In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I revisit the topic of accepting crumbs in our relationships. What does it mean when someone’s doing the bare minimum? Why, if they could do so much in the beginning of the relationship, are they doing so little now? And should we confront the issue of this person doing the bare minimum?

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5 key topics in this episode

  • The bare minimum is when we do just enough to get by. It’s the the least possible expenditure of bandwidth (time, energy, effort and emotions aka attention), and the least possible commitment.
  • When someone who, for example, knows that they’re a bullshitter or that they’re not interested in a relationship or that they’re avoiding intimacy, gradually (or sharply) pulls back and sees that you expend the same or even more interest and investment no matter what they do, they realise that they don’t have to make an effort.
  • Wondering if you’re asking for too much or having to keep reminding you that you’re not is a code red alert that you’re in an unfulfilling relationship. Same for downgrading from what you originally said was the ‘bare minimum’ or rationalising that surely if they have time to go to the bathroom or eat, they should be able to spare a moment to drop you a text or call. You’re accepting crumbs in your relationship.
  • It’s easy to fall into the trap of not saying anything or going back and forth trying to get an upgrade. Yes, we do need to confront the issue, as in face up to the problem and at least attempt to communicate with our partner about what we need. However, confronting the issue also means having an honest conversation with ourselves.
  • Settling for the bare minimum sets you and the other person up to fail. Even if they don’t know what your ‘bare minimum’ is, in you knowing that you’re accepting the least fulfilling version of a relationship that you can tolerate, you will resent them.

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Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.
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