How to Change a One-Sided Relationship


A one-sided relationship is one in which one party has more control than the other. This type of relationship is characterized by one person taking advantage of another, pushing her around and taking more than she gives. If you're in this type of relationship, either with a spouse, relative or friend, consider taking some steps to gradually change the nature of the relationship. This will strengthen the relationship and ease any resentment.

  • Open the lines of communication by expressing your concerns. Make sure not to do this in an accusatory way, as this might make the other party defensive.

  • Give the other person a chance to express himself. Communication goes both ways, and letting the other person speak his mind will ward off the relationship becoming one-way in the other direction.

  • Set boundaries. If the relationship is one-sided because the other person makes quips at your expense or intrudes on your personal time, start setting boundaries to put a stop to the behavior. For example, if a friend makes comments at your expense, tell her you won't have conversations with her until she can stop such talk. Or, if a friend constantly wants you to give up your free time to do chores for him, tell him you are busy and can't help out at that time.

  • Learn to say no. If you stop agreeing to whatever the other person says or asks of you, she'll begin to see that you're not her door mat.

  • Take a break from spending time with the person. A few weeks' distance could provide some clarity so you can see what's not working in the relationship and learn how to move forward.


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