5 Steps In Escaping The Friend Zone
Have you asked yourself on how you can motivate your “friend” to be “more than friends” with you? To be a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or lover? How do you escape the friend zone?
What is the Friend Zone?
For those who don’t know the term, “the friend zone” refers to a situation where one individual in a friendship develops more intense feelings and wants to become “more than friends” with the other person. Most often than not, the other person is unaware of this interest and is contented with the friends-only arrangement. As a result, the one liking the other gets stuck in “the friend zone” can’t transition from “friends” to “more than friends.”
Being stuck in that kind of relationship is a really frustrating situation. There are different reasons on why the person is motivated to transition, it could be sexually-motivated, where they desire a more physical relationship; socially-motivated, wanting to boost up one’s self-esteem through prize; there’s the insecurity-motivated, wanting to fill up a void inside them; finally, investment-motivated, they have invested a lot to the other person that they get the need to level it up—that is why others are too eager to pursue more than a friend zone instead of taking their time.
Why does “The Friend Zone” happen?
Before I tell you the things that will help you get out of the friend zone, we first need to discuss why people get stuck there in the first place. Essentially, relationships are social exchanges. People set up themselves in a give-and-take agreement, usually this is implied, and people want to get some while at the same time giving some.
When a person has been zoned into “The Friend Zone,” they or the other have put themselves into a social exchange that isn’t even. The other person is getting what he/she wants, while the giver is not receiving any. Friend Zone in a nutshell, the friend zone person has sold him/herself short. They gave their friend “everything,” without making sure they also got something in return.
Let’s take a real life example from people I know:
Gerald and Victoria are friends. As “friends,” Gerald pretty much does everything for Victoria. He buys her things, listens to her stories and problems, and helps her out of her trouble. Gerald, however, wants to be Victoria’s boyfriend. Victoria, though, isn’t interested because she’s having all her boyfriend-needs met by Gerald, without having to meet his. She can be free, non-committed, and still have all Gerald’s effort. That is why Gerald is in the friend zone.
This is the most common scenario that I always hear from my friends. And this situation applies on women too.
How to escape the Friend Zone?
In order to escape the friend zone, first you must realize that all relationships are negotiations, social exchanges — and you are attempting to “re-negotiate” the situation between you and the other person. Most likely, you are already giving too much and what you want for them to do is to balance the scales so all would be fair.
Fortunately, all social exchanges involves laws or principles that govern them. Using those principles to your advantage, we can make a strategy that will help you get out of the friend zone.
1.) Use the Least Interest Principle - Your social exchange with the other person is already imbalanced. Take a step back, being “needy” or “clingy” is no way in this world the way to negotiate. Desperate people end up with what others want for them, not what they want. So be less interested, and don’t be afraid to walk away. People who are willing to walk away always has the power to govern the relationship.
2.) Use the Scarcity Principle - Spend some time away from your “friend” and do less for them. If they truly appreciate you, then your absence will make them miss you and want you more. This is the principle of “Scarcity” - where people value something more when it is rare or taken away from them, according to Cialdini. When they have noticed that you are no longer around as much or tending their needs, the person you desire will most likely feel the loss. Making their desire for you increase and willingness to meet your needs back. If it doesn’t, then they are just “not that into you” …and don’t value you. In that case, find another friend.
3.) Create Competition - There is nothing more attractive than something that we can’t easily have and be having fun with someone else. Go out and meet new friends, widen your network. Then, talk about these new friends with the friend you desire. The salt and pepper of the scarcity principle is to utilize the idea of “competition” and “jealousy,” these are the best way to maximize the scarcity principle. People value more of what they think they might lose. If you are busy with what you’re interested in, or with other people, you might just find the friend you desire is a bit more eager for your time and attention. If you don’t see any “jealousy” though, then it’s clear that they don’t want to be any more than friends, set your sights on someone new!
