5 Reasons to Stop Chasing People (and Relationships)
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Are you tired of feeling frustrated after a failed relationship or friendship?
If so, then one way you can make a change in your life is to stop chasing people.
In fact, you’ll be better off if you stop chasing people who will never be your true friends. Life will improve if you stop running after relationships that just aren’t likely to happen.
In this article, I will talk about five reasons why you should stop chasing people.
But first, let’s start with a quick point of clarification…
What You Will Learn
What Does It Mean to Chase People?
It’s when you go out of your way to build a relationship with people who use you, don’t treat you well or just don’t care about you as much as you care about them. For example,
If this describes you, you’re chasing people. So now let’s talk about the five reasons you should stop chasing people and relationships.
1. You’ll Be Happier
When you’re chasing someone, you often convince yourself that you’ll finally be happy if only you can have a relationship with that person.
It’s not true. You’ll be happier without them. Maybe not in the short run, while you mourn the loss of the hoped-for relationship. But next week, next month? Other circumstances being equal, you’ll have more happiness.
You see, happiness is a choice. There’s even scientific evidence. We choose happiness when we make happiness a goal, when we think about the good things in life, when we smile, when we’re grateful, when we’re compassionate.
When you choose to focus on a person who doesn’t care about you, you’re choosing unhappiness. You’re not smiling. You’re thinking about the rough things in life rather that the good ones. You’re being anxious about what you don’t have rather than grateful for what you do.
When you chase people, you’re handing the keys to your happiness over to them. You’re only going to be happy when they notice you, answer your calls or are nice to you. And deep down you know that these things aren’t going to happen often enough.
If you do establish more of a relationship, it’s going to be on their terms. Every decision the two of you make will be based on what makes them happy.
Drive your own “happiness car.” Don’t give someone else the wheel. Someone who doesn’t care enough about you.
2. You’ll Be Healthier
Obsessing over another person is stressful. It’s an unhealthy relationship. The closer you get to this person, the unhealthier the relationship becomes.
We all know the lifestyle habits that can be harmful to our health: poor diet, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol use. Well, there’s increasing evidence that toxic relationships can be just as harmful.
You already know the stress and anxiety you experience waiting for that sought-after person to return your text and phone calls or to give you a smile or a compliment. You probably get depressed about it. But did you know it could cause medical problems as well? The risk for everything from high blood pressure to intestinal distress to even heart disease increases with stress.
If you think about it, that’s hardly a surprise. We’ve all heard the expression, “a sound mind in a sound body.” It goes both ways. It’s hard to have a sound body when you’re not mentally and emotionally healthy.
Healthy friendships keep you healthy. But a one-sided relationship packs a double health whammy. Not only can it directly cause health problems, but also it tends you toward those kinds of behaviors that are bad for you. How do you act when you have your heart set on the person’s call but it doesn’t happen? Do you binge eat or not eat at all? Do you lie awake at night?
Giving up the fruitless activity of chasing people is a good start toward a healthier you. It’s something beneficial you can do for yourself.
3. Your Self-Image Will Improve
You have a right to be here, eating and breathing and taking up space on Planet Earth. You don’t need to justify your existence. And you certainly don’t need the approval of that individual you’ve been chasing.
Do you suppress parts of your personality to avoid that person’s disapproval? Perhaps they tell you that you laugh at the wrong things, talk about the wrong topics, don’t wear the right clothes or associate with people who aren’t good enough for them. When you change these things to please them, how do you deep down feel about yourself? Even if you don’t change these things, how does the criticism affect you?
One of the privileges every person has is discovering who they truly are. What their standards are. What’s important to them. What they want to do in life and what they don’t want to to. When you compromise your standards or change who you are to please someone else, you’re letting them steal just a little bit of yourself.
You can’t make somebody else like you or love you. Furthermore, you’ll be just fine, whether any particular person likes you or not. The important thing is, do you like you?
Who do you have to live with 24/7, you or them? Whose ideas are going to make you a better person, yours or theirs? Who would you rather lose, them or yourself?
Vote to keep yourself. There’s no one else in the whole world exactly like you. Take some pride in it. If chasing people makes you less than yourself, it’s time to free yourself from the habit.
4. You’ll Focus on People and Things That Matter
If you’re looking at your phone, wondering whether the person you’ve been chasing is going to text you back, put that phone down. Give up that clingy would-be relationship. Find something better to do.
Pick up that community education flyer and sign up for a subject you’ve always wanted to learn about. Call the cousin or the aunt you haven’t talked to in months or years. Go for a walk. Try a new recipe. Take up a new hobby. Look through your community’s list of volunteer activities and find one that suits your talents and your passion.
Put your time, your energy and your love where it’s going to be appreciated. Rather than chasing people who don’t value you, look at the people you see every day. Some of them share your interests, your values and your attitude toward life. Some of them would be happy to be your friends.
After all, who’s going to be a friend to you when you’re sick, when you’re struggling financially, when you’re grieving, when you’re hurting? Not the people you’ve been chasing, that’s for sure. Invest in relationships with people who care about you as much as you care about them.
I can’t say enough about volunteering. Not only do you have the purposefulness of spending time on someone who really needs it, but also you get to meet and work with a great bunch of people. People who care about others. People who think like you do and value the same things you do.
5. You’ll Avoid Something You Don’t Want
We’ve all seen dogs chasing cars. And we’ve all wondered what they think they’re going to do if they catch them.
Put another way, be careful what you wish for. Suppose for a moment this person you’ve been chasing suddenly decides they want to spend a lot of time with you.
Your first thought is probably, “Wow, that’s going to be great!” You imagine the two of you in deep conversations. Walking through the park together. Checking with each other to see what’s on for next weekend.
If this is a person who’s belittled your feelings all along, what makes you think that’s going to change? The conversation will be what they want to talk about, and you better not say the wrong thing. Next weekend’s plans will be what they want to do, and you’d better like it if you want the relationship to continue.
Furthermore, that idealized person is a human being like everyone else. Maybe they’ve got an annoying way of smacking their lips when they talk. Maybe they slurp their soup. Nobody’s perfect. That’s especially tough to take in somebody you’ve set on a pedestal.
What I’m calling for here is a healthy dose of reality. Chasing people is no fun, and it doesn’t get better if you catch them.
Final Thoughts on Chasing People
Have you been chasing somebody? Here’s good news: you can stop chasing people now. Right this minute. Assume they’re not going to call or text back. Assume they’re not going to do that little thing you’d really appreciate. Look at the clock, make a note of the date and time and decide that from this moment you’re going to put your energies into people and things that are worth it.
Today, think of something specific to do with the time you’re no longer going to be wasting chasing people. Identify a hobby to take up, a volunteer organization to join or a person who genuinely wants to hear from you. Get going and good luck!