easy.

bleurowz Level 8 June 21, 2018

Yeah, I get it I think. Like if they need you enough, they won't leave, and you won't be alone. That's what happens to me anyway

2

No one can fulfill you. Only you can fulfill you. Please do not define yourself by someone else. Get out there & find what does fill your soul. It will never be someone else. While you squander your life waiting for another's response, your life will pass you by. I fond rescuing animals & restoring habitat fills my soul. Perhaps a counselor will help guide you. She helped me more than once when I became mired. There is a hole in your soul that you must heal & not try to fill with what can not fill you.

Mooolah Level 8 June 21, 2018
5

You have to internalize that if you don't take care of you, you can't take care of them. Fill your tank and you can fill others easier.

HippieChick58 Level 9 June 21, 2018

This has always been hard. I was a single parent for like fifteen years (sole custody). I was so wrapped up in my responsibilities that I never really learned how to be a social adult lol
So I am kind of living my twenties now, I guess lol

4

Make sure to have a life of your own. While they're off living their life, you could be off living yours!

JenBeberstein Level 7 June 21, 2018

I have a hard time doing that. I am working on it, though.

@CraeftSmith Shoot guy, looks like you have a good time burning shit down & hammering on an anvil. Looks like fun to me.

5

I find myself doing this occasionally, it is usually with someone I have on a pedestal. I'll be over enthusiastic, supportive, just extra in general. If I do get what I want, which is for them to love me, I soon have buyers remorse. I've went through this enough to know that something in me is broken.

If I have any advice it is what not to do, or just love yourself enough to not 'wait by the phone'.

Electro68 Level 7 June 21, 2018

Thanks. I'm trying.

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