4.) Use the Benjamin Franklin Effect - Ask your friends to do something for you. Contrary to popular belief, people like you more when THEY do favors for you, rather than when you do favors for them. The more they invest on a relationship, the more you will mean to them. Now you realize how you become to value the friend you desire even more is because you do favors for them most of the time, more than they do to you. So, stop doing favors … and start asking for them. Get them to study with you, fix something, help you with your homework or paper, etc. Heck, even asking them to lend you a pen or asking them to get a soda for you has an impact. Utilize it.
5.) Use Operant Conditioning - Be mindful to be grateful and reward your friend when they behave as you desire. After they are good to you, remember to be good to them back. Being attentive and affectionate when they do as you like, encourages them to continue those behaviors more. Also, ignoring them when they behave badly will help in reducing unwanted behavior. Always keep in mind to keep an environment of mutual gratitude flowing too.
Taking It From There
Maximizing in applying the steps above will help balance the value of exchanges between you and your friend. It will highlight how truly valuable, desirable, and important you are to your “friend”. Essentially, it will raise your status and worth in their eyes. You might even be able to pick up the change in their body language when you are around.
It is actually possible to dig out from the depths of being buried in the friend zone and even out the exchange, with the help of little “persuasion” and “influence” of course. Go out there and get what you want out of a relationship for you are not deserving of anything less. Always remember, to be mindful of your own worth, stop the needy behavior, and be willing to walk away. Give the other person the gift of missing you. Make some friends outside of that friendship and make competition too. Finally, let them invest in you and reward them of it. If they truly value you in their life, they’d be more willing to take that relationship into the next level. If they don’t, no love loss, for you already have with yourself new friends, your self-respect, and one foot out the door. :)
"Self-hating" black girls.
I was at the mall yesterday and I was talking to this lady. I can’t remember how, but the topic of prom came up. She asked me what race my prom date was and I was like…
…I explained to her that my prom date was a white guy and she just about died laughing. So I’m just standing there like…
Then she said something that totally caught me off guard.
“You must be one of those self-hating black girls.”
And I was like…
“You know. The ones who act white and reject their own race.”
“The way you talk and dress. It’s obvious.”
I was speechless. Like… I honestly was at a loss for words. She, then went on to explain to me that I needed to reevaluate myself because I have serious identity issues.
First of all…Um excuse you, bitch… Do not tell ME that I’m self hating just because I’m attracted to other races of men when you have a mother fucking WEAVE sewed into your head.
My accent isn’t the stereotypical ‘black’ accent. I talk like someone you’d hear on the news or the radio. And apparently there’s something wrong with speaking English the way it should be spoken..
And that’s not even the worst part. I tried to defend myself by saying there’s nothing wrong with dating someone outside your race. I’m not picky, honestly. Race is the least of my worries when it comes to finding a special someone. That means I would date someone from my race as well as someone from any other race, with no qualms. But somehow, this bitch kept assuming that I was rejecting my race because I wouldn’t mind going out with someone of a different race.
I just moved to Alabama and this is the first time I’ve been in a place with a decent population of black people in 7 years. SEVEN. DAMN. YEARS. Is this how the women around here think? I thought living with only white people was bad (no offense. White people themselves aren’t all bad). I feel like I can’t even fit in with people of my own race because I don’t fit into the stereotypical box that society has created for us. And YOU KNOW there is a problem when I can’t fit in with MY OWN race. Fuck society.
I definitely don’t hate myself or my race. I love my dark skin and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If anything, the fact that I’m willing to date outside my race makes me LESS insecure. The way I talk, act, dress, the music I listen to, etc… Those don’t define who I am. I define who I am.
Whether I wear Hollister or Baby Phat, I AM BLACK.
Whether I like rap or kpop, I AM BLACK
It doesn’t matter what I do. I cannot change the fact that I am a black woman. I can’t change it, so I’ve gotta flaunt it.
I hope this bitch gets hit by a bus. It’s because of people like her that so many black women are single.
Love and Relationships: On the Concept of Time and Waiting
Time is gold they say. Time flies. Time slips through our fingers. One second we waste, we can never get back.
Waiting takes time. For me it’s like we stop time to wait for someone. We put parts of our life on hold just to wait. We sacrifice lots of things to wait.
One example of this would be this story of a girl.
