How To Know If Someone Really Has Your Back
Pretty much like everyone else, as a young person, I didn’t care about my future with my then partner. I just went with the flow without really thinking about it. But as you get older, you can’t really help but wonder, “Is he the right person for me?” Even if it’s not a romantic relationship, there would come a point where you filter the people you talk to by assessing how they impact your life, such as the way they support you or keep your secrets in confidence..
That said, how can you tell if someone really has your back? Let’s find out!
Don’t be fooled—not everybody has your back. It’s a harsh truth that, despite the length of time someone has been in your life, most people have a hard time admitting. Or maybe it’s because they don’t know how. The moment you feel that you need to hold yourself back as a person is the moment that you should step outside the fogginess of denial and step into the clarity of reality.
Whether it’s a friend, a boyfriend, or even a trusted family member, not everybody has your back…even if you expect them too, or even if they should. The manipulation of a “frenemy” isn’t exactly easy to see as sometimes we are simply blinded by what we wish was real. But, reality isn’t a fabricated thought and, unfortunately, not everybody has your back.
Here’s how you can tell….
LISTENING TO ABSORB vs WAITING FOR THEIR TURN TO TALK
If your conversations feel more like a race to finish a sentence and, if you find that you have to rapidly blurt out your words before being taken over by theirs, then you can easily deduct that they don’t really care about what you’re saying. They are just waiting for their turn to talk.
Every breath you take should never pose as an opportunity for them to jump in and dominate the entire conversation; their words are not more important than yours. But you end up feeling like they are. You will know that someone has your back when they are patient enough to let you explain your thoughts. Furthermore, their responses will reflect what you say rather than how they feel.
CELEBRATING A SUCCESS vs COMPETING TO OUTDO THEM
Anything that you accomplish is suddenly a competition when it comes to not having your back. For example, let’s say you win an award. Instead of being proud and living your moment of success with you, perhaps even rewarding you with a thoughtful gift of jewellery or flowers, they find manipulative ways to steal your spotlight or take away from your accomplishments.
It’s as if they need to prove their worth by burying yours and, anybody who is incapable of giving you the spotlight without interrupting with their own most definitely does not have your back. And they never will. Someone who truly has your back will be just as rewarded by your accomplishments as you are. They will stand by you and your success, not stomp on them. A true friend will never feel the need to jump into your spotlight because, well, if they have your back, they know that you deserve it.
TRUST VIA CARE vs TRUST VIA GOSSIP
If you’re not sure whether someone has your back, ask yourself this question: how does this person talk to me? Do they gossip about others by exposing information that you feel you shouldn’t know? If the answer is yes, then you can readily assume that that’s exactly what they do to you as well. People who don’t have your back have no remorse in using your trust as an entertaining source of gossip. A genuine person does not use the fact that you confide in them strictly for their own benefit, and you will be able to tell by how respectful they are of others when they talk to you.
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM vs BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS
There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and backhanded compliments and, when someone has your back, they want you to be as strong and successful as humanly possible. And so, they will be truthful in their opinions of you. Constructive criticism is nothing more than a valuable push in the right direction from a person who wants to see you improve. On the other hand, someone who merely appears to have your back will throw out backhanded compliments which, aren’t really compliments at all. What they should really be called is sugarcoated insults.
Here are some examples:
- Your Instagram account makes it seem like you actually have fun!
- Wow, I didn’t expect you to make the team but congrats!
- I wish I could be like you and not care what I look like
- You’re not a bad driver for a woman
People who use this type of passive aggressive, ego-hurting communication do not, in fact, have your back. They want to make sure that you continue feeling inferior and powerless and, most importantly, they are not your friend.
PROTECTING YOUR WEAKNESSES vs FLAUNTING THEM
When it comes to genuine relationships, you will never have to worry about your weaknesses being the highlight of a conversation. People who don’t care about you thrive on flaunting your flaws instead of protecting them. Their attempt to remain in a superior position requires you to play the role of a punching bag; for your strength will be ignored and your weaknesses will be revealed. Your self-esteem should never deteriorate by simply being around this kind of person. In fact, you know that someone has your back when they help you to overcome any downfalls you may have.
COMPROMISE vs CONVENIENCE
Toxic people are those that want nothing to do with helping you through rough times and, if they are only there for you when things are good, how could they possibly have your back? The answer is, they don’t. Because they don’t want to. You know that someone has your back when they don’t shut you out when you need them most. They will never make you feel like you are an exhausting inconvenience nor will they punish you with the feeling of stupidity when you’re at a loss of what to do. If you find that someone is only willing to be in your life when you don’t need their friendship, then it’s time to cut them out.
VICTOR vs VICTIM
If you’re trying to figure out whether or not someone is truly there for you, think about how many times they pose themselves as the victim. A toxic person will never be at fault; in fact, they are almost always the damsel in distress. The most frustrating thing about pegging themselves as the victim in every situation is that, even if you know that they should be at fault, the things they say sound perfectly reasonable as to why they are not.
This is the most common form of manipulation and they use it to trick you into thinking that you should be the one to always have their back because, well, they never do anything wrong. And, as long as you have their back, they’ll never need to have yours. Because in their mind, you are never the victim. So you’ll never need them to.
Having someone’s back requires honesty, empathy, and confidence. They will never target you as the enemy nor will they talk their way into playing victim.
Article submitted by Kevin Pham of Beverly Diamonds
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.