Do You Feel Like You Are Always An Option, But Never A Priority? Here Are Some Tips For You
Sometimes, there are certain clues that tell you that you have become an option, and are no longer a priority in a friend or a family member’s life. When you get together with them, you feel as though you’ve been the last one invited to the party. And you’ve only been invited, because someone else had to drop out. You’re the “third wheel”, or the plus one, and you feel unwelcome.
For one reason or another, it feels as though you’re being edged out, as though things have changed. At this point, it can be easy to become introspective and ask yourself why this is happening; has the other person changed? Have you changed, and become disagreeable to them? Worse still, it always feels like when you are called upon, it’s because you’re the “easy-going, understanding” friend.
Realising, one way or another, that you’ve become the “option” in someone’s life is a painful realisation. And whilst it’s impossible to make us become the priority in someone else’s life, we can work on ourselves, so that we become a “priority person”. Let’s take a look at a few tips.
1. Talk It Through
If you feel that you’re just an option in life, there is no better advice we can give, than to go and talk to them about how you feel. Be direct with what you want from your friendship, and ask them how they really feel about you.
This can be tricky, as few of us actually enjoy confrontations and having “the talk.” But this is something that needs to be done before you move on. It may even be that your friendship can still be salvaged, and that the other person didn’t even realise what they were doing.
2. Make Your Needs A Priority
If you are hanging out with someone and always put their needs first, you’re not prioritising your own. Therefore, you’re not a priority person.
If, however, you start putting your needs first, you’re becoming the priority person, at least for yourself. This is something you can even do alone; you should indulge yourself, do what you want, when you want. Love yourself, and then you will find it easier to love other people. Then, if someone wants to call on you, they can either do things on your terms – or they can hit the highway. Being a giving person who always puts others first means that you are forever putting your own needs on the back burner.
3. Write Down Your Assets
Are you a strong, confident person? Write it down!
Making a list of all your best assets is a good way of boosting your self-esteem, and consequently your relevance in life. If you are funny, compassionate, intelligent, loving, kind, smart, wise, talented, cool, and so on, write it all down and pin the list to the wall.
Once you have written your list, you will realise your value in life is worth much more than being someone’s “option person”. You have strengths all of your own that deserve to be appreciated. And if they aren’t appreciated by a certain someone, it’s time to move on from them.
4. Move Forward, Don’t Look Back
You had good times with the people who have now relegated you to an option. You had a laugh together, stayed up late at night together, and even went away together. But these days are gone, and it’s time to start moving forward without looking back.
Looking back will only slow down your progress, leading to stagnation, lost time, and painful thoughts and memories. Priority people take the bull by the horns, and they move onto new pastures, once they realise that things aren’t working anymore. If you’ve become an option person, it’s time to stop hoping and wishing, and time to start doing.
5. Identify Who Is Using You
It’s not easy to identify who taught you to be the option person; it could even be a family member you were once close to. But it’s time to identify who has been using you, and it’s time to move on from them. Yes, it’s hard to distance yourself from people you have known for a long time, but moving on from users is the best thing you may well do for quite some time.
6. Make Someone Else A Priority
Making someone else a priority is a really good way of shifting the feeling of being an option. Rather than twiddling your thumbs waiting for someone to call and wondering why they haven’t called sooner, you’re instead dedicating your time to being with someone else.
This doesn’t even have to be another friend. Instead, it could be an elderly relative who is feeling isolated and lonely, or it could even be a pet that requires 24/7 care and attention for the first few weeks. Or, you could even go and do some voluntary work at a local homeless shelter and make dozens of people your priority!
7. Use It As Motivation To Better Yourself
When sportsmen are dropped from the team after a consecutive run, they might grow frustrated and even a little angry. They might ask what they did to deserve to be dropped, and they might skulk around in the corner. This is not the right way to react to being dropped, and it’s the sign of a mentally weak sportsmen.
The right way to react is to improve, improve and improve, until they get back into the team. It’s about admitting that they have been slacking lately and they need to get back to where they were.
When you have been relegated to an option person, you could use it as motivation to better yourself. Rather than mope around on the sofa, take a look at areas of your life that you can improve on to make yourself stronger, and perhaps even more appealing.
8. Have Respect For Yourself
Perhaps the biggest mistake you could make when you realise that you are now only an option is to fight tooth and nail to become a priority with that person again. If you decide to almost beg them to see you as a priority again, you will lose the respect of others, and you’ll also lose your own self-respect.
Instead, you should never allow yourself to become someone’s option. You need to have respect for yourself and move on from them to find someone who is willing to prioritise you.
9. Don’t Close Yourself Off To People
Realising you are just an option to people can be damaging for your self-esteem, but it can also make you angry at the world. It can even make you distrustful.
Once this happens, it can be easy to distrust everyone, including new people that come into your life. The realisation that you are an option can lead you to fence yourself in. But this is a bad thing. Instead, you should still remain open to new friends and contacts. Use a bit of downtime to make yourself stronger, and return to the world with the mindset of a priority person.
10. Indulge Yourself
Lastly, it’s time to indulge yourself. Be a little bit more high maintenance. If you’re out shopping with someone, don’t let them rush you. If you’re asked a question, don’t blurt out an answer, because they’re waiting. Take your time and be a little self-indulgent.