How to Tell If You're Trying Too Hard

Whether you’re dealing with a crush, a potential job, a long-term boyfriend, or your best friend from high school, sometimes you just have to stop trying so hard.

No, you shouldn’t give up completely, because relationships take effort and everything worth having takes work and whatnot. But seriously. Sometimes you need to just stop trying so hard and go where you’re wanted, not tolerated. I’d been feeling burnt out lately, and realized a lot of it was because I was expending so much effort on people and things that weren’t giving me that energy back. Then I realized: you have to go where you’re needed and appreciated.
There is no sense in forcing your way in and then trying to justify your presence. Instead, wait to find someone or something that makes you feel like you belong and are needed. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Scenario 1: You call and text your best friend from high school  regularly, but only hear from her when she’s in your area and bored. Take that energy and put it toward a new friendship with someone who seems equally as interested in connecting with you.

Scenario 2: I spent months trying to write for one particular site. I e-mailed a contact I had, and sent links and pitches regularly as a follow-up. I sent probably four or five e-mails in total. After a while, I was completely frustrated and discouraged. Now I’m pitching those same ideas and stories to other sites and having much more luck. Sometimes it’s not personal, you’re just not a fit for a job for one reason or another. If it’s clear that it’s just not happening even after you’ve put in significant effort over an extended period of time, it’s time to take that creative energy and use it elsewhere where you’re a better fit.

Scenario 3: You’re kind of, sort of dating this guy and think it’s going well. Except for the fact that he randomly disappears for large chunks of times, and only resurfaces when it’s convenient for him. If you’ve made it clear you’re interested and enthusiastic and this is still going on, consider giving your affection to someone who is equally as excited about you.

Scenario 4: You’ve been begging your boyfriend to move in together for a year and he’s not having it. You have a great relationship but he’s just not interested in that next step. You don’t necessarily have to break up, but stop forcing the issue. Either he’ll become comfortable with the idea on his own terms, or you’ll realize that you’re not ready to accept his “no” and can eventually find someone who would love nothing more than to shack up with you.

It’s very tempting to hear someone’s “No thanks” and get obsessed with trying to change their mind. You want to use your charm and intelligence to prove to them why they need you in your life. In reality, you don’t need to beg for anyone’s attention or affection. You don’t need to show why you fit in or why you’re worth their time. If they aren’t receptive or aren’t giving you what you need, time to move on and find someone who will enjoy and accept you for who you are.

Do you ever feel like you have to win someone over? How do you handle it? 

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  1. Very true! I’ve had #2 happen to be as well, and it’s the worst! Hey- at least I’m not alone!

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