She went to this grand ball. She spent time finding the perfect dress, and preparing herself for this ball. She wished the man she loved would ask her and so she turned down every proposal she got and waited.
The man never asked her and she said “Oh well. I can still go stag and maybe he’d reserve one dance for me.”
And so she did. The ball was perfect and everyone complimented her on her beauty yet it was only one compliment she wanted to hear. A compliment from the man she loved. It did not come.
Again, she turned down every dance that’s asked of her because she was waiting for only one man to ask her. Again, it did not come.
As the clock ticks, she grows sadder. Each second that passes by is a second closer to the end of the ball. The music stopped and a wave of great sadness enveloped her.
Nothing happened. She waited and got nothing. But she still had hope. “One must not lose hope no matter what” she told herself.
And she went home. She got in a van with some of her classmates and the man she loved was there. Luckily, they sat next to each other. Again she wished that he would hold her hand, tell her she was pretty… Anything! They were on their way home and she was desperate.
Again, nothing happened. And as she laid on her bed, she thought of the night and how this was the last time she’d ever experience a ball and she wasted every second of it hoping and waiting for something that will never be.
I think this is a perfect story to tell you my view on waiting. Sometimes it’s good. Most of the time it’s not. We wait and wait but how do we know when to stop?How do we differentiate waiting patiently from sheer stupidity?
Some people keep on hoping that someday their love will get noticed and it is them who don’t notice how much time has passed and how much of their lives they’ve wasted waiting and hoping. They don’t notice the numerous opportunities life has thrown their way like the girl who rejected all dance proposals since she was waiting for one. In the end, she got none.
You love someone? By all means, understand him and wait for him. But don’t be stupid. Set yourself a deadline. And when that deadline comes, reevaluate your self, your relationship and see if everything’s worth it.
A simple rule: if the sadness you get is greater than the happiness you receive by twice or thrice then it’s not worth it.
I know moving on is hard but it is for the best.
I’ll end this with a quote:
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
hey there, kale! i need some advice. so, i have a girlfriend, and she and i have been together for about 6 months. however, i hardly talk to her anymore, and i don't really know why, however we live about 2000 miles apart and with the whole lack of communication thing the relationship is not working out for me at all. in fact, with the little amount that we talk i'm pretty sure i've started to have a crush on someone else. what do i do?
Relationships are fluid, not static- that is to say, they change. For some reason, people have these persistent misconceptions: that relationships should be consistent from beginning to end; that a failed romance is a waste of time, and the longer the romance, the more time was wasted; that there is always someone at fault.
Because of this, people are often reluctant to let go. Nobody wants to have wasted their time. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. And nobody wants to admit that “how it used to be” is firmly past tense.
Things don’t “go back to the way they used to be,” I’m afraid. That’s not how relationships work. They progress, not regress. Regression is inadvisable. You can’t go back because there’s all this shit that’s happened between then and now. You can imitate the past, but it’s never going to be the same. Actually, it’s probably going to be a bit crappy and you’ll probably spend most of the time feeling a little resentful that it’s not the way it used to be.
I guess what I’m saying is you know what you should do perfectly well.
I could tell you to try to talk to her, but whether or not you realize it, you’ve made up your mind on this. You’re not really in this relationship anymore. You’re already looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
You’ve practically stated it outright- you just want me to confirm it.
When you send a stranger a question that involves the phrases “the relationship is not working out for me at all” and “i’m pretty sure i’ve started to have a crush on someone else,” you know what’s up, but just don’t want to admit it.
In another circumstance, yeah, I’d say talk to her, figure out if this is a pothole or a dead end, but I feel like you’re already thinking that you had some good times (presumably) but now that relationship has run its course.
The issue is not that you don’t know what to do. It’s that you don’t want to be the bad guy.
Here’s the thing: there doesn’t have to be a bad guy.
This isn’t a novel. There isn’t always a protagonist and antagonist, a point of tension fueling the thrilling climax that precedes your daring escape. There is no happily ever after. There’s just shit that happens and shit that could happen and shit that doesn’t happen, and people trying desperately to make all that shit fit into an impossible mold for their entire lives.
