Today I’m going to talk about how, through my experiences, I’ve come to acknowledge that no one wants to feel trapped in relationships. Given this, I ask myself every time I’m engaging with anyone, whether it just be acquaintances, friends, family, romance, employees, employers, and so on… am I making them feel trapped?
An easy example of this can be found throughout nature of dating. Being a man, I have a certain perspective with how guys potentially trap women when dating. And what happens as a result? The woman runs. She runs fast. And no, she doesn’t want you to chase her. But of course, us guys do and what does chasing imply? That the girl needs to run further in order to get away. There are many subtle ways that this can happen:
Let’s say you text a girl and ask her out on a date to grab dinner or drinks or something. Maybe she replies and says something along the lines of “I’m really busy this week, but I’ll let you know!” or “I can’t this week, but maybe next time!” or maybe she just ghosts you. How should you reply to this? Well, don’t say “ok” and then ask her out again next week. And if you do and she ghosts you or still doesn’t want to hang out, don’t try to show your awareness of the situation and say, “It’s all good, I can tell you aren’t that interested, just thought you seemed cool” and don’t become offended from the entire interaction.
This does not show her that you aren’t creepy because you are aware. All this does is make her she feel pressured or guilted from making you feel rejected. She feels trapped by this guilt and she wants to get away from this guilt by running as far away as possible. And where does that leave you? Needy and dependent.
To avoid trapping you can simply say: “No problem, feel free to reach out when your open.” Or something along those line. Put the ball in her court and let her become interested in you. You already identified your wants in an open manner. It was just a question, an invite to implicitly show: “Hey, I value my time and I’d like to spend that time hanging out and getting to know you because I think you’re a high-quality person.” That’s all you needed to do so stop there.
By ending it there, this shows that you aren’t needy and that you are capable of being independent with options. And you have these options because you aren’t trapping everyone in sight. You are making everyone else feel free by being with you… a take it or leave it attitude.
After thinking more about this, I should acknowledge that there are circumstances in which a lot of us become attracted to feeling controlled in some sense or another, but there is some fundamental difference when the control is what you want. It seems this causes you to not necessarily feel trapped against your autonomy. Someone can always break the boundaries and trap you based on your perspective.
Try this with future relationships. I know it’s hard if you tend to over-analyze and want to lock down certain situations and relationships so that you can relax with what you think is security. But it’s not security. It’s making yourself trapped by being so dependent on having a certain connection with others that you become insecure when putting yourself out there because of being unsure of how others will react.
Try being open and welcoming. Think about the difference between being welcoming toward something and looking for something. When you go out and look for something in someone or expect something out of others, you are trapping them and yourself to a limited idea. When you are welcoming toward others with a certain kind of idea or value, then you create an environment in which people can willingly be influenced.
So, your friend doesn’t want to hang out with you? Cool ask them to hit you up when they are free. Your date is feeling pressured by your neediness? Ok, leave that in the past now and show your interests in an independent manner. This same reasoning can be applied to your work environment as well, such as if you give off a needy impression to your boss when you want more as opposed to being the individual that shows why you deserve more.
To wrap this up, it just seems that, from my experience, no one wants to feel trapped, but everyone wants to feel free. They want to be a part of the freedom you enable, and if they don’t, you don’t care because you are simply welcoming instead of pushing.