Unfair relationships are those that are one-sided or non-reciprocal.
Keep in your mind that you may not consider an “unfair” relationship unfair if you prefer the one-sidedness in some of the following scenarios.
Unfair relationships may occur when one party:
• Does a great deal of speaking, but little listening.
• Makes all the decisions whereas the other goes along.
• Takes and requires, but does not give.
• Pays all the bills while another does not contribute at all.
• Does all the job, while the other plays.
And so on. An unfair relationship is out of equilibrium. Again, you might want an out-of-balance relationship. Maybe you would rather perform all the listening and little talking. But on the whole, it is reasonable to expect reciprocity in healthy relationships at which each party brings something of worth to the other party.
If you tend to invest in unfair relationships and are tired of this, you’ve got choices.
If you are convinced a relationship is out of equilibrium, then think about these 3 choices:
1) Ask for reciprocity.
If the relationship is valuable to both of you, it is well worth mentioning the matter and seeking to solve it. If the connection has potential to become reciprocal, this is obviously the best choice. It’s an alternative. The ideal is to work toward a life where all of your relationships are reciprocal. You’re rewarded and you also bring benefits to the other. Relationships that do not provide this possibility may only need to be let go. This ideal may not always be practical, however. No one can know this but you.
2) Cut off all contact.
Move them out of your life. It’s an option. The ideal may be to work toward a life where all your relationships are reciprocal. You’re rewarded and you bring rewards to the other. Relationships that don’t offer this possibility may just have to be let go. This ideal may not always be practical, however. No one can know this but you.
3) Adjust your expectations and stop expecting reciprocity.
This would limit what you offer, possibly. This plan would apply best to relationships that you need or need to keep, but prevent you from becoming disappointed/hurt. When you are not anticipating fairness, balance, and reciprocity, you won’t be disappointed if you don’t get it.
Your cousin never listens to what you’ve got to say but expects you to sit and keep an interest while he gabs on about his life. That’s exactly what you get with your cousin. At extended family dinners, do not expect anything else from the cousin. You will not be let down. And you will decide on your own just how much of this individual you want in your life.