Step back. Look at this logically. You and your girlfriend aren’t talking much. You haven’t made an attempt to remedy this. I don’t know if she has, but hey: you’re already out.
You’re not doing her any favours by staying.
That doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a normal person.
Why the hell would you stay in a relationship you’re no longer invested in? You’re not going to be happy, and you’re not going to make her happy. The longer you linger, the longer it’s going to take both of you to find somebody new.
You’re stagnating. Don’t do that.
Unless you failed spectacularly to learn anything from your relationship, you didn’t waste your time. It’s called experience for a reason. Some people get it straight off the bat- good for them. The rest of us have to grind for levels just like everybody else.
Let it go. Talk to her about how you’ve been growing distant but make sure she knows it’s not her fault- and that you’re not willing to try to make it work. If she lays it down, take the blame for that. She might feel the same way, she might not. Don’t be combative. From the very brief description you gave me, this doesn’t sound like something that has to be messy. I hope it isn’t.
Take a long look at your crush and ask yourself if you’re looking at a human being or an escape route. We do that sometimes: make people into The Way Out, trademark the beginning of time. Don’t do that. That road leads nowhere.
Don’t feel obligated to be in a relationship, and don’t feel obligated to stay in a relationship just because you don’t have another one lined up.
Take it slow.
You won’t be alone forever. The sheer number of people who share that fear guarantees that.
Trust your instincts and your common sense, not the guilty feeling society has taught you to feel whenever you don’t feel strongly enough to stop the curtain closing on a relationship.
You already know what to do.
Why did you and your ex break up? If you're not comfortable answering this then i'm sorry! just curious!
We just weren’t compatible as life partners. We’re still great friends, but the fact of the matter is that we have different goals and priorities and we’d make each other miserable and resentful in the long run.
You can love someone to the ends of the Earth, but love alone is simply not enough. There’s more to spending your life with someone than just loving them. Loving someone won’t stop them from making you miserable, nor the other way around.
And love alone does not cure discontentment. There’s more to happiness than love.
If you really love someone, you let them go and hope they’ll find someone who can give them what you can’t. There’s no such thing as a relationship in which one person is perfect for the other, but not vice-versa.
If it’s wrong for one person, it’s wrong for both. Somebody’s just in denial.
You both deserve to be happy, and recognizing that you can’t be happy together does not mean there is something wrong with one or both of you.
A puzzle piece that doesn’t fit where you’re trying to put it isn’t broken.
It just doesn’t fucking go there.
So, some friends of mine are going to the UK during December. And it appears that it is going to be a couples trip. While I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a single guy go on their trip. But I am sure it would make their gf/wives feel safer if I had someone along for the trip. So i have a lil more than 10 months to find someone to take to the UK. Let’s see what I can do between now and then. Hey, maybe I will even find the love of my life during the months between the trip. Who knows? I know I have my eyes and heart open. =)
“A healthy relationship takes equal effort from both parties. Stop chasing ppl who don't wanna be caught. Stop handing out candy like u would on Halloween night..”—Karen Spence
We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve?
There are people in relationships that are physically and verbally abused, taken for granted, and it seems to happen from one relationship to the next, like an endless cycle. Some people think they are worthless and tend to settle for the abusive ones, some even think highly of themselves that they tend to dismiss the people who may well treat them the way they want to be treated.
When you think you deserve something of value, you thought you have a choice, but you actually don’t. Someone becomes a part of your life, you accept them, all is good, then suddenly all turns to crumble. What happened? It’s not because someone failed in trying, not because the spark is not there anymore. But because you’re living unconsciously.
You’re A Walking Dead
You think you’re aware of things and you thought you know the person you’re in love with. You, however, fail to realize that you spend most of your life making decisions as though you’re asleep. You fail to be fully conscious of the moment, and without you knowing, you give in to your faulty mind patterns. This is what happens when you stop becoming mindful, your reflexive-hot and automatic process is taking over your life. You think you know what you’re doing, but then you ask yourself “What the hell did I just do?” You’re living with no choice, you may think you have, but you don’t.
