Have you ever felt like you do a huge amount for people, and expect the same back but it never happens? It can be problematic, put blame on innocent parties and make you lose all confidence.
For years I’ve been the support act. Never in the inner circle, but spending so much time making those who are happy. I’ve spent so much money and energy just trying to prove I’m worth loving to get a small amount of connection back.
It’s no one’s fault, we can’t have time for everyone, but due to my trauma growing up and mental health it has been easy to latch on to anyone who has shown me an ounce of kindness and then desperately cling to them, whilst refreshing Twitter at all hours in hope of getting a DM from someone I don’t really know.
Nowadays I’m more confident in my relationships. I know who I can call close friends and not have to speak to them every day, but we check in regularly and have such a good bond.
The Internet can very easily turn you into the support act friend, what with the push to be mutuals and have a big follow count. And when you get a follow from a fave it can make you feel so special and worthy, but the truth of the situation needs to be put into perspective as to cling to a shadow of a relationship is a toxic thing to do.
How to end being a support act
- Only give when you want to. It can be tempting to constantly give your time to another person in the hope you might be liked better or shown attention, but really you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Giving should come from the heart and be unconditional, so if you’re hoping for recognition, then dispose of your plan and instead sit with yourself to figure out why you need love right now.
- Be your own cheerleader for a change: you shouldn’t have to big a person up just so they can make you feel better. Practice setting your own goals and self care and make sure you’re giving yourself enough love. When you stop giving attention out to everyone, you’ll soon see who stays.
- Limit your Internet usage: rather than constantly DMing or tweeting people, give yourself an hour a day to check in and then focus on you. It stops you constantly checking your phone and helps you realise you can be comfortable with your own company.
- Surround yourself with those you know understands your love language: this is a huge one. I’m a born giver and to have gifts or acts of service constantly rejected is PAINFUL. Now if I need to connect with my love language, I focus on those who are on the same wave length and to everyone else I just say “if you need something that you know I can give at the time, let me know.”
- Have a small group who don’t mind chatting regularly: if you pinpoint who is available to chat often, you will gravitate to them instantly and have the option of that company instead of being lost in a sea of people, hoping someone will throw you a lifejacket.
- Take their advice, look after YOU first: again going back to the love language, it can feel like a heavy rejection when people respond with “oh focus on you.” It can feel like the door is being slammed shut, that you’re not really understood. I ended up getting stubborn and focusing on myself 100%, which made me realise I didn’t need to offer anyone anything and helped me understand why I did it in the first place.
- Let in those who recognise your achievements: because I’ve spent so many years bigging others up and not putting myself out there, people easily forget what I can actually do. It’s very rare I get credited or acknowledged for something I’m involved in or something I am good at, so admitting my strengths and spending time with those who knew them anyway is such a boost in confidence.
- Remember you are enough: I was mostly to blame for being a support act. I didn’t have any faith in my abilities and always believed that others were better than me. It is important to realise you deserve to be the leader of your own narrative and not someone else’s.
Love Luce x