Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches at California State University. She does not hold a license to practice therapy....Read More

 

Are You Being Used in Your Relationship?

Silhouette of a couple of friends breathing at sunset

Photo: Getty Images

A study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology that focuses on people who use each other, where what you are looking for in a relationship is not intimacy or a life partner, but a means to an end, which the authors of the study call the ‘instrumentality perspective’.

If someone comes to see another person as an object or an instrument, then ‘once they adopt that instrumental approach, they only care about how useful a person is to them’. There are a large number of relationships in which this dynamic underlies many interactions.

What do people use each other for?

- Sex

- Money

- Social capital

- Children/Reproduction

- Career advancement

What are some signs you are being used:

These are the behaviors and patterns she suggests that people should watch for in their relationships.

1. You are always seeking the approval of your partner

2. You don't celebrate your own accomplishments for fear of how your partner will respond (and that they will feel jealous, threatened, or simply less good about themselves)

3. You always give priority to the things and activities that your partner likes, and discount your own wants

4. You feel that no matter how hard you try, it will not be enough for your partner

5. Your partner has little interest in your life, or at least less than he or she did at the beginning of your relationship A good relationship must have balance, trust, communication, and respect; those are the nonnegotiable foundations.

For more information check out GQ.


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