Wake Up, You’re Not Your Past
People who live in their past, may think they’re not living there. It’s utterly difficult to find the problem when you are the problem. People who are unconscious, a walking dead, made an identity of themselves from their past. They are nothing without their past, but they fail to realize that a piece of them dies away as it becomes a part of history. They forget to become mindful, and so they revert back to their old behavioral patterns and way of thinking which are run by heuristics and other cognitive biases.
Why Do People Choose Pain?
You may have a friend whose partner is physically abusive towards her, and her previous relationship was of a similar kind. Why does your friend choose such men. and why is she refusing to get out of that situation? Why do so many people actually choose pain?
Your friend is stuck in a relationship with an abusive partner, and not for the first time. Why? No Choice. Her faulty, unconscious, mind patterns conditioned as it is by the past, always seeks to re-create what it knows and is familiar with. Even if it is painful, at least it is familiar. The unconscious mind always adheres to the known. The unknown is dangerous because it has no control over it. That’s why the unconscious mind dislikes and ignores the present moment, it is against mindfulness.
So your friend, being identified with her unconscious, may be re-creating a pattern learned in the past in which intimacy and abuse are inseparately linked. Alternatively, she may be acting out a mind pattern learned in early childhood according to which she is unworthy and deserves to be punished.
You’re Not Your Unconscious
The unconscious would like to see you live in your past or even cling to a distant, unlikely future. You strengthen that unconscious thinking by always thinking that someone good is waiting for you, but how long would you wait, you imagine of the tomorrow, then you realize that tomorrow is your today, and it becomes your yesterday. Even with the past, you become disturbed and even anxious of your daily undertakings because the mistakes you made in the past, you still associate it with yourself, thus making you think you’re worthless and that you deserve what you’re getting, just like what your friend’s faulty unconscious mind believes.
Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. The conditioned mind is running your life. It always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion. As long as your unconscious mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you live in identifying yourself with the past or even future, what choice do you have? None.
It Is Your Responsibility To Be Mindful
If you are run by your unconscious, although you have no choice you will still suffer the consequences of your unconsciousness, and you will create further suffering. You will bear the burden of fear, conflict, problems, and pain.
We now come to the question, are you really aware of what you’re doing or you’re living under the shadow of your unconscious? Your reflexive thinking pushes you to become an automaton, living because of the program that your past pushed you to become of, instead of being ever mindful, that your past is no longer you, but you have dissected the lessons from it, and now this is you. Ever present, ever mindful.
And in relationships, love, which is one of the most dangerous drug to ever transform the unconscious mind, would create insanity in you. And when, out of the unconscious decisions run by your conditioned mind, inevitably end up with the worse kind, and you ask “Why?” And you think you deserve the kind of love.
You are responsible to be mindful, being aware is your first step in overcoming the hurdles of relationships. To discern that an intense emotion is taking over, it is your duty to be mindful, to really have a choice and choose what is best, deciding not under the influence of your unconscious.
“SOMETHING is not always better than NOTHING”
-Michelle McKinney-Hammond [What to Do until Love Finds You: Getting Ready for Mr. Right]
Happy Friday and Part II
I hope you enjoyed part I/The Rejection of Rejection. Thanks so much for reading it as well as the wonderful feedback. :)
Some of you have written and asked if I have any books published. Well, that gave me the brilliant idea of publishing Part II, appropriately called: The Return of Joe Schmo, for the Kindle. Click here to purchase it on amazon for just $1.39.
I’m keeping costs really low, just because I know that we’re all poor right now, and I’m more curious about how self-publishing works. Please let me know what you think!
I’m also including the Rejection of Rejection, so you’ll get 2 stories total in one book.
Again, thank you for reading… and more stories are on their way. :)
You will need to see every side of me, leave no side left hidden nor changed. I am me, you will either love me for me, or leave me…
Either way, I am still me.
Either way, I won’t change for you.
Either way, true love is being loved fully.
Either way, I know how I should be treated, and what’s best for me.
If you cannot follow through, there is the door I promise I will not chase you. We know what we want, and when it is our time to go—- it’s the end, for good.